Whether you are working from home, or have a desk job, here are my 10 tips to help you stay fit, and keep your body feeling good.
- Move your chair away from your desk and stand - Instead of sitting for hours a day, move your chair away from your desk once in a while. You can also buy a standing computer desk to help your posture.
- Put computer monitor up higher - I have a laptop so I am hunched over in a C shape for long periods. However, if you have a monitor put it higher up on a shelf, or on the wall. This helps your neck to not be tilted down all day.
- Eat healthy snacks - There is something about being on the computer all day that makes me want to snack. The first thing I want is chocolate. It gives me the caffeine I crave for that mid-day crash and the sugar high, but instead, I am now eating nuts and trail mix. Try fruit, and veggies as well. Good food helps your brain focus!
- Drink Water - This is a given for any health post, but a lot of times I forget to drink. I get so caught up in my daily task that all of a sudden, I will get dizzy, and realize all I drank was coffee in the morning, and it's way past noon. Water is what your body needs, so drink up!
- Get up and move - I cannot tell you how many times I will look at the clock, and it will be 4 PM, and I have not moved from my computer. It's really easy to do when you get busy with business calls, research and emails, so now I set a timer for every 30 minutes. This reminds me to get up and move around. Go to the bathroom, grab a healthy snack. Walk over to check on the baby. Go for a quick jog or pace walk around your yard or neighborhood.
- Disengage - This is continuing the getup and move one, but to disengage means giving your brain a break from work. You actually need stop focusing on work for a few minutes. This is not meaning take 30-minute breaks every few hours, but this means go check your phone messages, call a friend, read the newspaper. Just give your brain a break from the computer screen for a little while. Five minutes or less is perfect for this. One thing I like to do is put on some of my favorite music or podcast. I sing and it helps put me in a better mood. Music is a wonderful mood changer! Need to distress? Put on soft instrumental tunes. Falling asleep? Put on some upbeat music like pop, heavy metal or rock, and get pumped up. Music is the key to how I make it through every day! Need some inspiration? Find an uplifting podcast!
- Squat to pick up something - A great way to incorporate some exercises into your everyday routine is when you drop something, squat to pick it up instead of bending over. Another great exercise is putting your back straight on the wall, then once there is no gap between your but and the wall, put your arms up over your head and stretch them on the wall. This is a great way to get the blood flowing to those tired arms, legs, butt, and back, while also stretching your spine!
- Stretch & dynamic resistance - This is something I learned from my husband Johnny (AKA Gator Johnny), he is getting his certification to teach DDP Yoga. When you get up from the computer incorporate some stretches, and move your arms with dynamic resistance as if your hands are moving through clay, you tense up your muscles and fight against your own strength. This is a great way to build some muscle while working and it really does not take any extra time to do.
- Fresh air & Sunshine - I get to take small breaks all throughout my day, but if you have a good 20 or 30-minute break, go outside and get some fresh air, listen to nature, and get the vitamin D from the sun. Now if it's cold where you live, go look out your window and enjoy the colors of the trees. Even if you live in the city where nature is not at your doorstep, still take a walk. Get outside if you can. Fresh air and going outside does wonders for your moral and mental state. You will feel refreshed and ready to get back to your sales calls or emails. One thing I love to do when I'm having a difficult client, I will go outside with my adult coloring book and color while drinking some lemon water. It helps clear my mind, and coloring is great for your creativity. Studies have shown that adults who color are less likely to get Alzheimer’s as they get older. So, I say color away!!!!
- Eye drops - This one might seem odd, but from experience, I notice that after long periods of staring at the computer screen, my eyes start to burn, and feel dry. So, I have started to use eye drops to moisten them, and it does help. There have been studies done on people who are looking at a computer screen for 5 or more hours a day, and they have found their eyes are dryer than those who do not have computer jobs. So keep your eye drops handy when you start to feel that itchy, dry eye. Dry eyes can cause your vision to get worse. I am having this issue now. I never needed glasses until last year when I started working at home. You can also do eye exercises. No, I'm not making this up! Take your finger in front of your nose and look at it, then slowly move your finger back and forth in front of your face while your eyes follow. Do it down and up as well. Thank you, Jack Lalanne, for that tip, he was ahead of his time, that's for sure!
So there you go, those were my 10 tips for staying active while working at home or having a computer/desk job. I hope these tips help you feel better and get you moving! Being active while working at home is key to staying healthy. When I first started working from home, I gained a lot of weight. I went from running around with toddlers at my daycare job, to sitting at a desk for hours and hours. These are some tricks that I learned through my struggles of working from home, and I hope they help you as they have helped me!