Working out While You Work at Home

If you work at home, you're probably not moving enough. Even if you go workout (or run, or dance) during the day, sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time can really take a toll. Try this mini-workout to get your blood flowing and improve your health!

My exercise habits have changed a lot since I turned freelance.

I realize this may seem like a bit of a random topic, but…

If you’re planning to work from home, you’ve got to consider the WHOLE picture, and that includes your health.

I didn’t really take that into consideration when I made the freelance switch. (I didn’t take much of anything into consideration, aside from the fact that I knew my current work-life wasn’t sustainable.) Don’t do what I did then. What I do now is much smarter.

When I worked outside the house, I usually walked a mile and a half to work and a mile and a half home. I took exercise breaks with my fellow employees. And then I’d go act or dance in the evenings.

I was getting a lot of exercise.

Fast forward to my days working at home. I still get out for dance classes or rehearsals in the evenings, but during the day….

During the day, I spend most of my time in front of the computer, with an occasional trip down to the kitchen to make lunch or around the block to the coffee shop… where I sit in front of the computer for hours. That means I spend a lot of the day sitting in the same position, staring at a computer, not moving anything other than my hands.

Folks, that is not good at all!

Even if you go workout (or run, or dance) during the day, sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time can really take it’s toll. Plenty of research has shown the dangers of spending too much time sitting down during the day. Plenty of other research has show how not taking breaks limits your productivity.

So I’ve started getting in the habit of exercising in little bursts all through the day.

Now, I am by no means an exercise guru (and I am NOT, please note, a professional physical trainer) but I’ve put together a quick, easy routine that I can do right in my living room.

Want to play along?

work at home

Total time? Five minutes, max. (Yes, I timed it this morning.) Three workout breaks during the day will only cost you fifteen minutes of work time, but the physical and mental health benefits will be enormous.

Since I started doing this, I feel more focused and less stressed during the day. I sleep better at night. My lower back and my joints don’t get achy the way they used to. It’s fantastic, and I highly recommend it!

A few notes on this mini-workout:

1. When stretching, do whatever feels good. I like to pay particular attention to my shoulders, elbows, hips, and lower back.

2. I like to do the squats and lunges with a 12-lb. weight in each hand. It adds a little extra challenge and works my muscles better.

3. I tend to mix up the types of crunches I do so I’m not working the same set of ab muscles every time. If you need ideas, check out this video for some great variations.

4. If you’re unsure how to do any of the exercises, look up a few videos on YouTube. Make sure you’re using correct form and posture, or you may injure yourself.

5. I suggest buying a jump rope. (You can buy one at a dollar store for cheap!) I find it works my core and feels more like real cardio than the jumping jacks.

6. Drink lots of water! I try to keep a water bottle at my desk and refill it a couple times a day.

7. I’m not saying you should stop going to the gym or quit training for that marathon. This definitely will NOT replace a full exercise routine! But it is a great way to get moving and get your heart rate up during the day. And if you don’t exercise regularly at all, this mini-workout will help you make moving a habit.

Have you ever tried incorporating a mini-workout into your day?

Did you notice that it made a difference in how you felt?

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