It’s been nine months now since the pandemic changed the course of our day-to-day lives. Most of us are being forced into working from home for the foreseeable future, which means we’ve gone from a busy, active lifestyle to a mostly sedentary one. Fitness goals for men may be different than fitness goals for women, but no matter your gender, age, weight, or lifestyle it is more important now than ever before to have a sustainable fitness and wellness routine.
Working remotely can have a silent impact on our health and overall wellness. Since most gyms have closed down or severely limited their capacity, fitness at home has become our only option for the time being. The issue here is that working out at home isn’t as easy as it sounds. It can be so difficult to shake the temptation of putting it off until tomorrow (and then the next day, and then the next day…) when your cozy, comfy couch is right there beside you.
AVOID A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE
Definition of sedentary: (of a person) tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive.
It’s been reported that the long-term effects of prolonged periods of sedentariness due to the pandemic may actually create a whole new public health crisis. Here are some risks of a sedentary lifestyle.
- Chronic illness
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Muscle weakness
- Certain mental health disorders
An inactive lifestyle has a negative impact on our body, mind, and spirit - which are all connected in achieving optimal overall wellness. Keep your body moving.
HERE ARE SIMPLE ACHIEVABLE FITNESS GOALS YOU CAN DO WHILE WORKING FROM HOME?
1. STAY HYDRATED
First and foremost, optimal hydration plays a key role in your overall health. We all know that we’re supposed to drink plenty of water, whether we adhere to those recommendations or not - but why? Some of the major roles of drinking sufficient amounts of water are stabilizing blood pressure, carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells, cushioning your joints, and protecting the organs and tissue in your body.
Water intake needs vary from person to person depending on age, lifestyle, and weight. However, the general consensus is that most adults are not consuming enough water for optimal health. Most of us would rather grab tea, soda, coffee, or sports drinks to sip on rather than plain filtered water.
HYDRATE is an electrolyte and mineral powder made with organic and truly natural ingredients. Unlike sugary sports drinks, HYDRATE only contains 1g of sugar making it a great, healthy, low-sugar alternative to up your water and electrolyte intake.
2. MEAL AND SNACK PREP
It can be so tempting to overeat or make less healthy choices when your options are endless while working from home just a few feet from your kitchen at all times. Laziness can get the best of us and when hunger strikes, we’re more likely to reach for the quickest, easiest option which is usually something that is temporarily satisfying, but also nutritionally deficient.
By pre-planning meals and snacks, you are removing the need to cook or prepare something while you’re too “hangry” to even think straight! Take about 30 minutes a week to sort out some snacks and do all of the chopping and portioning ahead of time. You can pick up some reusable snack bags and chop up some carrot sticks, portion out some almonds, slice up some bell peppers - the options are endless. Then when you’re feeling peckish, the healthy options are not only within reach, but are already portioned out and ready to go.
3. ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT DESK
Standing desks have become a staple in many households since remote work became the new normal. By alternating the height between sitting and standing throughout the day, you can avoid sitting a whole day.
In addition, according to a study at Harvard, users who stood at a desk for 3 hours burned approximately 24 more calories than their sedentary counterparts.
I suggest using a timer that alerts you when it’s time to stand. For example, set an alarm for every hour. You can also incorporate jumping jacks, situps or stretching at these intervals.
4. PLAN YOUR WORKOUTS AND STRETCHES
When faced with the question of why we don’t exercise regularly, what is the number one excuse you hear most often? “I’m just too busy!”
The reality is that it is not necessarily about a lack of time, but a lack of planning. Time management is crucial to a successful and sustainable exercise routine. Using a planner to map out your day is always beneficial, but using a planner to block out some time for exercise can help keep accountability and make sure you always have time. Whether it’s 30 minutes first thing in the morning, or a 15 minute break between projects, there is always room for a quick workout. If working out isn’t in the cards every day, take some time to do some gentle stretching, or even some chair yoga.
5. TURN UP THE MUSIC AND DANCE!
Let’s say you really are just so wrapped up in a project on one particular day and feel that you absolutely cannot set aside some time for a proper workout. It’s still important to get that heart rate up even if you’re stuck in the confines of your home office. Choose a fun, upbeat playlist and keep your body moving WHILE you work! Whether it’s pulling out your best chair-dance moves, or simply swaying and moving your arms to the beat - dancing is a great, fun way to keep fresh blood flowing. If you have the capability, you can even stand up and do some squats or stretches during a phone call or a Zoom presentation (cameras off, of course!) to keep energy levels up and burn more calories than sitting still.
Dancing will also help boost those serotonin levels to improve your mood and mental wellness. This will help avoid feelings of depression.
6. NON-EXERCISE ACTIVITY THERMOGENESIS (NEAT)
It’s recommended adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 3-5 days per week. To compound your regular workouts, you can utilize NEAT strategies to make mindful choices throughout the day to increase activity levels.
This can mean using stairs as opposed to an elevator, parking further away from the store entrance, or even stretching or getting up to walk around for a few minutes while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. These small changes do add up over time and help keep your cardiovascular system working at optimal levels in-between proper workouts.
Instead of finding the nearest parking space, find one further away. Park at the opposite end of the mall of where the store is that you are visiting.
7. ALL STANDING, LOW-IMPACT WORKOUTS
Starting a workout routine at home can be just as daunting as going to the gym. Burpees and pushups and sit-ups - oh my! An all standing, low-impact workout may just be the solution that you’re looking for.
By doing a workout that doesn’t involve any floorwork, you are allowing yourself to feel strong and confident while you get your body used to moving, bending, jumping, and crouching. This takes away some of the anxiety for those who have mobility or joint issues and feel that working out is not for them.
Low-impact exercises help to preserve your joints and bones and can protect you from long-term effects like joint pain in the future. Don’t be fooled, low impact exercises are still high intensity and will still get you sweating in no time!
This is also a great option for those of you who live with others who are also working from home, or maybe small children who you don’t want to disturb during the day. Low-impact exercises are a great alternative to noisy workouts that involve a lot of jumping and other high-impact activities.
There are so many options to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working remotely this year. When you’re engaging in more intense workouts, be sure to maintain a healthy caloric intake and use a high quality electrolyte supplement such as GOODONYA HYDRATE to replenish lost electrolytes and keep your body running at optimal hydration levels.
By following some best practices, you’ll be sure to beat the pandemic fitness slump and maintain great overall health while also achieving your goals. Remember:
- Keep it simple.
- Make a plan.
- Work the plan