5 Ways to Keep Your Body Healthy While Working At Home

You would think that being a remote worker meant it was easy to structure your day around healthy habits. But on top of mounting work deadlines and family needs, it seems there’s hardly enough time to even catch your breath. Before you know it, you’ve put your health on the back-burner—and you’re not alone. Over two billion people struggle to eat well and 62% say they don’t get enough sleep.

However, contrary to popular belief, being healthy doesn’t require amazing amounts of time, energy, or money. With a few strategic baby steps, you can incorporate healthy habits without compromising your daily schedule. In fact, you may soon find that these lifestyle additions have made you happier, fitter, and more capable to accomplish tasks than before.

1. Find Clever Ways To Workout At Your Desk

In 2018, a Fellowes survey of 1,250 workers showed that they spent over nine hours a day sitting, which equates to roughly 67 sedentary days a year. Being sedentary is not only bad for the spine but it’s also harmful for cardiovascular health. Easy ways to do this without even getting up include desk yoga to relieve tension. For instance, try relieving back pain with a seated torso twist a few times a day. A handy under desk bike can also work to get some movement in while you’re desk-bound. These mini stationary cycles take little room but can also provide you with extra resistance to increase muscular engagement. Because they still get your heart rate going, some studies show they can burn up to 500 calories.

2. Run a Lap or Two With The Family

Regardless, if you were a runner before lockdown or not, taking in the outdoors is good for your body and mind. Mentally, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health believes that running outside can help the production of mood-boosting endorphins. Physically, even just running for six miles or less twice a week can produce a more resilient cardiovascular system. Going outside also introduces fresh air and Vitamin D, which can further help your circadian rhythm. Try introducing running basics to your family, and take this time to bond, too.

3. Be Creative With Your Meals

On average, 60% of participants in a Gelesis survey said they wanted to feel heathier and eat better. However, there is a common misconception that healthy food is boring or hard to make. But with a little ingenuity, you can include good grains, fibers, and fats rather easily. Begin by substituting your pantry staples with healthier alternatives (peanut butter for sun butter or white rice for quinoa). If you—or your kids—aren’t fans of “healthy foods”, try blending them in your dishes. A three-speed blender would be a good investment as it can “camouflage” veggies in soups, condiments, smoothies, and even ice cream! Spinach ice cream and strawberry-kale smoothies, for instance, won’t take leafy but will still deliver the nutrients your body needs throughout your work day.

4. Hangout With Your Furry Friends

They’re not called man’s best friend for nothing. Countless studies, including some by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, say that spending time with animals can have a positive effect on wellbeing. Interacting with animals is said to reduce loneliness, cortisol levels, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Some studies have even found that caring for fish helped some diabetics better manage their disease as they felt more present and aware. Having a pet also forces you to maintain some level of activity, since you need to care for them, play with them, and take them for walks. Hit two birds with one stone and make time for daily exercises together. This could be playing fetch, laser tag, or even just watching fish swim after their food. Over 68% of households have a pet, but if you don’t, then consider adopting (only if you can fully commit!) or volunteering at your local shelter.

5. Make Your Bedroom A Sanctuary

Sleep is often taken for granted. But the effects of sleep deprivation are no joke. Lack of sleep can increase risk of cognitive decline, obesity, and low immunity. It’s important to encourage a healthy sleep cycle so that the body’s cells can heal and replenish properly. To do so, try to maintain a calm atmosphere in your bedroom. Eliminate any gadgets (or at least keep them out of arms’ reach) and dim your lights to lessen external stimuli. You can also develop natural sleep cues like cooling the bedroom, using aromatherapy (lavender works wonders!), and listening to white noise. You will find that better sleep makes you more productive and present.

Working hard and staying resilient in the face of stress is important, but this shouldn’t mean forgetting to equally prioritize your well-being. Staying healthy with these simple habits is the best way to ensure you can keep working better for you and for your loved ones.

Article was specially written for cyruns.com by Alison Palmer alliecooperblogs@gmail.com