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How to stay healthy working from home

What if we told you that it’s possbile stay healthy working from home. Believe it!

Our startup journey has previously involved extended working from home but the current work-from-home reality for many people is uncharted territory. We can say from experience that it’s a time of great challenge but also great opportunity to stay healthy working from home, or ideally make yourself healthier. Below are some top tips for all the home-based workers!

FIGHT THE BOREDOM EATING

There’s half a Snickers on my bench. It’s not my Snickers. But it could be. It’s open. It’d be easy to eat it. Am I hungry? Nope. Do I want to eat it? YES. This is a classic boredom eating trap.

Say it with me though; NOT TODAY NESTLE!

Food availability at home can lead to unnecessary compulsive or boredom eating; a truly fearsome adversary on your quest to stay healthy working from home. You need a reason to get up from your work, so why not go and tuck into those delicious pistachios? Maybe I should increase efficiency and bring those pistachios to my desk… No, don’t do that. It’s a trap, and I’m not hungry anyway.

What you can do:

  • Keep every tempting food out of sight. No food disappears faster than something open and within arms reach.
  • Use the carrot test. I invented this and am giving it away for free because I’m that generous. When you’re thinking of eating ask yourself “if the only option was a carrot, would I eat it?” If the answer is no then you’re not really hungry and if the answer is yes then eat a carrot. Don’t like carrots? Swap it out for another vegetable. Don’t like vegetables? Tough! This is about being healthy, eat yer veggies dammit!
  • Eat high fibre snacks to make you feel full. Carrots and apples are awesome; plenty of fibre and other goodness, low energy, very chewy, delicious and can keep you occupied chewing for a while.

Want to learn more about consumption? Check out our blog on Secret Eaters, one of the most entertaining shows about food psychology. I wasn’t kidding about that Snickers either. Here’s proof:

WORK THAT SELF CONTROL MUSCLE

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; self-control is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Neglect it and it’ll shrink down to the size of my biceps (I’m a cyclist…).

All of the temptations and availability of home food requires some seriously buff self-control musculature to overcome. It can be useful to think of every denial of impulse eating is a rep in your daily workout routine. You could come out the other side with incredible self control muscles like me who is fighting with every fibre of my being to stay away from the 2 tubs of icecream in my freezer.

MAKE YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE

I set a benchmark health scan before I started working predominantly from home. We’re still open for scans (you’re more than welcome to book a scan), with added processes and protections to respect current health guidelines. I find it very motivating to have that measurement already done so I can see exactly whether I’ve changed, or not, when life goes back to normal.

One of our clients made incredible changes in only 12 weeks because of the accountability of scanning, you can read about it in our article on Using accountability to change your health.

Home scales can be an alternative accountability measurement tool but be very wary that weight shouldn’t be your primary health metric, read about why, and that your daily fluctuations in hydration will have a surprising impact on weight. In the absence of a better tool, scales can be used to keep you accountable but keep your expectations under control.

CONSIDER WEARABLE TECH

Now could be the time to introduce wearable/fitness tracking tech into your life as a way to motivate you to do more, or less depending on the context.

I bought a Garmin Vivoactive 3 in early 2019 and have come to love the stream of data that comes from it. While working from home I find the calorie and step tracking particularly useful. Knowing your daily calorie requirements is the best way to keep your consumption habits appropriate. I know how many of my daily calories will be smashed by the forbidden snacks in the cupboard which keeps me from chowing down on them. Step tracking is a great encouragement to go for a walk, or move around the house more, if the numbers are low.

Need help getting started? Well I’ve pulled some guides from one of my favourite tech sites if you want to do some research:

GET MOVING!

Don’t fall into the static trap, now is your opportunity to move!

Your quiet new home office is likely far more private than your regular one. Now is the time for spontaneous yoga, mid-morning stretching, a quick Zumba session, or other movement that would be considered an office foul.

I found that doing enforced work blocks, with a countdown timer on my phone, then taking a quick 5 minute movement and stretching break was the perfect relaxation and mental clarity help. Even work calls that didn’t need a computer can be taken while doing some light stretching.

I have a trick for cutting through the nonsense on YouTube; search for the exercise and duration you want. For example; “5 minute yoga” or “10 minute beginner Zumba” and you’re away. Here’s an example of a video I use.

GOOD LUCK!

We hope you’ve found some useful tips from this article how to stay healthy working from home. Head on over to our Blog page for more handy dandy health tips and guides. We’re also busy designing Health and Wellness programs for clients working from home if you’d like expert guidance, and experimenting with 1 to 1 video personal training sessions.

Stay safe, stay health, and we look forward to seeing our lovely clients back in our office soon.

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