The life of a freelancer is great and allows for so much more freedom in your schedule than many people working a 9-to-5 must adhere to. From choosing how much work you are willing to accept to being your own boss and making a stamp on the world, it’s great being a freelancer.
But, if there is one drawback it is that it can be a sedentary lifestyle which can increase health risks such as cancer, heart disease, and disrupted sleep. With fewer people to interact with (other than the cat) it can be all too easy to sit at your desk all day, barely moving from it apart from trips to make coffee or tea (and the biscuit tin!).
Companies are duty-bound to look after the health and well-being of remote workers but as a freelancer the only person looking out for your welfare is you. That’s why we have put together this guide to help you stay active and mobile while working from home.
Going for a walk or run
As we mentioned, you are the master of your own destiny as a freelancer which basically means if you want to go for a run at 11 in the morning then nothing but a tight deadline is stopping you. Walking is a great activity that helps reduce stress and anxiety which can be common worries for freelancers as they juggle managing their clients, workload, and life.
The mood-boosting effects of walking don’t end there and thanks to the increased levels of oxygen and blood flow to your brain, your body releases endorphins and serotonin – known as the feel-good hormones.
Running can have a similar effect to walking except it is obviously a more cardiovascular activity which can help you burn more calories while building muscle and strength for a more overall workout. You can enjoy a ‘runner’s high’ when you get home, which is similar to the positive feelings you get when walking which can help unlock your creativity as you sit back at your desk.
Exercising with low-impact activities
If you would rather save going outside for times when you aren’t working you can still enjoy being active during the day through low-impact activities. Whether it be yoga, Pilates, or meditation activities, you can still get your body and mind focused on something else for a short time.
Yoga and Pilates allow you to relax your body while strengthening your muscles and improving flexibility while meditation activities are a great way to give your mind a break from the buzz of work.
Spending 20 minutes doing low-impact activities such as these helps to stimulate your creativity, find new perspectives, and reduce self-doubt. If you find yourself having a mental block, low-impact activities can help you make a breakthrough while also improving your physical well-being.
Creating an exercise hub at home
Many freelancers use a room in their home as their office or study which allows them to focus during the day. Consider sharing your office space with some workout equipment to help you enjoy an exercise station that’s close by.
You may even wish to fully transform a room in your house that is dedicated to your physical well-being. Whether it’s a weightlifting station, exercise bike, or something like a golf simulator to keep you moving and improving, having a dedicated sports zone with easy access makes fitting in some exercise between projects quick and painless.
Engaging in online workouts and classes
If left to our own devices there is a good chance that we would simply avoid exercise as much as possible. But a great way to boost your physical activity while working from home is to book online workouts and classes. With a sense of commitment, we are more likely to do exercise than in a situation where the only person we are letting down is ourselves.
Many of us start to work out because we feel motivated to set a fitness goal but that motivation doesn’t always stick around for the long haul. There will come a point when you would rather carry on working than jump into your own home workout.
Thankfully, with some accountability by signing up for online workouts, or classes at your gym, you feel like you would be letting someone down if you don’t attend. This is even more effective for keeping you on track by arranging to attend a class with a friend, that way you’re not just letting yourself or your classmates down but also your friend.
Some fitness accountability apps to keep you on track include:
- Streaks Workout
Fitting breaks around your moving goals
With the freedom of setting your own schedule, it’s useful to set your breaks according to your moving goals. If you want to walk more, consider taking a longer morning break and stretching your legs to enjoy the morning air and daylight no matter the time of year.
The great thing about exercise is that you can fit in a session whether you have an hour spare or just 10 minutes. Mentally preparing yourself to be active on a break can help you set a time and stick to your plan.
Book time with a personal trainer
There is no greater accountability than a personal trainer to make sure you get the most out of a workout. They are not cheap but with the outlay, you get their technical expertise and the motivational boost to maximize your exercise goals.
The great thing about personal trainers is that they have flexible schedules that work around your day, perfect for a freelancer who can also be flexible. While many personal trainers find themselves in high demand before and after typical working patterns, during the day they commonly have more availability.
If your trainer is helping you to work out at a public gym, there is the added benefit of working out at more quiet times – this means you won’t have to neglect part of your workout because you can’t use a piece of equipment. Your personal trainer will not only be ready and waiting to get started when you meet for your appointment but they will tailor your workout to meet your specific fitness goal.
The first step in improving your activity while at home is recognizing a lack of movement and then adapting your schedule to incorporate some light or heavy exercise to suit your needs.