As the second wave of COVID-19 and public health measures continue, more and more people find themselves working from home. While telework offers convenience and safety, it can also limit movement, with coffee breaks and office commutes becoming a thing of the past. However, maintaining an active lifestyle remains crucial for our overall well-being. According to Health Canada, adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate to high-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. So, how can we stay physically active while working from home? Here are some simple exercises that you can incorporate into your telework routine, even during video conferences.
1. Stretch Breaks
When working for extended periods, it’s important to take regular stretching breaks to prevent muscle stiffness and promote blood circulation. Stand up, stretch your arms above your head, reach for your toes, and rotate your neck and shoulders. These simple stretches can help relieve tension and improve posture.
2. Desk Push-Ups
Using your desk as support, perform a set of push-ups. This exercise engages your chest, shoulders, and triceps, providing a quick strength boost during your workday. Aim for 10-15 repetitions, gradually increasing as you build strength.
3. Chair Squats
While seated, position yourself at the edge of your chair, stand up, and lower yourself back down without completely sitting down. Chair squats help strengthen your leg muscles and improve lower body stability. Start with 10 reps and gradually increase over time.
4. Wall Sits
Find a wall and lean against it with your back, sliding down into a seated position with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute. Wall sits target your quadriceps and glutes, helping to build lower body strength.
5. Calf Raises
Stand behind your desk or any stable surface, rise onto your toes, and then lower your heels back to the floor. Repeat this movement for 10-15 repetitions. Calf raises strengthen your calves and can be done discreetly even during virtual meetings.
Additional Exercises for Standing Desks
For those fortunate enough to have standing desks, here are five additional exercises to incorporate into your work routine:
1. March in Place
Simply march in place, lifting your knees as high as comfortable. This exercise promotes blood circulation and helps prevent leg fatigue.
2. Leg Swings
Stand beside your desk and swing one leg forward and backward, then sideways. Switch to the other leg. Leg swings improve hip mobility and flexibility.
3. Calf Stretches
Step back from your desk, place your hands on the surface, and extend one leg behind you, keeping your heel on the ground. Lean forward to stretch your calf muscle. Repeat with the other leg.
4. Desk Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a squatting position, as if sitting in an imaginary chair, and then stand back up. Desk squats strengthen your lower body muscles.
5. Arm Circles
Extend your arms out to the sides and make small circles forward and backward. This exercise helps loosen up your shoulders and upper back.
Remember to set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to engage in a few of these exercises. Incorporating physical activity into your telework routine not only benefits your physical health but also enhances mental well-being, productivity, and focus. So, take a break, move your body, and recharge your energy. Your body and mind will thank you!
Prioritize Your Well-being
Working from home can sometimes lead to a sedentary lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By incorporating these simple exercises into your telework routine, you can prioritize your physical and mental well-being. Remember that taking care of your health is just as important as meeting work deadlines. So, seize every opportunity to move, stretch, and strengthen your body while staying productive. Your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run.