Like many people, you may have been working from home for some time now. In missing your daily routine of going to work, it can be a struggle to feel motivated to exercise when you are working from home, especially if your morning commute is from the bed to your desk. As such, many are left to find alternative ways on how to keep fit and healthy.
There is always something that we can do at home to maintain our physical health. Optimise your day by getting at least one exercise activity in, whether it’s a workout at home, a run in the park, or a walk to the supermarket instead of driving or taking the bus. Exercising releases endorphins in your brain, allowing you to be more alert and productive at work.
Free workouts and classes
1. Nike training club
The Nike Training Club mobile app offers videos and instructions for a self-paced workout. While there is an option to access paid premium content, the free version is quite sufficient. There are numerous yoga and guided exercises to tone up your body.
If you prefer hitting the road, the Nike Run Club app helps you run better and maintain your fitness outside of the gym. The app includes GPS run tracking, audio-guided runs, customised distance challenges, and non-stop motivation from your friends.
2. Social media channels
You can easily find home workout programmes by the thousands of fitness enthusiasts on Youtube and Instagram. These videos range between 10 and 30 minutes and can include full-body workouts and exercises for select body parts. To push yourself a little further, you could even use water jugs, or a stable table or chair to complete some reps of bicep curls or tricep dips.
Staying in shape also means eating right. When we work from home, we don’t move around as much. So if you’re not burning as many carbs, you could cut about 10% of carbs from your diet. It is easy to over-consume carbs (such as bread, pasta, rice and noodles) as they are considered staples. However, eating too much of them makes you sluggish and sleepy.
You can also increase your intake of other healthier foods. Here are some options.
A study conducted by Dr Jeremy from Reading University found that blueberries boost “concentration and memory” for up to 5 hours because “antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to [your] brain — and keep the mind fresh”.
2. Green tea
Green tea contains caffeine and l’theanine. L’theanine is an ingredient that’s been shown to increase alpha-wave activity, which research shows could relax the mind without inducing drowsiness. The low-level caffeine concentrate found in the tea can also help sustain focus over a long period of time without compromising your sleep. A word of caution to refrain from drinking caffeine at least 6 hours before you go to bed for a night of quality sleep.
If you cut down on grain carbs like rice and pasta, you’ll need to increase your intake of healthy fats. A study has found that avocado helps the human body absorb up to 5 times more carotenoids antioxidant molecules, protecting your body against free radical damage.
4. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy greens are full of antioxidants and carotenoids to boost brainpower. Dark greens such as broccoli and spinach are great sources of B vitamins, which can improve energy levels, brain function and cell metabolism.
5. Fatty fish
Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that improve cognitive and behavioural function. Examples of fatty seafood high in omega-3s are salmon, mussels, sardines and trout.
Up to 60% of the adult human body is water. According to HH Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, 73% of the brain and heart are composed of water. Even 31% of our bones are water. To improve your focus and stay healthy, make sure you drink enough water. You need to make sure that you feel hydrated. Water gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes. When you are hydrated, you can think faster, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
7. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine, which heightens mental alertness. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium that helps you de-stress and stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin to boost your mood.
Stick to these habits for as long as you can
Staying active is not only the key to having good physical health but also mental health. Be it yoga or HIIT, that 30 minutes you spend on yourself will indefinitely change your outlook on your day and life. Do your best to be as active as you can and pick up some healthy habits to stay fit.
If you can, go to the parks or take a lap around the neighbourhood alone — and hydrate yourself while you’re at it!
This article is contributed by Randstad Singapore.