At the turn of the new year, I started a new job. Instead of driving to an office everyday, I began working from home – and I really love it. Working from home has SO many benefits. I highly recommend it! But it does have some downsides as well.
The biggest one for me is that I am no longer in a building filled with other people that I need to get up out of my seat and go and meet with on a regular basis. I miss the comradery of my colleagues. Not only were my coworkers super fun people, but they were a great excuse for me to get up and get out of my office.
Now that I’m at home all the time, it is easy to get lost in the Zoom coversations and the work that they generate. Hours can go by and the most movement I have done is a quick walk to the refrigerator or bathroom, both of which are less than 5 yards from my desk. Clearly, I need to come up with something new to get me moving but still remain productive during the day.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Track Your Steps
The first thing I realized was that I really needed to know what my baseline number of steps. From there, I could decide how to best increase that number to a healthier level. So I made a small investment in a health tracker. There are a lot of trackers out there of varying prices and capabilities. I didn’t need anything super fancy, so I went with an Amazfit Band 5.
Stand Whenever Possible
Now that most of my work is happening on my computer and over Zoom meetings, it would be easy to sit at my desk all day and never move from my seat – and I did that for quite a while! For me, this is not sustainable. I have to get up and move and stretch more. For those meetings when I am just listening in and don’t have to take notes, it makes sense for me to stand. That’s why I love my adjustable desk that goes from a sitting desk to a standing desk. It’s the Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk from Flexispot – and it’s fantastic!
Seriously, this desk is amazing. I can sit. I can stand. I can charge my devices. And at the end of the day, I can store what I don’t want out in the drawer so my workspace stays organized.
This is the biggest adjustment I made to my physical space to add movement to my day and it really has made a great difference. Highly recommend!
Find or Make Time to Walk
I think my dog Elsa has the right idea. Everyday in the 10:00 hour, she starts to ask my husband to go on a walk. It is a regular part of her day. Walking for me should be the same. There are times that I can find to walk that won’t interfere with my work schedule. Of course, I could walk before and/or after work but the point is to get me oving during the day too!
So the first thing I did was figure out where I could take a quick walk and how long it would take me. I walked around the block and created a half-mile loop that takes me less than 10 minutes to complete. It’s easy to find 10 minutes between meetings so with a little planning, I am adding a short walk or two to my schedule. If I can do it twice a day, I have easily added a mile of walking to my day without much effort beyond getting up and getting going.
Listen More, Sit Less
I love to read. Since I blog a lot about books, that should be fairly obvious. But when you think about reading, it is generally a very static activity. There’s a lot of sitting involved, preferably under a cozy blanket with a cup of hot tea in hand. Unfortunately, this hobby of mine doesn’t help get me up and moving – or does it? I have found I can keep up with my TBR and Goodreads Reading Challenge and hit my step goals with the help of audiobooks and a pair of headphones.
Let’s start with headphones because this is easy. Headphones are everywhere. All you need is a set that works with your phone. Wired, bluetooth, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you are comfortable with and can wear while you walk will work. (I don’t like to spend a lot on headphones, so I just grabbed a pair for less than $5 at a local store.)
As for audiobooks, they are available all over as well. Personally, I usually get mine from one of two places. The first is my online local library. With my library card and utilizinng the free online resources provided by my library, I have access to a ton of audiobooks of all shapes and sizes.
The second place I get audiobooks from is Libro.fm. Libro.fm makes it possible to buy audiobooks from 1,500+ local bookstores in the US and Canada. Libro.fm then splits the profit from each purchase with local bookstores, giving you the power to keep money within the local economy.
Need some ideas on what to listen to first? Search “audiobook” here in Books, Tea, Healthy Me for reviews of some of my favorites!
Write It Down
When you are trying to lose weight, one common suggestion is to keep a food journal so you can see what and when you are eating. I think the same principle can be applied to adding movement to your day. If you want to add movement, start keeping track of when and how much movement you actually have. Yes, this is kind of like wearing a tracker, but if you are like me, putting a pen to paper helps to reinforce the effort I am putting in.
I hope these few tips have helped you find a way to add movement to your day. Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear what you are doing to keep yourself going!