Working from home seems like it might be a massive health experiment. How do we get more exercise and avoid eating too much when we have access to the pantry and refrigerator all the time? This is a common concern many people have. Well, don't worry. It is possible.
Keep reading to learn 10 tips on how to stay healthy working from home.
10 Tips on How to Stay Healthy Working From Home
1. Stretch and Stay Active
One of the best things you can do when you work from home is to get up and stretch periodically. Even if you sit at your desk or work on your laptop from the sofa, there's still plenty of opportunities to move.
Make it a goal to not only exercise each day but also to get up and stretch more often. Lift your arms over your head, bend over and touch your toes, twist from side to side. Try to do this every hour or so.
Here are some ideas:
Begin your day with a gentle workout session — In the morning, you can boost your energy and move your body with a gentle form of exercise. Yoga or Pilates are great for the morning, but a short walk would also be great.
Find more ways and reasons to walk during the day -Walking is the gentlest form of exercise, and the easiest to do. You can walk your dogs a little further than you normally would, go on a family walk around the neighborhood after dinner or walk to run errands if it's close enough to your house rather than driving.
Add in other forms of exercise – What else do you enjoy doing? Do you want to take an afternoon spin class with a friend? Do you like getting out of the house to hike or head to the gym? I like to jump on a rebounder because it engages all my muscles and moves lymph, and lift a kettle ball for arm and leg strength. Find more forms of exercise that you will actually do because you enjoy them.
2. Nutrition While Working From Home
Another stumbling block that people often fall into when working from home is snacking or indulging in carbs and sweets all day long. If you find that your nutrition is suffering from working near your kitchen all day, here are some tips that can help.
Have healthy snacks on hand – If you tend to reach for junk food, carbs, or sweets often, make sure you have healthier snack options on hand. Keep fruit and vegetables visible. Know what your weaknesses are. For me, I have a love affair with bread, muffins, and carbs… and we all know carbs make you fat… Then I discovered these delicious, healthy, gluten-free bread recipes that do not trigger weight gain.
Do Meal Prep – Meal prep can be a life-saver when you work from home. This does not just have to be for bringing lunch to work. The more you prepare at home, the less tempted you will be to order food delivery or go out to eat.
Designated Kitchen Times – A common trap when working from home is feeling like you can walk into the kitchen at any time and eat something. To stop this, have a designated kitchen and mealtime, just like you would if you worked in an office.
3. Developing Healthier Habits
Staying healthy while working from home is not about being on a diet or trying to be restrictive. It's about balance, which starts with developing healthy habits.
Do you eat better when you have your workout first thing in the morning? Then you know this can be a wonderful healthy habit for you! Habits don't have to feel like a chore or something you are forced to do. It's very small changes in your day that make the difference.
Try working on your daily routines. From morning routines to what you do in the afternoon, you can change your routines in order to be healthier at home.
Get your family involved. Sometimes what you need is to focus on the health of your family, not just yourself. Let the kids help with meal times, exercise with the family, and find family-focused activities to get you up and moving throughout the day.
4. Find Your Health Motivation
What is the reason you want to be healthier while working from home? This is where you can start. It will not just increase your health, but also your happiness when you are at home working all day.
Make a list of everything that is motivating you to be healthier, starting with your WHY.
Answer this question in your journal:
“Why do you want to be healthier while working from home?”
This is important because it helps you understand yourself a little more, and find what is going to motivate you the most. There is no wrong answer here, except one where you aren't being honest with yourself.
5. Create a Healthy Morning Routine
To start working on your healthy habits at home, begin with your morning routine. Don't worry about having a perfect routine or one that you get 100% right every day. Routines are simply a collection of activities you do around the same time each day.
Everything in your routine should serve some kind of purpose and be something you want to get done for yourself in the morning, or that will help you start your day on the right foot.
Benefits of a Morning Routine
Why have a morning routine? When you are working from home, you need some structure. Without a boss looking over your shoulder or co-workers to be accountable to, it requires a lot more self-motivation. This also includes your health while working from home.
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Some benefits of having a morning routine include:
- Starting your day off with healthy habits
- Incorporating healthy habits into your routine
- Setting yourself up for the day
- Getting in exercise first thing in the morning
- Changing your mindset to a healthy, balanced one
6. Health Hazards to Avoid
It's really easy to think the habits and routines you have implemented in your work-from-home life are for health, but many of them are about losing weight or being overly restrictive.
Here are some pitfalls to avoid when you are on a health journey:
Going on a restrictive diet – Many people think that to eat healthily, they need to be on a diet. But this is not true!! Change your mindset from what you need to take away from your diet to what you can add to improve the nutrients and fuel your body.
Focusing on the wrong things – When it comes to your health, it's more about how you feel, not what you think you should be doing. This goes for everything you do at home, from your physical activity and what you eat to the information you consume and what your routine looks like.
Feeling like you are not doing enough – Any small change you make or healthy habit you incorporate into your work-from-home life is going to improve your physical health and wellbeing. It is enough. Acknowledge it.
7. Take Breaks and a Lunch Hour
Make sure you have a balanced work schedule throughout your day, including taking breaks.
Think of your work-from-home schedule just like a schedule if you were still working from your place of employment. Take a morning and afternoon break, and a lunch break! Don't eat meals in front of your computer.
Do Desk Stretches – There are stretches you can do while sitting down or standing. These give you the opportunity to look somewhere other than your computer screen, stretch your body, and hopefully stand up to stretch out your legs.
Here is an awesome little yoga sequence to practice yoga at your desk.
Walk around – Also use your breaks as a chance to get up and walk around your house or office space.
Make adjustments – Do you feel like your neck is stiff or your back is hurting? You may be sitting incorrectly. Check the ergonomics of your workstation, whether you are working at a desk or your kitchen table.
8. Make Changes To Your Surroundings
The environment where you work can make a big difference in your health and wellbeing. Here are some things you can change in your surroundings to support your health.
Setting up your workspace – Set your workspace is set up for focus and productivity. Make sure your desk or table is comfortable, you have proper lighting and a way to cancel out noise or distractions.
Having healthy resources at home – Set yourself up for health by making sure you have nutritious food and healthy snacks, home workout accessories. Also, house plants in your office can improve indoor air so you breathe the cleanest air possible.
9. Your Work-Life Balance
We all need a good work-life balance, whether you work from home or out of the home. This can be a little more complicated when your home is also your office.
One of the best things you can do for your work-life balance when you work from home is to set a schedule that tells you when you start work, and when you stop.
Avoid bringing your laptop to the couch or your bed to get work done before or after your workday is meant to begin.
This small change can help you separate leisure and work, and will make a big difference in your work-life balance.
10. Are You Ready to Be Healthier Working From Home?
Let's summarize how to be healthier working from home to make sure you're on the right path.
Small habits for big changes – You don't have to change your entire life if you want to be healthier. You just need to incorporate smaller habits and practice them consistently.
Find your motivation – What motivates YOU to be healthier may not motivate anyone else. Be honest with yourself about what you are trying to achieve.
Set Health Goals – Lastly, set some goals for yourself when it comes to your health. What are you trying to improve? What are you struggling with right now? The more specific your goals, the easier they will be to achieve.