I've been working from home since 1989 and thoroughly enjoy it. One of the downsides of not going into the office though is the propensity to become complacent and not be vigilant about one's personal fitness. Most folks who work from home do sedentary work, and as a writer I am no exception. It is important to get regular exercise at least five days a week, and I'm here to share a few tips on how you can increase your exercise throughout the day.
Just keep moving
The human body was not meant to exist in stasis. Just like automobiles and buildings, what you don't use starts to deteriorate. Exercise is a wonderful way to stave off the effects of aging and help the body to fight off chronic diseases. You don't have to do anything fancy; you don't even have to have a gym membership. Just make sure that you get up during the day and get moving. One of the easiest and most cost-effective exercises that you can do is walking. Walk around the house, walk around the block, walk up and down the stairs - just walk! And make sure that you get a cumulative amount of walking in equivalent to 30 minutes a day.
Move in your seat
Although it is important to get up and move around at least once every hour so that you can keep a brisk circulation, you can also move around in your chair. Do leg lifts, side bends, even push-ups from a sitting position using your chair as a base. Again, the important thing is just to keep moving. Have you noticed that most fidgety folks rarely, if ever, happen to be overweight? It is because that constant movement that they do helps to keep the metabolism stimulated and as a consequence they burn extra calories throughout the course of the day.
Do a little housework
Although you don't want to create any distractions from your work flow that will cause you to fail your productivity goals for the day, you can always get up periodically and do housework for predetermined increments of time, maybe 15 minutes or so. This is also a great way to multitask. Sweep, mop, do laundry, wash dishes, empty trash cans. Every little bit of movement adds up to major health benefits.
Finally, always consult your physician before embarking upon any strenuous or new exercise regimens. Everybody's system is different and what may work for another person may be a health hazard for you. In the final analysis though, making a conscious decision towards movement throughout the day can be, and is, a very healthy strategy.
Joslin Diabetes Center: Tips for Increasing Physical Activity
The Mayo Clinic: Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Guide to Physical Activity
*Photo: Rance Costa via Flickr
[Originally published on Yahoo! Voices on 07/01/2014 (no longer published there).]