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Working out how to work out, working from home

Updated: Apr 3



Sunrise solo soul running in Manly


I hope that eveyone is well and adjusting to the new normal of working from home.


Although this is a challenging time, it is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really focus on our own personal health. Potentially, we can all come out of this with some new priorities and practices which will benefit us for life. It’s time to get inspired and have some fun!


Whilst conducting corporate fitness assessments, many people cited their daily walk to work as their only form of exercise. In the absence of this opportunity, here some ideas to ensure you are still remaining active, but more importantly that you are feeling good about yourself in these stressful times.

  • How Much Exercise?:

At least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If you have one day off, this about 25 (preferably 30) minutes per day

  • Make it Routine:

Working from home has the huge advantage of giving you back your commuting time. If possible, commit to utilizing at least half of this time for your exercise every day

  • Break it Up:

30 minutes per day can be segmented throughout the day i.e. 3 x 10 minutes, 2 x 15 minutes. A walk around the block can be a great way to not only clear away the cobwebs, but also keep some distance from the fridge!

  • Stay in Your Workout Gear All Day:

Make the most of every opportunity during the day without the excuse of needing to change clothes and shoes. No need to take a shower or manage the hair so there is even more time in your day.

  • Make Yourself Accountable:

Set your alarm and timer for non-negotiable exercise time

Team up with a partner/work colleague/family member for a motivational call/virtual walking partner (or real partner while it's still allowed)

  • Subscribe to an Online Training Program or a Virtual Training Session:

Almost every trainer is transitioning towards virtual and online training at the moment. You can now work out in the comfort and privacy of your own home. To find a trainer, ask your local gym, or check out your local community facebook page. Youtube has an endless array of training programs to help you achieve your goals. You are also welcome to join my virtual sessions. Check out my website www.chocolatefitness.com.au for further details.

  • Get Creative with Substitute Equipment:

You don’t need to own expensive gear.

Weights = Cans/bottles of water

Power Bags/Medicine Balls = shopping bags filled with rice, cans etc

Tricep Bench = sofa

Sliders = Old tea towels

Weight Bar = broom

Resistance Band = towel

Milk Cartons filled with sand = kettle bells/hand weights

Cones =Rolls of toilet paper!

  • Get out of your seat at least once every hour:

A non-ergonomic office set up can play havoc with your posture and your aches and pains. When you stand every hour, stretch chest and hip flexors. Next walk briskly on the spot lifting the knees towards your chest for 30 seconds, then do 10 chin tucks. When you sit, ensure you are sitting on your sit bones, without slumping.

  • Keep hydrated and establish a great sleep routine:

Every time you stand, drink water – 1.5 litres per day is recommended.

How peaceful it is at night now? No plane noise and very little traffic. Make the most of an uninterrupted and quality sleep – at least 7 hours per night. Keep away from screens for at least an hour before bedtime and switch phone onto flight mode if in the bedroom, but preferable keep it another room.

  • Enjoy the Sunny Outdoors:

The sunrises are magnificent at the moment, and you don’t have to wake up too early to experience them. Working out outdoors will enhance Vitamin D production, allow you connect with nature and expose you to good bacteria to enhance your immune system. You can always find a tree to hug in place of a person!

As your strength and fitness improves, experiment with increasing workload by:

  • Laps on stairs

  • Laps on an incline

  • Utilize uneven surfaces and sand

  • Take a weighted backpack (load it up with cans of food)

  • Give yourself a time trial

  • Introduce some intervals e.g. one lampost fast pace, one lampost slow pace

  • Incidental Exercise:

Ever noticed that the teams of gardeners and cleaners who arrive soon after the office workers have left are in great shape? Gardening, vacuuming, sweeping, bread making, hanging out laundry, cleaning showers etc are all providing new active opportunities. These chores get us moving functionally through many different planes.

  • Use your Technology:

10,000 steps a day is a great starting point. Add another 1,000 every week. If your goal is weight loss, keep your heartrate in the 65%-75% of maximum heart rate zone (MHR=220-your age).

Stay safe, sane and well and I am always around if anyone would like some advice/motivation/vitual sessions/PT on or off the water (kayak or SUP) or any other help including grocery delivery!

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