How to Lose Weight Working From Home?
Working remotely has many perks. We get to spend more time with our family, pay less for gas, and stay in the comfort of our own homes. But one negative of remote work that we may not be thinking about is how it may impact the amount of physical activity we get throughout the day.
Even if you had a desk job before the pandemic, working at home doesn’t give you the same opportunity to move your body. But this is not something you should feel guilty about. The reality is that most of us are not meeting the weekly exercise recommendations since the pandemic came into the picture.
According to a research study conducted by a team at the University of California, San Francisco, our step counts were significantly lower early in the pandemic and had not yet returned to baseline before Covid-19 hit.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (think fast-paced walking) each week with 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity (focusing on all major muscle groups ).
Some of us may be hitting this goal already while others may struggle if they live a more sedentary lifestyle. But have no fear! There are several easy tips you can follow while working from home to help you increase your body movement and ultimately feel more energized throughout the day.
Take a break every hour. Make it a habit to step away from your computer and desk space each hour you are working. Whether you take a bathroom break, refill your water glass or stretch your legs, your body and brain need a change of scenery. A quick routine break will also make you feel more refreshed and focused for your next work task.
Stand and stretch. This is something so simple but many of us may not even be thinking about it throughout the day. Right before each hour break, stand up and stretch your arms, back, legs, and anywhere else you like. Stretching wakes up your body and works on your muscles’ flexibility.
Go outside on your lunch break. Sometimes this is easier said than done but your lunch hour is your best chance of getting in those steps for the day.
You may be tempted to just sit and go on your phone but you would be doing yourself a favor to grab those sneakers and sunglasses and head outside for a brisk walk.
If you rather eat at your table indoors, you can still save yourself 30 minutes of walking around the neighborhood. Use this as a time to relax and destress.
Instead of using a chair at your desk, try sitting on a stability ball for part of the day. This challenges your body to sit straight without falling off and requires you to engage your core muscles. You also will improve your posture on a ball than sloughing in a chair.
Practice butt clenches while you are sitting. Squeeze your glute muscles as hard as you can and hold for 10 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat as many times as you feel like during the day.
Keep a set of light weights by your desk. If you have a phone call that doesn’t require you to be typing at your computer, you can use these weights to your advantage and get in a few reps while still being on the clock. Every little bit you can do to support your muscle strengthening counts. You can also try using resistance bands, a jump rope, or even invest in an exercise bike for under your desk.
Place your office equipment out of reach. If you have everything you need close by to your chair, this doesn’t give you any motivation to get up and reach around. By moving things like your stapler, printer, and hole puncher a few feet away, you are giving yourself the incentive to take a few extra steps throughout your day.
Let your body move to the music! If you are feeling low energy or having a tough workday, try to play some upbeat music and dance for a few minutes. Don’t worry nobody is watching you (just make sure your webcam is off). Dancing is a fun way to get in some cardio and get your blood flowing.
Use a step counter. By keeping track of your daily steps, you can challenge yourself to do better than the next day. You can also make it a fun competition between other remote employees in your company.
Take the time you are saving not commuting to your job each day and use that as exercise time either before you clock in or after you clock out. Make the time savings count toward a heart health goal rather than extra hours of sleep.
Don’t be afraid to be creative with your work-from-home routine. Start with one of these simple tips and slowly add more each week.
By finding changes you can make that will work with your lifestyle, you are more likely to maintain them for the long haul. And a happier healthier you means less stress and a lower risk of job burnout.