The Blog

Making exercise part of your home routine

Like it or not our lives have changed forever and many of us will inevitably be at home more and/or working from home. This can mean extra free time and family time with no commute but there are pitfalls to the ‘new normal’, too.

Research has shown that excessive sitting is bad for our health, affecting our metabolism and the muscles in our back, neck, hip flexors, hamstrings and calves.

Being active, in contrast, helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol and can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It also helps to keep our immune system working effectively and improves mood.

Using home as our base many more people are walking, running or cycling and hopefully we can lock in those habits over the summer. Others will have discovered the many online classes, fitness apps and YouTube videos which allow you to work out in private. And we’ve seen big demand for weights, resistance bands and skipping ropes to recreate those gym workouts.

The key to success is to schedule activity into your day or work diary and remember it doesn’t have to be in 30-minute blocks.

* If you’re working from home dress for work – no PJs – pick a start time and an end time and stick to it as best as you can to keep work life and home life separate

* At your work station make sure your hips and knees are at a 90 degree angle and your computer is level with your eyes. Take a brief break every 30 minutes and stretch. Rotate your wrists and ankles, stretch your arms above your head and gently turn your head from left to right, up and down

* Drink plenty of water as staying hydrated is essential for just about every function in the body so have a water bottle to hand. Remember that avoiding unhealthy snacks at home starts at the supermarket. And make time for lunch away from your desk so you don’t graze all afternoon

* Stand or walk around when you’re on the phone or a conference call

* Get out for a brisk 15-minute walk either first thing or at lunchtime

* Dancing is a great way to keep active, especially with children, so put on some music for 10 to 15 minutes and shake out the stresses of the day

* Check out the 10-minute home workouts on the NHS website

Exercise keeps us alert and focused, boosts energy levels and brain function and will help you find your optimal work life balance. What will you change today?

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