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If you're working from home, you likely know just how easy it is to stray from any health and fitness goals you've set. Whether it's letting stressful situations pile up, or eating all that stress away, working from home makes it all much easier to give in to.
So, what can you do about it? With these fitness tips and a winning attitude focused on opportunity, you can do quite a bit.
You don't have to come up with a bunch of homemade solutions to pull it off either. Whether it's being intentional about making some different choices, changing your habits, or signing up for some health and wellness memberships, you can turn your home into a fitness center as much as a home office.
Few things can help you face stress and work-related tension like learning how to focus on your breathing and being mindful about your thoughts. And that's exactly what meditation can help you do.
You may not have tried meditation yet or not given it a full chance before because you expected meditation to have to be some kind of overly complicated thing. Too often people tell us meditation is a process to try and push down our thoughts or ignore our worries. It isn't. Meditation is the careful practice of learning how to see our experiences, acknowledge our thoughts and face our stress in a very intentional and meaningful way. It's secret power is in how it teaches you to focus on your breathing and to acknowledge your thoughts instead of ignoring them. But not allowing those thoughts to control you, either.
Working in a sitting position, hunched over a desk for several hours is simply not a natural state for our minds, bodies, or health in general. You might not think about it, but sitting still for long hours, frozen between only so many different positions, requires as much stretching as if you were doing a lot of heavy lifting for that same time. The body needs movement and the body needs stretching in order to keep everything flexible and not so tight and bound up. So, take time to stretch while working.
But long before you do this, take time to warm up the body for these tasks by adding yoga to your morning routine or exercise plans.
"Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga." (hopkinsmedicine.org, 9 Benefits of Yoga | Johns Hopkins Medicine)
There are numerous health benefits from regularly practicing yoga, including stress release, helping with back pain, and connecting with a supportive community. Yoga is an all-around great practice to add to your health and fitness routine, one that will easily improve your mental and physical health.
Perhaps the worst temptation and the easiest to give into, for those working at home is the simple but destructive temptation of mindless eating. And more often than not, it isn't just any eating either. It's the mindless eating of feel-good foods loaded with rich sugars and butter or oils that we seem drawn to the most. Especially when stressed. "The choices you make about what you eat and drink matter. They should add up to a balanced, nutritious diet." (aafp.org, Nutrition: How to Make Healthier Food Choices — American Family Physician)
How do you combat this? One simple move is to swap out your snacks. It's often much smarter to trade one habit for another, and that's largely what this kind of eating really is, a bad habit that developed over time. So, instead of simply trying to resist, how about having some nuts or fruits nearby to curb the craving and fulfill the habit in a smarter and more healthy way?
"Eat only when you're truly hungry instead of when you are tired, anxious, or feeling an emotion besides hunger. If you find yourself eating when you are experiencing an emotion besides hunger, such as boredom or anxiety, try to find a non-eating activity to do instead. You may find a quick walk or phone call with a friend helps you feel better." (cdc.gov, Improving Your Eating Habits | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC)
In other words, pay attention to why you're eating, or even the simple fact that you are. Turn off the automated mode that we all sometimes live in, and become more mindful and aware of your eating habits. Are you eating because it's become a habit, or because you're dealing with emotional triggers? Try replacing that habit with a healthier one, something simple and easy to obtain, so you can make it stick over the long-term.
Movement is essential to good health. It might seem like an obvious thing, but when we work at home, we're more likely to work in the most relaxed ways possible. Sitting in comfortable chairs at our favorite desk, or stretched on the couch, or even in bed.
If this is you, ask yourself, when it's time to take a break, do you really need more sitting down and relaxing? Why not swap out your lack of movement or that hunched-over position you've been spending the past several hours doing your work in for a movement break instead?
Get up, stretch and go for a walk instead. Or, if there are some chores that need doing, why not tackle those? And of course, if you have time enough and all the right things set up and ready, why not work on a little physical exercise on your break as well?
The easiest way to make healthy choices at home is to make them an easy habit first. How do you do that? Aim for the simple things first, build out from there, and reinforce these habits often. "The trick to getting a habit to stick is starting now rather than tomorrow, starting micro rather than big, and mostly just starting." (Marianna Saver, Breakthroughs Don't Change Your Life Micro-Habits Do).
The easier you make a healthy habit, the more likely you are to keep it, and that's the most important thing to keep in mind. Don't worry if a habit feels to easy, just make it stick and then build on it. If you do this often, repeating your successes and learning from the habits that don't quite work, the more likely you are to make the changes you want to see, in the long-term. So, make your health and fitness habits easy to obtain. Then once they become second nature, use them to build bigger habits. But always keep them simple and straightforward.
Working from home can offer many benefits to your life, but it can also lead to some challenges you may not fully expect. Your health and wellness can easily be tripped up with faulty planning, or the ease and comfort of working in a comfortable environment. But by making some specific and intentional choices, consistently and over time, you can reap the many benefits from being in a place where you have much more control over how you work, and what you do there. You can go from bad health habits to good ones that can positively impact your life for years to come.
So, while you're working from home, consider some of these tips and positively impact your future by replacing your challenges with choices and your bad habits with healthy ones. The power is completely yours to control. If you're looking for some great options at reduced rates, check them out at GymWisely.com.
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