The benefits of being active are now more important than ever.
Many of us promised ourselves that 2020 was the year we would get fit – the year we would get to the gym five days a week, and even make that dreaded 7 a.m. boot camp every Saturday morning. 2020 was going to be the year of lean eating, no drinking, and a more balanced approach to work and life. Then the global pandemic hit.
For some of us, losing our jobs, working from home or being in lockdown became our excuse for eating badly, not exercising and, in many instances, losing motivation to do any of our “usual” healthy habits.
The good news is that in our own unique and individual way, we’re stronger and more resilient than we think. We have many resources at our fingertips that can help our mental health and our physical well-being. Those resources include our friends, family, colleagues and peers.
Here are 4 useful tips to help you incorporate exercise into your work day.
- Take a meeting — and a walk.
Some of our best ideas come from stepping away from a situation and walking it out. Grab a pair of earbuds or earphones and get on a WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet call with someone on the other end of the line to make it happen. Walk while talking to your friends, family or colleagues and you’ll be surprised by the new ideas you may come up with.
- Schedule a time to exercise and stick to it.
You may be snowed under with job applications, interviews or internal meetings about candidates and projects, which, in turn, can stop you from being active. If you make a conscious effort to take a half-hour break in the middle of the day to walk around the block, you will find yourself in a better mental space in the afternoon. When you do that, you’ll perform at your best.
- Engage in some healthy competition.
You’d be alarmed that some of your colleagues may only take 500 steps in an entire day. Maybe this even describes you. To tackle “velcro” state, try turning your daily step count into a competition. Healthy adults should strive for 10,000 steps each day to retain a positive physiological health and mental well-being. Compare steps walked, floors climbed, or other fun metrics with your colleagues. You can measure these goals using your phones, smartwatches or fitness trackers. There are many inexpensive trackers on the market to help you beat your competition!
Check your friends’ scores and ask your family what they’ve achieved daily because a little healthy competition is a positive thing. By competing for steps, not only are you keeping fit, you’re interacting and giving kudos where it’s deserved!
- Stop emails and texts; start video calls.
Keeping up with a demanding inbox or a constant flow of messages and texts is always stressful, regardless of whether you’re a job seeker or currently working. Sending countless written communications when you’re at home is time-consuming and, in many cases can delay what can be quickly resolved via a video call.
By suggesting a video call, not only will you become more action-oriented, but you’ll create opportunities for more interaction with other people — something we all miss whilst being at home and can positively impact our health.
Ultimately, there are several ways you can maintain your physical and mental well-being and many of them are free. Engage the people you see and hear every day — your friends, family and colleagues. The only other ingredient is a desire to move forward, to progress and prepare for a better year ahead.