Bodyweight Exercises to Keep Yourself Stimulated While Working From Home
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Jan 19, 2023
Millions of people started working from home during the pandemic, and lots of them never intend to go back into the office. While some employers are starting to transition back into a physical workspace, others are finding that they don’t really need to have people in the office 40 hours per week.
If you’re working from home long-term, whether by choice or because your employer hasn’t opened their offices back up, you’ve probably already changed your daily routines a lot. Going from commuting and working in a shared office to rolling out of bed and turning on your laptop is a big adjustment!
There are lots of benefits to working from home. You probably have more time for your relationships and household chores. You may be feeling less stressed and more relaxed. You’re also probably spending less on gas and lunches out. But there are some potential downsides as well, such as being less active.
Less Structure = Less Exercise
Some people pair their daily work schedule with other habits, like hitting the gym or taking a walk at lunch. Pairing your commute with a workout helps many people to stay consistent with regular exercise. Working from home, though, it’s easy to let those healthy habits slide.
When you don’t have a commute to anchor your day, you might not be as active as you were when you worked outside the home. Even though taking a walk on your lunch break or fitting it into your morning routine should be easier, you might find it harder to stick to the habit when you could just watch TV on your break.
Being sedentary won’t help you stay engaged at work. You may find yourself bored, restless, and understimulated when working at home. You’re not walking around the office or talking to colleagues, after all. Adding some simple exercises into your routine can help you stay healthy and more engaged on and off the clock.
Quick Workouts During Your Work Break
We all know that there are some serious health benefits to engaging in regular physical activity. Not only will you stay fit and keep your muscles strong, but you’ll improve your mood, sleep, and stress levels as well. You’ll also end up being more productive at work if you take regular breaks to move your body.
Most of us mean well, but it can be hard to tear yourself away from the computer for a run or a trip to the gym. The good news is that workouts don’t have to be long to be beneficial. You can do some quick exercises throughout the day and gain the benefits, without committing to a grueling gym routine. There are routines for every fitness level!
Not sure where to start? Don’t have a lot of equipment? No sweat. Here are some easy bodyweight exercises you can do on your breaks to help you feel more energized.
Bodyweight Exercises to Keep You Stimulated During Your Workday
Most bodyweight exercises are designed to be performed without any special equipment. Most of them can be done anytime, anywhere! However, you will need a little bit of open space to get started. A mat for traction can’t hurt either.
There are so many great options for bodyweight exercises you can do at home, without any prior knowledge. Here are just a few quick and easy options. Pick a few different exercises for each session and do a few reps of each. It should only take a few minutes!
Squats are great for your thighs and buttocks. Start with a wide stance and slowly lower your torso down, as though you’re sitting on a chair. Keep going until your thighs are parallel, then slowly come up again. Make sure to keep the weight in your heels!
- Leg raises
Lie down on your side, using the bottom arm for stability. Your legs should be stacked on top of one another. Slowly lift your leg up and down, aiming for a 45-degree angle.
- High plank
Place your hands under your shoulders as you kneel on the floor. Straighten your legs and rest your weight on your hands and toes. Hold it for about 30 seconds, if you can.
- Single-leg bridges
Lie down on your back with your hands at your sides and pressed into the mat. Have your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg, then lift your hips off the ground. Raise and lower several times, holding as long as you want. Repeat on the other side.
- High knees
Stand up straight. Start to run in place, lifting your knees as high as possible toward your chest.
These are just a few great started exercises, but there are so many more! Mix it up to keep things interesting and to tone different areas of your body.
It’s important to listen to your body, especially when you first start working out again. Don’t try to do 50 pushups if you’ve been sedentary for a long time. Start with 5 or 10 and work your way up. Push yourself, but not so hard that you’re completely exhausted or you injure yourself!
If you’re not sure it’s safe for you to start on a new exercise regimen without advice from a professional, it’s best to consult with your doctor. A few personal training sessions can also be helpful to ensure you are performing the exercises safely.
Finding Opportunities to Squeeze in a Workout
You might be feeling like you don’t even have time for short workouts. But, if you ever find yourself scrolling on your smartphone to take a break from work, then you have time to fit in some exercise. Look for small “pockets” of time throughout the day that can be used for a little extra fitness.
Can’t start a new task because you’ve got a meeting in 10 minutes? Do a set of reps or spend that time on a short yoga session. Not using your whole lunch break? Start taking a walk after you’re done eating.
It’s very common to think that we don’t have time to fit movement into the day. But if you really look at your workday, you’ll probably see that you aren’t taking enough breaks and you’re probably not using the ones you do take in ways that benefit you. Squeeze in a few workouts during the day and you’ll start to notice a difference pretty quickly.
Keeping Healthy While Working From Home
To see the full benefits of working out on your breaks, you should also start building other healthy habits. Self-care is important, whether you’re working in an office or working at home, but there are fewer excuses when you’re not commuting.
Still, many people actually find it harder to maintain healthy habits and create balance when working from home. Stress, isolation and loneliness, and trouble setting boundaries can make it difficult to stick with a good routine.
Healthy eating habits can be especially challenging to maintain, especially when you have a fridge full of food in the kitchen. You might snack on junk food, or on the flip side, forget to eat at all!
On the other hand, you don’t have to pack or buy a lunch when you’re working from home. You can cook healthy meals in big batches and eat them throughout the week. Thinking ahead and prioritizing a healthy diet can help you perform better at work, feel better, and reduce stress.
You should also stay hydrated. Most people don’t drink enough water and become dehydrated. Keep a glass or bottle of water at your desk and set reminders to take a sip frequently if you find you’re still not drinking enough.
If you still struggle to exercise while working from home, consider joining a nearby fitness class if you can. This can help with feelings of isolation caused by working from home and help keep you accountable. Plus, it’s fun!
Prioritizing Your Health and Happiness
Exercise is good for us, but we aren’t always good at taking care of our bodies, even when there are clear emotional and medical benefits. If you have trouble with regular exercise, try reframing it. Think of exercising on your break as a small way you’re prioritizing your health and happiness. That might be just what you need to get moving.