I found working from home somewhat difficult to keep to a strict schedule. I’d find that household tasks would creep in and I’d quite easily lose focus on what I was supposed to be doing. Setting my own lunch hours and breaks was easy but trying to fit in a workout could prove difficult. I decided that if I was unable to attend the gym or class I could squeeze an exercise routine in somehow and here are a few things I bought to help me.
With Christmas just around the corner, here are a few inexpensive fitness ideas that you could ask Santa for so that you can maintain your fitness over the festive period or begin your health & fitness journey in the New Year!
- Stability Ball
This big, inflatable rubber ball goes by a host of names, including Swiss ball, stability ball, exercise ball and body ball, to name a few. It is terrific as a tool to help keep smaller “stabilizing” muscles strong. Make the most of it by using it in place of a desk chair to remind yourself to sit up straight since the stability ball has no back. In addition, by doing so, you will be making a multitude of minute adjustments all the time to keep yourself from rolling off while you work. If you are especially motivated, you can take breaks and perform various exercises, such as crunches for your abs.
Tip: Measure your desk before purchase so that you know what size stability ball to buy. I have an extra large one so I’m high enough to reach my desk. I also alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
- Kitchen Timer
A kitchen timer is another simple exercise tool for stay at home workers. Set one for every hour (or whatever you choose) to remind you to take needed breaks and stretch out a little bit. If you can, take a brisk walk around the block each time—it will add up to a pretty decent amount of exercise throughout the course of the day. You could use your phone, but I tend to switch mine off whilst i’m trying to work – I find it is too tempting to keep checking FB & Twitter J
Tip: Don’t rely on your actual kitchen timer. Take the plunge and invest in one just for office use, there are inexpensive and a great stocking filler.
- Exercise Bands
Inexpensive and compact, I love exercise bands as they can be stored in a desk drawer. Great for strength training exercises when taking breaks from work during the day. They can be utilized to work arm or leg muscles, and they come in varying amounts of resistance too, usually depending on colour. Yellow tends to be the easiest up to black, which usually offers the most resistance.
Tip: Hang them on your notice board as a reminder to get some activity during the course of the day.
- Free Weights
Free weights are fairly inexpensive and small, compared to barbells or home-gym systems. Store them under your desk, and use during those phone calls that seem to go on forever. Another great way to employ them is to do a set of repetitions both before and after “bathroom breaks.” This is a super way to add some exercise without taking up a lot of time.
Tip: Get two sets, one light and another that will push your muscles just a little harder for a bit of a challenge.
- Pedometre or Fitbit
These wonderful tools track your total step count for each day. Experts recommend getting 10,000 steps a day for health, so by using one of these you can see if you are getting enough exercise. Begin recording normal activity during an average week, and write down your daily step count. This will give you a baseline to start from. Try to increase the count gradually each week until you are getting the recommended amount or at least improving overall.
Tip:Make sure that you hang the pedometer on your waistband or wear your fitbit at all times!
Most of all have fun!