Laptop on a yoga mat.

In Digital News by Malika Street

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10 Ways to Keep Fit While You’re Working from Home

With gyms closed and more of us working from home than ever right now, it’s tough finding the time and space to exercise.

But it shouldn’t surprise you that sitting at a desk all day can cause all sorts of problems – including bad posture, muscle pain and weight gain. Plus, being inactive all day can actually make you feel more lethargic than you would if you were moving around.

In the current climate it’s more important than ever to look after your physical and mental wellbeing.

So we’ve paused our usual blogs briefly to collate 10 easy exercise hacks to help you combat cabin fever and keep you fit and healthy.

Let’s get moving with Maratopia – Mr Motivator eat your heart out!

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1. Hit the spot


If you don’t have a lot of floor space to work with, don’t stress it – there are plenty of great aerobic workouts and bodyweight exercises you can still do.

Jogging on the spot is a great way to keep it simple, but if you feel like pushing for the burn, you could try sit-ups, press-ups or star jumps for on the spot cardio that raises the heart rate.

And if you hardly want to move at all,  it turns out that you can still go for the burn – we’ve heard that shouting ‘what?’, ‘whaAAT?’, ‘WHAAT?’ all around the house at your significant other at least three times an hour actually burns around 300 calories a day, which is nice.

2. Exercise chair


You can have all the space in the world, but if your boss is still on your back while you #WFH, you need something you can do without leaving your desk.

In that case, this hack might be a great solution for you – consider substituting your desk chair for an exercise ball. You’ll be able to build up your core strength and work on your posture and balance, all while dealing with emails and drafting documents.

Can’t get hold of an exercise ball right now? Dig that old space hopper out of the shed and pump it up till its ears perk up for the first time since 1986. Can’t find a space hopper?  Stick a box or some books on your desk until your laptop is at eye level. Hey presto – a makeshift vertical desk!

3. Stairs


If you find yourself missing the gym, don’t worry – you’ve got a great piece of everyday equipment installed in your own home already.

Walking up and down your stairs gives you a good cardio workout and helps tone those leg muscles too.

Need some inspiration? These domestic athletes climbed Everest in their homes!

4. Office yoga


You might be sick of wellness think pieces extolling the virtues of yoga, but in this case, you really can believe the hype.

Aside from the physical benefits like improving heart health and lowering blood pressure, it’s great for your mental wellbeing and is proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

If you’re a total newbie and can’t tell your yoga from yoghurt yet, this beginner’s home workout will get you started. Next time your inbox is pinging like a pinball table, shut your eyes for a few seconds and say ‘Omm’.

5. Desk Press


Your desk doesn’t just have to be a space for working – it can be a space for working out too!

If it’s nice and sturdy, it can be a great alternative to an exercise bench, and perfect for exercises like tricep dips or even a tabletop plank.

Please test your desk gently to ensure it’s strong enough first though – no one needs to be picking splinters from their posterior right now.

6. Glute stretches


Weak glutes are a common side-effect of prolonged sitting. But thankfully there are plenty of simple yet effective stretches to keep those muscles in fine form – and you don’t even have to leave your chair to pull them off.

A glute stretch is pure gold and the technique is easy to grasp. Try placing the ankle of one leg onto the knee of the other, then, keeping your back straight, push gently on the top knee with your hand.

7. Skipping


Skipping isn’t just for the school playground – boxers skip to increase their speed, stamina,  and to shed weight and improve their timing.

Order some lightweight ropes online or dig your old set from the cupboard and give them a whirl on a solid surface on your landing or in your garden. If you’re skipping indoors, be sure there’s enough clearance and that housemates are aware before entering the room.

But what if you don’t have ropes and can’t order them? It’s no problem at all because you can skip round the house doing your daily chores, the same way you used to as a child. Trust us, it’s terrific – how can it be wrong when it feels so right?

8. Stapler curl


For arm day at the home gym, plenty of household items can be used as a makeshift dumbbell – if you’re looking for something within arm’s reach (pun intended), a few reps with a stapler or water bottle will do the job well.

We can’t promise it will turn you into Chris Hemsworth, but it will give your biceps a much-needed boost.

9. Find a workout routine


You might have seen Joe Wicks’ online PE classes for kids?

The good news is that there are plenty of options for grown-ups too! If you’re struggling to find an online workout you like, check out this list of great digital exercise classes from Good Housekeeping.

Are Good Housekeeping’s tips too sedate to float your keep-fit boat? Turn things up a notch and try this Drum n Bass workout from Fight Klub – brap brap!

10. Throw some shapes


Isolation is a difficult time for many right now, but one upside is that you can literally dance like no one is watching! Stick on some tunes and bust some moves! Don’t worry if you’re not a natural dancer – Joe Tracini’s viral Twitter video will give you some inspiration (or a good laugh).

Singing along can burn a further 100-200 calories, so if you’re not worried about noise complaints from the neighbours, why not channel your inner Beyoncé?

And if they do complain? Get them to open their windows and join in – as seen on balconies across Italy, there’s nothing like a sing-along to lift the spirits.

Rotate these ten remote keep-fit hacks and you’ll soon feel ready to tackle the challenges of the isolation nation – have fun, keep positive and #StaySafeAtHome!

Need some workout inspiration? Check out our Workout Mix here.

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