Young woman in the plank position working out from home

How to stay active when you’re working from home

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Don’t let a change in workplace scenery affect your fitness levels. Here’s how to keep moving if your workday routine’s been turned on its head – and why it’s so important.

How to workout from home

More and more of us are working from home and, as well as making things such as meetings, catch-ups with colleagues and coffee breaks look a little different, your exercise habits might also have been thrown out of whack if you’re spending more time at your place.  
 
You might even notice that your daily step count is taking a hit, especially if you previously relied on walking to and from public transport on work days to maintain it.  
 
Don’t think that matters too much? Think again. Research shows that key measures of good health can decline significantly in as little as two weeks when you drastically slash how many steps you take each day.  
 
Plus, staying active can support immune system health help keep stress levels in check and might even improve the quality of your sleep. 
 
Here are 5 ways to stay active in your at-home workplace. 

1. Start the day with some yoga

One of the best perks of working at home? Activewear, all-day long. Put it to good use during the time you’d normally spend commuting by starting the day with a pre-work yoga session in your living room. In fact, there are even yoga poses that you can do at your desk
 
That’s good news – not only does research show that yoga delivers genuine fitness and heart-health benefits, you’ll be in a better mood to start your work day.  
 
Not too familiar with yoga? No problem. Check out this beginner’s guide.  
 

2. Stand up every 30 minutes

Regardless of how much exercise you squeeze into your day, research suggests that staying seated for no more than 30 minutes at a time will help you avoid the impact long stretches of sitting can have on your health.  
 
Set a 30-minute timer or alarm on your phone and whenever it goes off, jump out of your chair and do a few stretches and laps of your house.  

3. Make lunchtime exercise time

Grab a bite to eat and when you’re done, instead of flicking the TV on and sitting on the couch to watch your favourite show, use your lunchbreak to do a quick 10-minute workout, instead.  

You don’t need any special equipment and you’ll be left feeling energised and raring to go for the afternoon’s job tasks. 

4. Step it up

Less than one-in-five Australian adults take the recommended 10,000 steps each day. Increase your odds of reaching this target at home by: 
  • Writing your daily steps goal on a sticky note and tacking it onto your computer screen 
    Research shows that mentally linking an action (getting up to do some steps) with a visual cue (eyeballing that big step target you’ve written down) equals performing the action more successfully
  • Making and taking opportunities to do some steps
    Walk around whenever you’re on the phone, march on the spot when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil and place regularly used items further apart in your home office so you have to walk to reach them
  • Tracking your steps
    Using an activity tracker isn’t a silver bullet, but research has linked their use to spending less time being sedentary and taking more daily steps

5. Set up a home-office gym

If you used to hit the gym on your way home from work, don’t panic. With just a few key pieces of equipment and by learning a handful of essential bodyweight exercises, you can create a home-office gym that will help you stay fit and healthy without leaving your house. 

Need a bit more inspiration to stay motivated to move? Try these t workouts from the team @forwood_fitness_inspo. Both workouts can easily be done at home and require minimal to no equipment.

Workout 1: Bodyweight workout

A. 3 Rounds
  • 10 Single leg glute raises (each leg)
  • 10 Walking lunges (each leg)
  • 10 Step-ups to chair (each leg)
B. EMOM (every minute on the minute) x 10mins

4 sit-ups, 8 Push-ups, 12 Squats

C. 3 Rounds
  • 40sec Mountain climbers
  • 20sec Rest
  • 40sec Plank hold
  • 20sec Rest
  • 40sec Burpees
  • 20sec Rest

Workout 2: All about the dumbbells

A. 4 Rounds
  • 10 DB reverse Lunges (each leg)
  • 10 Single Arm DB Rows (each arm)
  • 10 Kneeling Single Arm DB Presses (each arm)
B. EMOM x 7mins

4 DB Burpees + 10 DB Snatches (total)

C. 2 Rounds
  • 40sec Left arm DB thrusters
  • 20sec Rest
  • 40sec Side plank
  • 20sec Rest
  • 40sec Right arm DB thrusters
  • 20sec Rest
  • 40sec Side plank
  • 20sec Rest
Don’t have dumbbells handy at home? You can use one of these alternatives instead:
  • Bucket or empty 2 litre milk bottle filled with rocks, sand, dirt or water
  • Brick or an easy to hold rock
  • Any heavy filled food bags or fill a shopping bag and tie it off
  • Paint tins