Written by Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council (including Manex President & CEO Gene Russell)
Reposted with Permission — Originally on Forbes.com
While working from home is a great fit for many people, it comes with its own set of challenges. Remote workers are usually operating from their own desks at home. Meetings and conferences take place there, and they don’t have a break room to retreat to during their downtime. With fewer distractions, it can become easy to get locked into work and forget to take needed breaks.
Without intending to, remote workers can fall into a very sedentary lifestyle that could lead to long-term negative health consequences. Below, 12 members of Forbes Coaches Council share tips to help remote workers remember to keep moving and stay healthy, all while working from the comfort of their own homes.
1. Add exercise to your calendar.
Even those who exercised regularly can have a tough time when they are new to working from home. The key is to reimagine your workout habits by design. Calendarize when it will happen in your daily routine, what exactly you will do and how you will celebrate your achievement to reinforce it as a new habit. Consistency is more important than intensity to maintain good physical health. – Sheila Goldgrab, Goldgrab Leadership Coaching
2. Make self-care a priority.
Mindset and a commitment to self-care are the keys to success. Setting up specific time blocks on your calendar with reminders to focus on mindfulness, physical health and social connection will boost your productivity as well as your personal resilience. Self-care is a cornerstone of personal leadership and will set a proper example for team members to follow. – Dennis Volpe, LRI
3. Make exercise more productive.
Exercising on its own can boost your energy, mental sharpness and productivity, but try going one better. Listen to podcasts, read articles, brainstorm or even participate in meetings while you’re exercising. Some types of exercise—like walking or stretching—are more suited to this sort of productivity add-on, but get creative. And build onto your regular routine with a new activity. – Kate Dixon, Dixon Consulting
4. Find ways to be active while working.
Do your meetings standing up, watch webinars on the treadmill or do a five- to 10-minute running break between meetings. Replace your traditional desk with a standing one—you can find a lot of solutions these days on the online market, and some include an adapter so you can choose whether to stand or sit. Most of all, invite variety and introduce regular kinetic breaks. Become more aware of what boosts your energy. – Angelos Derlopas, Positivity Coaching
5. Maximize technology.
When working remotely, it can be easy to get distracted. To be effective, maximize technology. There are numerous apps and smart devices where you can set timers, reminders and motivators to keep you on task, to remind you to exercise when you planned to and to help you focus on the things that matter. Each morning or at the end of each day program your next day’s priorities into your technology. Then follow the prompts. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
6. Use a fitness tracker.
I am working from home, and of course, our gyms are closed. I start my day on a yoga mat doing core and conditioning along with pushups. Throughout the day my Apple Watch reminds me to stand and I view progress on calories. I squeeze in a weighted jump rope for a 25-minute 300-calorie burn. At night, I cycle a paved protected bike path for an hour or more. Look into a fitness tracker! – Gene Russell, Manex Consulting
7. Try an online timer.
Challenge yourself to use an online timer. Set the timer for your optimal working time frame. For example, my optimal time frame is 45 minutes followed by a 15-minute break. I will work on a task for 45 minutes and then lift weights for 15 minutes, watch a 10-minute yoga video, go for a walk or prep for my next meal. The more mindful you are of your time and choices, the better choices you make. – Debra Kasowski, Debra Kasowski International
8. Stand and walk in place.
Disengaged and finding it hard to listen to another Zoom meeting? Next time you find yourself sitting and sitting and sitting, stand up and walk in place. You’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll hit your daily 10,000-step goal by walking in place. For an extra benefit, add in some bicep curls or tricep extends. Not only will you stay engaged during the meeting, but you’ll also stay fit. – Sheila Carmichael, Transitions D2D, LLC
9. Take your breaks away from your desk.
Taking breaks when working from home is a form of self-care. Take the morning tea break by walking to make tea or coffee and have a stretch. At lunchtime, walk to the kitchen and make lunch. If you feel like getting out of the house, go buy lunch. Take the full hour to eat, recharge or relax. Go for a quick five-minute walk outside for the afternoon tea break to revitalize after lunch. Be disciplined! – Kevin Kan, Break Out Consulting Asia
10. Set clear boundaries.
It’s easy to feel like you “should” be working all the time when you are working from home—or when you’re working, that you “should” be spending time with your kids. Set realistic daily work goals and when you’re done, stop and allow yourself the guilt-free time for self-care or other priorities. Schedule coffee breaks and lunch breaks “away from the office”—like in the kitchen! – Kimberly Roush, All-Star Executive Coaching
11. Mark meetings that allow you to walk.
As you plan your day, mark or color-code meetings in your calendar where you know the other party will not have a problem if you walk outside while talking. It takes roughly 100 minutes to complete 10,000 steps in a day—that’s three or four meetings. Keeping a notetaking application open on your phone and having the appropriate clothing for different times in the day nearby will make it more efficient. – Jay Galvin, The Galvin Group
12. Find activities that motivate you.
To increase your chances of making a new habit stick, identify what kinds of activities will get you moving—what works for you? For example, would some light cardio while making your tea or coffee work for you? What about some stretches or getting up to look out a different window in your home during scheduled breaks? All physical activity is important—try and identify activities that you enjoy. – Palena Neale, Ph.D., unabridged