How to Stay Healthy When Working From Home

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It’s all too easy to give up on your fitness when you’re working from home.

Because you don’t have to leave the house every morning, it’s easy to get out of the habit of going to the gym or walking in the park.

The good news is that there are lots of ways to stay healthy when you’re working from home – here are some great tips to show you how:

Young woman wearing grey sportswear, standing on a sidewalk, bending over and touching her toes with one arm.

1. Get into a healthy routine – turn it into a habit!

The best way to stay healthy and fit whilst working from home is to design a daily routine that includes time to prepare healthy food, and time for exercise.

Once you’ve worked out a routine that has all of the things you want to do, make sure you stick to it for a sustained length of time, and make it into a habit.

A couple of days or even a couple of weeks won’t be enough to establish a healthy lifestyle habit. It’s said that you need to repeat something for 66 days before it becomes a habit. 

https://jamesclear.com/new-habit

Six slices of toast with various healthy toppings.

2. Eat healthy snacks and save money 

It is so tempting to have a snack when you go to the kitchen to make a coffee, but be careful what you snack on!

Sweets and chocolate will not help with your fitness campaign, so a range of healthy homemade snacks are ideal. For example, a piece of fruit, a handful of dried fruit and nuts, or a home made muesli bar is much healthier and cheaper than a chocolate bar or fancy cake!

As you’re working from home and have access to your fridge, you have a much wider choice of healthy snacks than you would have if you were working in an office.

You can eat food that would go off during the day in a warm office such as meat snacks, fruit smoothies or even sushi!

Wooden board with sushi and a bowl of soy sauce.

3. Drink water

It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, so make sure you drink plenty of water. If you get de-hydrated your body won’t perform so well – every part of your body is affected as the balance of salts and sugars in your body becomes upset.

 
Water being poured into a glass with a slice of lime at the bottom.

Here are a few of the things that may happen to you if you don’t drink enough:

    • Increased thirst
    • Dry mouth
    • Tired or sleepy
    • Headache
    • Impaired mood and concentration
    • Dry skin
    • Dizziness
    • Muscle cramps
    • Darkened urine

It’s easy to avoid all of these things by drinking enough water.

The recommended amount you should drink is 6-8 glasses of water and other fluids per day (around 2 litres) but this will vary depending on your body weight, and the amount of exercise you are doing.

A metal bottle or flask standing on a desk next to a laptop computer.

If you find it hard to keep track of how much water you drink during the day, keep a jug (or flask) of 6-8 glasses of water on your desk and drink it throughout the day.

 

4. Move around 

If you work from home, you may find that you end up sitting at your desk all day long, concentrating on getting your work done. 

You don’t need to commute to work, so it’s easy to just go straight to your desk after breakfast and then not move until lunch or tea time. This is not a good idea!

It’s best to move and keep the blood flowing round your body (especially your brain!) throughout the day.

You’ll be able to concentrate better and be much more productive if you’re feeling energised from moving around rather than sluggish from sitting in the same chair all day long. 

Woman looking at lime-green fitness tracker on her wrist.

A fitness tracker to keep track of how much you’re moving around can be really helpful – 10,000 steps per day is the recommended number.

It can be surprisingly difficult to do this amount if you’re working from home, so you’ll have to make a concerted effort by going for a walk at lunchtime, or do some other form of exercise instead.

 

 

5. Collect fitness motivational quotes

An easy way to stay motivated to get fit is to surround yourself with motivational quotes – you can find them on Pinterest and download them onto your computer.

Then display them as your desktop background, or as your screensaver. I love quotes by motivational business leaders, but if you want to boost your fitness, quotes by great fitness trainers or athletes would be good.

 

 

6. Don’t eat meals at your desk

At lunchtime, if you leave your desk, prepare your meal, and eat it in another part of your home, you’ll be moving around which helps boost your daily activity.

If you eat your meals at your desk that will mean that you will hardly move out of your office chair the whole day, which really isn’t good for you.

Two slices of bread on a plate with sliced avocado topping.

7. Make your office ergonomic

When you’re sitting at your desk, it’s important to make sure that your environment is as ergonomic as possible. Buy a fully adjustable chair that will support your body correctly.

Make sure that there’s enough light on your desk, so you don’t strain your eyes whilst working. Some people like to use a standing desk, which can boost productivity, reduce blood pressure and increase your fitness levels.

A standing desk is unlikely to make you burn many more calories than a normal desk, but it will help with posture and keeping the blood flowing round your body.

A white human figure reclining on a red office chair and waving (computer illustration).

When you work from home, you’re in control of your working environment so you might as well make it ergonomic while you are designing it. Turn it into a place that is attractive, comfortable and healthy!

 

 

8. Create a home fitness routine for yourself

If you don’t have time to fit in a whole exercise routine such as swimming or the gym or an aerobics class, you can always design your own fitness routine around your working day.

Small chunks of exercise spread through the day might be easier to fit in – 10 minutes in the morning, 10 at lunch time and 10 in the afternoon, and you have your 30 minute workout sorted!

Various items of blue exercise equipment including two balls, a wobble-board, dumbells and a skipping rope on a rug in front of a sofa.

Also don’t forget that you can exercise without going to the gym or buying expensive exercise machines – there are lots of home workout routines that you can use which just rely on using your own bodyweight and a few little extras like a skipping rope, ball or exercise band.

If you’re working from home and looking after the kids, perhaps you could involve them in your fitness routine when they get home from school?

A jog round the park or mini workout could be a great way to relieve the stresses and strains of a day at school, and give you some together time.

Here’s a great list of exercises you can do from home:

https://www.topendsports.com/fitness/home-exercise-list.htm

A woman in a flourescent green top and a young girl facing each other on a road, doing push-ups.

9. Take up a sport

You could take up a new sport such as swimming, rock climbing, yoga classes or martial arts – these are all great for overall body conditioning and fitness. 

Two rows of martial artists kneeling with their eyes closed.

As you’re working from home, you have more flexibility on when you can use your local leisure centre. Could you visit during the day when it’s quiet? 

Two women doing yoga in a white room.

It’s often easier to stay motivated and committed to exercise if you’re going to an organised class at a set time rather than just doing it “when you have time”.

It’s all too easy to skip the exercise if you don’t have an appointment to keep or a fitness buddy to meet!  

My own favourite way of keeping fit is swimming – I get up early and go for a swim at the local pool followed by a nice hot shower.

Then I put on the work outfit I’ve chosen for the day, drive home, and I’m all set for the day ahead.

Back view of a young woman with long wet hair, wearing a red and black swimming costume, sitting on the edge of a swimming pool on a sunny day.

I hope you enjoyed these healthy tips for working from home, and found them useful. As always, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

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Young woman in workout clothes standing in a kitchen eating a healthy snack from a bowl.

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