What a month it has been for me! I have had some changes in my personal life, and my post this month is seeking some advice about staying active. Here’s the story.
About 6 months ago I started a new job as a university administrator. I had been teaching post-secondary courses by contract for some time and wanted more work stability. My new role was also contract, but promised to open up permanent opportunities within the institution. By February I had identified a couple of potential job options, but in the midst of this new job search, I rather unexpectedly came upon an option in insurance, a field I used to work in.
It’s not what I thought I was looking for, but as of two weeks ago, I am happily an insurance adjuster again. I’m also working from home full time, and that is totally throwing me for a loop. Gone is my morning climb up five flights of stairs at the university. Also gone is a lot of my human interaction, and the approximately 5,000 steps that were a part of my experience across campus.
For the first 2.5 years of the COVID pandemic I taught from home, but working a fulltime desk job from home is an entirely different experience. I am realizing that unless I consciously plan for activity, I may be very sedentary, not something my hips or any other part of me needs.
Happily, I am able to keep attending the weekly yoga class at my former workplace, because I am maintaining a very part-time role with them (read about it here: This month’s newness – yoga). I have been back to yoga every week since I started my new job and OHMYGOSH after being stiff from too little movement, the yoga has been a dream! I have found that a single weekly class is making me so much more comfortable. I’m also thrilled that I made it back to the pool for deep water aquafit and even though it has been 6 months I felt great.
This is making it clear to me that I need to develop an activity schedule, something I don’t really love. As I write this I’m in Toronto watching the Toronto Maple Leafs trounce my Carolina Hurricanes. I spent the day walking the city with my teenage son, and although tired I feel great. I am already walking my dog every day, but I clearly need something more defined.
I am curious – if you work from home, or otherwise have a very inactive job, how do you deal with it? I have tried a little morning yoga, but as a newbie it’s daunting. I would love suggestions on keeping limber and healthy!
5 thoughts on “Working from home? I need your advice”
When the pandemic sent us to WFH in 2020 (I was also working for an insurance company and that company stayed mostly WFH) I had to consciously fit in exercise also. I used to walk to and from work. I went to the gym a few times a week. I also ran a couple times a week (outside). I kept the running outside. I have always been a morning exerciser, but some of the virtual workouts offered by my gym were at lunch, so I was more flexible, if one was offered in the morning, I did it, but if not, I did it when it was available. I made sure I went outside for a short walk a couple times a day. Walking is my primary mode of transportation, so I intentionally walked to get groceries, etc. The main points from my experience is to consciously carve out time each day, whether in the morning or at lunch or after work, to do something that works for you (virtual workout, walk, etc.). I always have my workouts planned in my head for the week ahead. Hope that helps!
Some of my friends walked before and after walk, as if they were commuting. I never really managed that. I did try doing mini workouts on the hour just to make sure I got up from my desk. I liked the very short yoga with Adrienne videos and the plank challenge app on my phone. We also installed a TRX and that was easy to use in small doses. 10/10 would recommend. I also left everything out. The yoga mat, the TRX, small weights etc.
I had much the same issue with retirement. I was no longer going to ride 55 miles/week jus to commute, and climb 128 steps from my office to the floor I worked on (which meant multiple trips/day). I decided I would ride at least 4 days/week and have managed to stick to that pretty well. My bike is also my mode of transportation except for grocery shopping (since the trailer doesn’t attach to my winter bike due to the brake rotor being in the way). Do you have a trainer and is there work you could do while pedaling?
My wife and I both work from home. She has a morning Yoga routine (a YouTube channel of which I cannot remember). I tried, but couldn’t get into it. After breakfast I go for a short 5 minute walk. Sometimes just around the garden. No so much for exercise, more for fresh air and some sun on my face before starting work! Then again around 11am to check the mail. I also try and take a “long lunch” a few times a week to go for a ride.
I work a hybrid job now, but I get more activity when I’m at home compared to when I’m in the office: I can get in a 20 minute cardio session on my stationary bike and quick shower over lunch, and I find it easy to get in occasional quick stretches in my comfy pants. The combination of not having any activity options and wearing formal wear at the office means those days are more “rest days”.