Are you moving enough? Do you ever check the Health app on your phone for an idea of how many daily steps you take when you have it on you? Hopefully, your digital ‘device’ isn’t always in your hand throughout the day to count every step and monitor every move you make, but that app comes in handy for getting an idea of your daily physical activity.
Health and Movement
Little disclaimer: I’m not a personal trainer or expert when it comes to health but have danced since I was three and gone on more nature walks, beach swims and hikes that I can count. Including a fitness regime into everyday life is something we all can benefit from. Working out doesn’t have to be linked with a gym or involve weights sold in a sports shop. Nothing wrong with those, but exercise isn’t limited by those things since it existed before them and you don’t have to spend money monthly to stay active at home.
When we’re working at home it can be challenging to separate work from rest – challenging but still doable. Working out at least a few times a week, either in a designated space inside or somewhere peaceful outside can help refresh the mind, strengthen the body, help us be more present for whatever’s next to take care of that day or tire us out (in a good way) so we drink more water and get a good night’s rest.
Breath and posture
State of mind and mood affect breathing pattern and posture, and breath and posture also influence our mood. But how often do we think of those things? If you sit a lot during the day, chances are good posture, stretches and deep breaths every now and then aren’t on the Top 10 things to remember – let’s face it – even when we’re on our feet a lot, we can forget how important those things are, so setting aside time to move matters.
Adding a level of regular purposeful movement helps with:
- deep breathing
- mental clarity
- healthier glowing skin
- detoxing through perspiration
- getting some fresh air (if outside)
- refreshing our thoughts; it’s hard to stay upset or angry when you workout thoroughly
- improving physical strength
- trimming down and toning up
- increasing appetite for water
- getting a good night’s sleep
- adding zest to your day and a pep in your step
When it comes to movement (or most things for that matter), there’s one word that’s always mentioned either as an excuse, or something to consider – time and momentum.
It’s one thing to make a decision to get some exercise and another to intentionally map out an action plan, and follow-through with it. For me, if it involves something I enjoy or a some kind of stimulating challenge chances are it’s easier to start that same day or the next. What kind of activities do you like or what home-based chores can you do more purposefully or while wearing ankle weights? Things like bench presses (is that the right term?) on the kitchen counter or push-ups against a wall, lifting light weights while listening to something, jogging around the house, working in the garden or going for a walk in the morning or evening are all doable and you can probably think of more ideas that you can even start today.
Our lives have different components and variables so it’s not enough to say, ‘go for a walk at 7am three times a week’ and expect that formula to work for every and anybody. But if getting and staying fit and healthy is something you’re seriously ready to do, it’s time to elbow excuses out of the way and get started.
As a work-at-home freelancer, it’s important to set boundaries in your business so you can take care of your wellness and carve out time for rest in between. ‘Business hours’ and ‘bank holidays’ can seem like almost-laughable terms or grey areas in some seasons, so be purposeful about portioning out time for other aspects of life and to address your health and what matters most.
Including fitness into your freelancer lifestyle.
What kind of activities do you enjoy? Nature walks – swimming – stretching – strength training – dance – jogging – a sport of some sort you’ve always wanted to try?
When are you the most alert, or what pocket of time do you already have (or can set aside) to add an activity into the design of your day?
Prefer indoors or outdoors? Start looking around at your space and picture where you want your workout area to be.
Decide on your health and fitness goals and map out a doable plan that works well for you and isn’t too demanding to start with, so self-sabotage doesn’t kick in. Movement doesn’t have to be hyperactive to be successful depending on what you’re working towards and food and water influence the results we see along the way. I see more results after intense stretch series, light eating marathons plus walks (8,000-10,000 daily steps) and workouts that make me sweat, but sometimes we get to a plateau and might need to switch the strategy for a season.
A few years ago, when I was jogging on the beach daily and in dance class a few times a week, I was moving like a deer on the sand and dance floor but still had some pudgy areas, whereas when farming, hiking up and down hills, fetching water daily for months (Barbados has a water shortage) and gardening in the countryside, my arms were the most defined they’ve ever been and my weight was a bit lighter than was ideal but fit still. I’ve eaten ital (some say ‘vegan’) for years, vegetarian mostly, fish for years, not for a bit and now vegetarian again – whatever your meal plan, being conscious about what we’re taking in is important. Not more than the words we put out because those are meals too, but that’s another blog post.
You don’t need to have a gym membership to start a fitness regime. Concerned about gym fees? Don’t be. Money challenges is not a valid reason for inertia. From walks, deep cleaning routines and workouts to daily stretch series, gardening time and dance, there are many ways of moving for health and physical strength. Find out what works well for you and be sure to cross-check info (before doing) to make sure it’s legit, matches your fitness formula, and offers sound advice and includes insight on pacing work with rest and refreshment.
Start where you are, even if that looks like a health shake and 10 jumping jacks before heading out the door. Step by step, do some more. Set a time to get some movement in a few days a week…breathe…pace yourself…stay hydrated…stretch…watch what and how you eat, log your progress, but don’t define your worth by it…and remember to enjoy the journey. For healthy recipes and light lunch ideas, come over to the cooking page.
I’m celebrating with you already, sis.