While it’s easy to assume that working from home will leave us more time for self-care, the hard truth is that being at home all day makes it easier to fall stagnant and lapse into unhealthy habits.
That doesn’t mean staying in shape while working at home is impossible. It simply means that we need to develop new habits and find more creative ways to motivate ourselves. Luckily, there are myriad ways to create structure and keep ourselves in check. From workout apps to top weight loss plans and “snack hacks,” there are plenty of tools to help keep us in shape even amidst the distractions of home.
Here are some tips for creating a structured, motivating environment to help you stay in shape while working from home.
1. Set clear goals
This is a natural first step for anyone embarking on a new self-care routine, but it’s especially important for those integrating a healthy routine into a work-from-home schedule. Since your usual routine is changing, it’s important to make a clear outline of what you’d like to accomplish.
Are you trying to lose weight? Bulk up? Train for a marathon? Slim down for a wedding? Pinning down where you’d like to excel is the key to charting a productive course and staying on track. To do this, consider your goals and the obstacles that might come from working from home.
- What are your goals? (i.e. weight-loss, strength-training, mindfulness)
- What are your biggest obstacles at home? (i.e. distractions, snacking, lack of discipline)
Answering the above questions will help you hone in on an actionable set of goals and create an outline for mitigating the obstacles that are likely to arise. This way, you’ll have the best chance of staying on track and achieving the goals you set for yourself.
2. Download a diet or workout app
Today’s top online diet and fitness apps do much more than simply telling you what foods to avoid or how many jumping jacks to do. In addition to diet tips and workout routines, they offer a plethora of technical, psychological, and motivational resources that not only put you on the path to healthier living but offer the education and encouragement to help you sustain it.
Take Noom, for example. This revolutionary app offers a look into the psychology of dieting and self-care, and creates a personalized approach that takes into consideration your own unique habits, preferences, strengths, and needs. With Noom you can track your food consumption, consult with a personal coach, and access research-based articles that will keep your mind in the game.
A good diet or fitness app should have:
- Meal- or calorie-tracking tools
- Personal coaches or dietary consultants
- Nutritional tips and information
- Community resources
3. Clear out a dedicated workout space
The best way to overcome distractions at home is to dedicate a space for exercise and physical activity. This will not only give you a place to focus, but will also make it easier to slip into your workout routine without having to shuffle around furniture every time you need to be active.
Of course, space at home can be limited, so it’s not always possible to find an entire room where you can set up your workout equipment. Ideally, a separate room would be best, but if that’s not possible, consider other areas in your home where you can have some privacy and space to exercise. A few options include:
- An extra guest room
- A partitioned corner of a bedroom or living room
- Deck or yard (weather permitting)
- A garage (if clean and safe)
Regardless of where you choose to workout, try to keep it free from these distractions:
- Computer and other work-related devices
- Laundry, dishes, and other stressful chores
- Children, if possible
4. Take an online fitness class
There’s no shortage of online fitness classes and apps these days dedicated to fitness, wellness, and self-care. With more and more people working remotely, gyms and studios have shifted into the online sphere, where instructors and students alike can meet for guided classes wherever they happen to be.
These are a great option for those working from home, and there’s a huge variety of apps out there offering online fitness classes. Some offer recorded classes that you can take whenever is best for you, while others offer live classes that are great for those who need structure in their schedules and prefer the discipline that comes from working face-to-face with instructors.
Today you can find online fitness classes for:
- Cardio work
- Dance and movement
- ...and more
5. Stock up on snack “hacks”
Let’s be honest--spending 8 hours in close proximity to your kitchen is a recipe for snacking without thinking. Since the home offers less stimulation than offices or workplaces, we may feel more inclined to snack throughout the day, whether it’s because we’re hungry or to simply keep ourselves occupied.
Ideally, it’s best to cut down on snacking and keep to a structured eating schedule--something that can be accomplished by using a psychology-based app like Noom. But if you find yourself relying on snacks for energy, motivation, or even distraction, try finding healthier alternatives to the usual chips and sweets that can fulfill your need to munch without detracting from your goals. Some examples of healthy snack alternatives include:
- Carrot sticks
- Cashews, almonds, and walnuts
- Apple slices
- Celery with peanut butter
- Rice cakes
- Trail mix
- Kale chips
Make the Most of Your WFH Schedule
Working from home is a liberating and terrifying thing. It leaves you more time and flexibility, but makes it much easier to get lazy and be inactive. Luckily, more and more people are working remotely, meaning that more resources, tips, and apps are available to provide structure and guidance to those in their home offices. From innovative diet and tracking apps like Noom to online fitness classes and community resources, today’s WFH’ers have their pick of tools to keep them in shape.