WORK FROM HOME? ADD EXERCISE FOR BEST RESULTS.

You may already know that when you work from home you stand the greatest chance of success and enjoyment when you follow an established routine. That means you show up at your desk at the same time, take regular breaks, and follow a protocol of dos and don’ts.

One of the ‘dos’ that comes highly recommended by wellness professionals is to incorporate a minimum of 20 minutes of movement/exercise into your work day. Doing so has significant health benefits such as helping to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Relieve tension in the back, neck, shoulders, hips and wrists by increasing blood flow
  • Increase metabolism and prevent weight gain
  • Release endorphins and elevate your mood
  • Increase alertness and concentration
  • Prevent cramps

Plus it’s easy to do especially when you work from home. In fact, in less than the time most people spend sitting in their cars commuting to and from work every day (stressed out), you can be increasing your overall health and well-being with some simple, consistent movements.

How far you want to take it is up to you

You may want to start with some simple ‘deskercises’ featured in the accompanying infographic. These simple movements can easily fit into your workday; some can even be performed while you’re on the phone. The key here is repetition and consistency. You’ll have a better chance of success if you schedule it into your day—  every day— just like a meeting or phone call.

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Of course, you can take your regimen as far as you’d like and add in:

Stretching: While sitting at your desk, raise your arms high over your head, clasp your hands  with your palms facing the ceiling, and pull gently as far as you can to the right and hold for a few deep breaths; and then as far as you can to the left, and hold for a few deep breaths.

Gentle twists: Grab your chair’s right armrest and gently twist your torso (not your hips) as far as feels comfortable to the right and hold for a few deep breaths; then to the left. Repeat three times.

Gentle back bends: Standing up straight, put your hands on the back of your hips with your fingers pointing upwards and gently push your chest up as you lean slightly backwards, chin tilted up to the ceiling. Breathe deeply for five seconds and release. Additionally, you can, spread your legs hip distance and slowly bend forward with a straight back, hands on hips. Then release and hang in a “rag doll” position, swaying back and forth. With a straight back slowly rise up again. Repeat three times.

You can make it a well-rounded exercise session by incorporating a “cardio” element. That can be as easy as doing a few sets of jumping jacks, deep lunges, jump rope, some sit ups from a mat on your office floor — or bringing a stationary bicycle or Stairmaster® into your home office to really break a sweat. As with everything, the more convenient and accessible you make it, the more likely you are to follow through.

You’ll feel invigorated and revitalized afterwards, which can only have a positive effect on your work — and your life.

Please note: Check with your doctor before beginning any strenuous activity or exercise regimen.