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How to remain physically fit while working from home

Due to the advent of the novel coronavirus, in the past couple of months, work from home (WFH) has become a way of life for many of us. Although it allows a certain kind of flexibility in your schedule, it is difficult to maintain the wellbeing of your physical health.

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One of the biggest issues with working from home is inactivity. You don’t need to walk up to your auto stand or metro station and neither bother climbing the office stairs. You can sit on your coach all day and get your work done. Remaining in the same posture for long hours can affect the muscles in your back, neck, hamstrings etc. These issues can have a detrimental effect on our health.

It is time to prioritize your health along with your work and make it a goal to remain physically fit while working from home.

Why should you worry

These reasons highlight the alarming effects physical inactivity has on our body –

  1. Research says that people who don’t exercise regularly may lose up to 80% of their muscle strength by the age of 65.
  1. A study says, physical inactivity was responsible for  more than 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008.
  1. According to researchers, lack of exercise could be the prime factor which is responsible for around 1 in 10 cases of heart diseases and 1 in 5 cases of colon cancer in the UK.
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Freelance Asia women wear face mask using laptop hard work at new normal office. Working from home overload at night, self isolation, social distancing, quarantine for corona virus prevention.

Staying active when you work from home

Staying active while working from home may seem like an easy task as you can afford to spend more time on exercise. This is usually too good to be true. While working we quickly fall into routines that do not necessarily prioritize health and there exists no boundary between work and personal life.

By doing this, we not only risk our physical health but it eventually affects our mental health in the process.

Here are some ways we can stay active when working from home –

1. Reserve a slot for workout amidst your work priorities

Even if you make numerous promises to yourself that you will workout everyday, there are chances that you may find excuses and miss it. So, in the same way that you organise your work schedule and reserve a time slot for your meetings or priorities, you must dedicate a definite time slot for exercise.

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2. Incorporate exercises that can be done indoors

It is suggested that ideally you must be doing cardio for 30 minutes three times a week. Incorporating the following exercises in your exercise routine makes up for a perfect start.

  1. Yoga
  2. Squats
  3. Jogging on the spot
  4. Skipping rope
  5. Pushups
  6. Jumping Jacks
  7. Plank
  8. Downward facing dog
  9. Get a treadmill

There are many YouTube videos that you can watch in order to learn these exercises. Moreover you can follow along with them in order to remain motivated.

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3. Get out of your chair

Remaining stationary can surely make you feel sluggish. You must take regular breaks between your work and make sure to get out of your chair and move around.

It can either be to make yourself a cup of tea or coffee or simply walk up and down the stairs a few times. Leaving your desk at regular intervals can help you stretch, relax and  be more relaxed for your next batch of work schedule.

4. Set up your work desk properly

According to Nisha Varma, an American College of Sports-Medicine-certified exercise physiologist based in Pune, “Many people are too careless of where they are working from. They might not even use a proper desk.” If you sit for long hours, your sitting posture needs to be proper.

You must make sure that your back, knees and hips are supported by your chair by adjusting the height so that your hips and knees are at a proper 90 degree angle. If your chair has arm rests, you must make sure that they provide support to your elbows and forearms in their natural bent position.

You must ensure that the height of your computer is in evel with your eyes so that you don’t put too much strain on your neck and shoulders by looking down. Also, you need to make sure that your desk is properly lit, so that you don’t put a strain on your eyes.

5.  Get a treadmill

Treadmills are the most popular exercise machines while working out at home. Apart from being a versatile cardio machine, a treadmill can also help you in losing weight.

Benefits of using a treadmill –

  1. You can make use of the treadmill the whole year round.
  1. It is possible to watch your favourite TV show while walking or running on the treadmill. 
  2.  You can incline the track so that you burn more calories while walking or running briskly. 
  3. It has options to track the time as well as your heart rate so that you can measure the time you have worked out and also track your performance.

Based on your use and requirements you can choose between a regular home treadmill and commercial treadmill.

Along with this, you also need to keep a watch on the foods you eat. You must avoid unhealthy snacks, eat nutritional and healthy food and make sure to keep yourself well hydrated.

In a research done on 71 participants published by US National research of medicine National Institute of health, there is a direct correlation between the amount of physical workout done and expected work done by the people.

WFH is a luxury almost everyone can afford but many issues like obesity, diabetes, overweight can become a big issue. It’s better to take care of the issues in the initial stage than to get them worse. In the end, precaution is better than cure.

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