Routines are a fickle beast – they help us to stay focused, consistent, and can make finding motivation less of a challenge, but all it takes is a single unexpected obstacle to disrupt your routine and throw you out of balance. And let’s be real, 2020 has been a year packed with unexpected obstacles.
For those of us with office jobs, commutes, and packed schedules, this year may have blown your agenda wide open. With a mass transition to working from home, you might feel liberated by the amount of time freed up; the elimination of commuting alone has saved the average American one hour every day. However, you might also feel stripped of your normal routine, struggling with motivation, or plain bored by the lack of activities and interactions that we’re all used to. Working from home is a new challenge for many of us, but it’s one with exciting potential when it comes to your work-life balance and reaching new heights in your personal performance. In this article, we’ll share some of our top tips for staying fit (and beyond) while working from home.
How much time has working from home saved you? Maybe your new get-ready-routine is 15 minutes instead of 30, some of those unnecessary meetings have been canceled, or your commute has been eliminated entirely. But with all that new time just for you, you might be finding it even harder to find time for your workouts.
The fact is, we’re creatures of habit. Having a daily agenda packed with meetings, travel time, and working hours can force you to calendarize your workouts and make dedicated time for yourself. And now with the lines between work time and personal time being blurred, it’s more important than ever for you to find that time and lock it in. Whether you’re a morning, afternoon, or late-night person, schedule your exercise time and don’t flake out – stick to your agenda and you’ll find yourself creating a new routine in no time. It’ll help you stay focused and motivated, and with repetition comes consistent energy levels and healthy sleep habits, so keep it up!
Sleep Like a Champ
A common misconception is that sleep is passive – that it’s some kind of neutral state where nothing happens and you’re just relaxing. It couldn’t be further from the truth! Sleep is an incredibly active phase for your body, even though you and your brain are just hanging out. Sleep is when your body recovers, restores, processes, and strengthens – it’s when all your work in the gym or on the track is realized. When working from home, sleep is another one of those things that used to be scheduled and consistent, but might be a little all over the place now.
It’s more important than ever to find ways to switch off. Establish a bedtime routine; maybe you do an evening workout, have a small bite, then shower, change, meditate, and sleep. If that sounds like you, try to do those steps sequentially, with minimal deviation, and no screen time, every night for a week. We’ll bet that you’ll find deeper, more relaxing sleep, leading to better, more alert mornings. Sleep is also environmental – if you find yourself running into issues, explore different temperatures, humidity levels, sleeping positions, the amount of ambient noise or light, or any factor that may be impacting your sleep conditions.
Stay On Your Feet
Beyond your scheduled workouts and committed exercise sessions, part of staying fit is your general level of activity during the day. Try to think about the seemingly irrelevant activities that would’ve been part of your normal office day – the stairs in and out of the subway, the two block walk to the coffee shop, the lunch run, the soccer practice, and so on. Just keeping your dedicated workout is awesome, but your body is used to all of those little activities too, and working from home can make it tough to replicate them.
Nothing is much worse than sitting inside at a desk all day, so anything you can bring in will help. Try to work standing, or at least take a 10 minute stretching and movement break every hour. Working outside, even if you’re not physically doing anything, can make a difference – getting some fresh air, sun, and maybe a chat with a neighbor are great for your all-around health. And don’t shy away from “non-exercise adventures”! It doesn’t need to be a grueling workout for you to get out and get some fresh air. Go work in the garden, volunteer for a community cleanup, see how many pushups you can do every day for a month… the opportunities are endless.
In sum, working from home doesn’t have to be a sedentary life sentence. With a little bit of creativity and curiosity, you can not only maintain your fitness during this bizarre year, but maximize it! And as always, PKRS.AI is here to help take your performance to the next level. The world’s best coaches and nutritionists are available at your fingertips, with a 24/7 AI concierge ready to help you plan, schedule, execute, and recover like never before.
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