Working from home has its many advantages – we have our family with us at all times, less traffic, daily commute, and time away from home. I can’t stress enough how refreshing it is to be able to step away from the computer to join the family for lunch and dinner, and even receive a much-needed hug at any time.
The extra time can also be used to take on a hobby or home project, reconnect with family and friends, and clean up. However, one of the best things you can do with the extra time is to start exercising. And the more stressed and tired you are, the more important exercise is!
See exercise as “Me Time”
Blocking off time for ourselves to exercise means taking the key steps towards living a fuller life. The chemical reactions released by our body during exercise are known to have a positive effect on our mood, release anxiety, and thereby improves our physical and mental health and overall well-being.
Think of exercise as your Me Time and choose the best time for you. For some, exercising before everyone else wakes up is the ideal way to start the day. For others, an exercise break in between meetings and calls is just the energizer needed to finish out the afternoon. And for others, a workout in the evening calm before dinner is the best way to release stress and close out the night.
Use exercise to shift mindsets
In a standard office setup, you can de-stress with co-workers or during the drive home to prepare yourself for home life.
However, working from home pulls us in different directions because of having to blend work and home duties. In this situation, it is even more essential that we have the proper outlets to help us shift between our work and home mindsets. We need to be able to leave work at the desk, and be present for the needs and wants of our family.
How to find time to exercise
First, realize the importance of the time for yourself.
Second, designate the space and area where you will exercise – whether you plan to do home workouts or go out for a run.
Lastly, if your schedule is really tight, and the need to get dressed for exercise actually adds more stress, just wear comfortable clothes. In between meetings or while waiting for food to be prepared before mealtime, just squeeze in some pushups, sit-ups, plans, or jumping jacks.
Any exercise is good exercise. If the goal is to hit a certain weight or run a certain race, then the exercise needs to be more consistent and purposeful.
Use what you have at home
Although gyms have reopened with social distancing measures in place, you might still not feel comfortable returning yet. If you don’t have any exercise equipment, use the things around your home. Make use of your kid’s desk chair or lawn chairs and incorporate them in your work-out. Water jugs can make for great lifts as we focus more on repetitions versus weight.
Make exercise a family bonding activity
During this new normal, I introduced weekly exercise sessions to my kids, with a focus on having fun, breaking a sweat, spending time away from electronics, and creating happy memories. The values of hard work, perseverance, fortitude, and discipline are passed on to my kids by how they see me tackle the workouts and manage my days.
Embrace the chance and the choice to Be Your Best Self
Exercise can give us energy, mental clarity and sense of accomplishment. It can be a challenge, but to realize the goal of fitness and exercise, we must make better decisions about how we chart our day. We need to regain control over our lives and choose to be positive and grow versus letting things just happen to us. We must change from always saying we are "too busy" and overwhelmed to the mindset of making the time and staying in control.
Planning, scheduling, and a bit of ingenuity will help with time management and forming a routine. Involving the family in your goals will help them become more supportive – they’ll be able to encourage you to stay on course.
For more topics and great articles that can help with the New Normal, check out www.wyethparenteam.com.ph.
About The Writer
Vicente Bunuan is a full-time husband and father, and part-time Running Coach at InVINCIble Running. He has been married for thirteen years, and has two boys aged 6 and 12. Born in the Philippines, he moved to the U.S. as a child, and had all formal schooling there. He attended Georgetown University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology. He has worked in both higher education and in the non-profit industry in the U.S., as well as in Training & Development, and Marketing corporate companies in the Philippines. He and wife are also active in their sons’ schools as batch parent coordinators.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.