How To Stay Fit When Working From Home

Working from home over the years has proven to be a mixed bag of successes and failures. Clearly the environment is suitable for my needs as I can “commute” to my home office without ever needing remove my slippers of a morning, however this way of thinking turned out to become something of a problem over time. See, people who work from home tend to neglect needed exercise throughout their day. Remote IT people, computer repair techs, writers, no matter the position being maintained from the home office the end result is all too often a person in dire need of getting some movement into their day.

Clearly, finding out how to stay fit when working from home is more about motivation than how to do it. I mean, it’s not rocket science. Walking your dog, cleaning up around the house, or even just riding a stationary bike before lunchtime will help to ensure that your tired old bones are getting some form of exercise throughout the day. The trick is to harness the motivation to do so.

Looking at this sort of thing with an IT mindset, we’re more likely to find the idea of a set schedule, with a clear set of guidelines of what is expected, to be the best motivation. Perhaps even creating a white paper or set of best practices containing expected exercise goals for the day might help to put the idea of regular fitness into our lives with greater ease. Some geeks just dig the familiar, you know?

How To Stay Fit When Working From Home

Now let’s get down to brass tacks. What kind of ways to stay fit when working at home are most practical?

1) The Wii or Kinect.  Appealing to our geekier side, using an active video game that puts us through our paces has had moderate success here in my household. The challenge is not to end up burning yourself out early with it.

2) Stationary bike. With the seasons throughout the year, going outside isn’t always that practical. Sometimes the logical approach is simply to turn on the TV, find programming that will take your mind off of things for a bit, and pedal like you are in it for the survivor series.

3) Take the dog for a walk. Yeah, this seems pretty weak to some folks. But the fact is both you and the dog in your life could likely do for a breather outside. Why not get some walking in during the process? Heck, if you’re feeling like it, you might even take up jogging!

Now obviously there are some considerations to remember  here. First, before doing anything strenuous, best to talk with your doctor first. Second, mix it up a little! Seriously, no sense in only trying one of these approaches only to burn yourself out later on. By keeping your routine in a mixed format, you’ll find that your daily fitness feels more like an iPod shuffle playlist rather than a chore.

[Photo above by DVIDSHUB / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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  • David

    I just think about exercise until I get tired.


    No, seriously; I walk. It’s what my knees can take, I get some air and see my neighbors. What’s not to like?

  • Imei

    Working from home and staying fit can be a challenge, but as you pointed out, there are so many good options available, even at our fingertips, to keep active. The bigger challenge for most people is carving out TIME. I don’t know that many people who regularly commit one hour of exercise per day to their already packed schedules. But failure to do so can lead to heart disease, excess weight, weaker immune systems, and sluggish circulation (from sitting for long hours). Thanks for reminding people to get moving around their homes.

    P.S. My house has a long space in it from one end to the other. I find myself skipping across it every so often, and chasing my cat around for his amusement as well as mine.

  • Mark

    I work from home, I am involved in a sport called street orienteering and run on average for an hour each event, 3-4 days a week that keeps me fit.

  • Seth David

    The essential question here is how to get motivated to step away from the computer and do something for my health.

    I get up at 4am about 3 times a week to go to the gym. I also like to write my blogs at this hour because it is so nice and quiet. In order to do this I need to be in bed pretty much by 8pm the night before.

    How do I get “motivated” to do this? I spend a good deal of time contemplating the benefits. I will feel good, look good, and I will have more energy and be more productive (which appeals to my nerdy side). Productivity=nerdy, accomplishment, success. I actually visualize how I want to look and feel. What happens is that over time it is not a chore (as most of us see it). Instead it is something I desperately want to do. I’m a geek so of course I bring my iPod and I cherish the time alone with my iPod running on the treadmill which has all kinds of buttons I can press to establish the sort of workout I’d like to have. So I think about it in terms of the aspects of it that appeal to me. This is what motivates me to want to go.