It’s 3:00 pm. You feel a slight buzz on your wrist. You glance down, expecting to see a text message from your coworker. But instead, it’s your Apple Watch alerting you of the meager 782 steps you’ve gotten so far, and that now is probably a good time to stand up and move your body.
Does this sound familiar? In a time where most of us are now working from home, it can be even harder to reach the bare minimum levels of physical activity we need to maintain our health (mental included). So how do we keep our hearts, joints, and brains happy and healthy every day when it seems like our movement is so restricted? Keep reading for some practical tips to help you and your family stay healthy and pain free at home!
1. Match your old routine. Think about all the small moments of movement your body was used to in your previous routine: walking from the parking lot, taking the stairs to your office, hitting the gym after work, sneaking down to the caf for a cup of coffee. Recognize the movement you used to get daily and see if you can match it while at home! If you typically get up from your desk 3 or 4 times throughout a workday, set your phone’s alarm to go off 3 or 4 times so you can get up and walk around. Better yet, get up every 15-30 minutes for a 2-3 minute break to stretch, do calisthenics, run the vacuum, or straighten up the kitchen.
2. Make a conscious effort to walk more. Time and again, walking has proven to be one of the most beneficial practices for maintaining or improving our health. Whether you’re exercising the dog, taking a brisk stroll with a family member you live with (or with a friend at a 6-foot distance), or deep cleaning the house, getting steps into your day can help you feel great physically, mentally and emotionally.
3. Create a morning ritual. Jump starting your day with 5-20 minutes of movement not only helps to circulate blood and oxygen but can set the tone for your day and week. Try doing counter-top push-ups while waiting for your coffee to brew, doing a few rounds of squats and crunches before getting changed, or trying a morning yoga sequence before you start your workday.
4. Use technology to your advantage. Although devoting more of your time to staring at a screen may not sound very appealing, using technology wisely can help you boost healthy habits. Wearable tech products like FitBit and Apple Watch can remind you when it’s time to get some steps or scale back on the sweets. Numerous apps are available for everything under the sun, from reminding you to drink water every hour to logging your weight training routines. Our HealthEase team has created specific Facebook groups just for our client work-sites that are full of health and fitness information. You can follow their live workout classes, read blog posts, jump into stretch breaks, find healthy recipes, and even book online personal training sessions with our highly qualified trainers or virtual nutrition coaching with our registered dietitians.
The human body was meant to move, and the more we do, the more health benefits we will reap. Try making one or more of these tips a daily practice!
By Jules Baratta, HealthEase site manager and fitness specialist