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​​10 work from home exercises for staying active while working remotely

Jessica Armstrong

Marketing Associate, TeamUp

Work from home exercises for staying active while working remotely
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While the concept of working from home is not new, more businesses than ever before have adopted this style as a more permanent solution for their employees and businesses.

At TeamUp, a fitness management software, I’ve found that the work from home lifestyle has proven to have many benefits for one's wellbeing. It has become a viable solution for an increase in productivity, mental health, and overall flexibility in being able to manage one's schedule, spend time at home, and remove long commutes.

Because of this, I’ve seen the fitness industry take its classes online and on-demand, doctors scheduling appointments with clients via video and audio conferencing, and even people finding new solutions to their everyday needs—nationally and internationally—thanks to the powers of technology and communication.

However, while the benefits of working from home far outweigh any downsides, one of the negative repercussions is the reduction in movement and physical activity for employees.

To avoid staying static and ensure that you are still properly exercising and moving at home, here are 10 work from home exercises and ideas that I recommend to help you stay active during your workday.

I’m sure you'll love adding these home workouts to your daily routine! You’ll get healthier and become a better employee simply because you took the time to focus on your health.

1. Start your day with a walk

Walking exercise

One of the biggest fitness recommendations you'll likely hear from any trainer or professional is that you need to get 10,000 steps a day. That equates to roughly five miles of walking or running and about 60-90 minutes of exercise depending on your speed.

Starting your day with a walk to achieve your 10,000 steps is a great way to boost your energy first thing in the morning and start your day by accomplishing one of the staples of health, fitness, and exercise. Put on a podcast, catch up on current events, or hit play on your favorite playlist and get moving to begin your workday already exercised, motivated, and ready to go.

Depending on your schedule, you could also break it up and take smaller walks before, during, and after your work to stay physically active and really get your blood pumping and brain firing.

Since Dialpad’s app works across both desktop and mobile devices (PC, Mac, iOS, and Android), you now hoave the flexibility to take your workday mobile. Instead of sitting in front of your computer to join a virtual meeting, you can dial-in to conference calls instead.

Dialpad on mobile

Set yourself a goal and make sure your 10,000 steps become just as important to you as closing a deal, earning a new client, or publishing content.

2. Stand during video and phone calls

Sitting in a chair for eight hours straight is horrible for your back and posture, especially when you're sitting at a kitchen table or on the couch. The coronavirus pandemic caused enough sitting and lack of mobility, and people do not need more reasons to sit.

One of the best ways to avoid sitting all day is to take meetings standing up. Investing in a standing desk or finding somewhere to properly prop up your computer can help you get up out of your chair and boost your concentration and focus.

In fact, according to an article by Autonomous AI, standing desks offer serious benefits including mood improvement, increased brain activity, enhanced creativity, and stress management.

Do yourself a favor, and while you're in your next video conference or meeting, do it standing up and see how well you feel after. We're sure you'll want to repeat this again and again.

Dialpad meetings ai transcription

3. Schedule a midday HIIT or Tabata workout as one of your home exercises

One of the biggest fitness trends in 2022, especially with people still working from home, will be 20-30 minute long workouts. Whether in a studio or gym or at home, people love this style of working out because it can get you quick results, doesn't take a lot of time to do, and can be accomplished during a lunch break.

Typically consisting of combined movements and exercises, a Tabata workout and a HIIT workout can help you stay fit and make sure you don't miss a workout even when work calls.

If you're new to these types of fitness, start small by adding in some low-intensity movements such as squats and lunges to get your legs moving and build up into burpees and jumping jacks. The mix of full-body exercises and exercises only using your bodyweight will help you also build strength and improve your cardiovascular health.

The great news is thanks to online fitness classes and on-demand workout content, you don't even have to leave your house or office to get these exercises in.

Tabata workout

Credit: Kayla Itsines

4. Turn your office equipment into push up equipment

Did you know your desk or chair—or even your wastebasket—can serve as push up equipment to help you exercise from home? All you need is something stable to be able to complete push up exercises, such as:

  • Tricep dips: keep your arms bent at a 90-degree angle on your chair while pushing up and down.

  • Desk push ups: place your hands on your desk in a push up position and push up and down.

  • Wall push ups: again, place your hands in push up position on the wall and push back and forth

You will need to keep your legs at an angle and your entire body in a straight line for best positioning and results.

Watch over time how one of the hardest movements to get right becomes the easiest in your routine. While we don't recommend using a cable as a replacement, you can try your hand at skipping rope in your living room or backyard to improve your cardio. But always make sure you have enough room.

5. Set a time or calendar alert to get you moving

Wearable tracking devices such as Apple Watches can do this for you, but so can your calendar, phone, or computer. Set a one-minute reminder every hour to get up and move.

We'll let you decide how you want to spend this minute, but we recommend running in place, jumping jacks, a walk around the house, or anything to get you out of your chair and to get a boost of cardio.

You can schedule a recurring meeting to remind yourself to take a quick break, and with Dialpad’s Meeting View feature, you can easily get a glance of all your upcoming meetings and events that day. Even if you don’t need to set a reminder, you can always do a quick stretch when you spot a gap in your schedule.

Meetings View

And remember, don't let your minute go to waste. Not only will you stop relying on your alerts to get you up and moving around, but it'll also start becoming a part of your work routine. You could even invite some of your WFH friends or colleagues to join you on a video call.

6. Build squats into your regimen to improve your sitting posture

There are numerous benefits to prioritizing squats in your home workout routine. For one, they can help you sit better and more upright. The squat movements repeated over and over again can strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, and more, and are perfect to fit in a few between meetings and calls.

When you're done with your video or phone call, do 10 chair squats before sitting again. This is a squat that you do going low to your chair and standing back up. You'll see how much better your back and legs feel in no time, while also building strength without having to move away from your desk area. It's strength training without heavy lifting and machines.

7. Take your sitting to the wall (and it's a bonus if you add in some meditation)

While we hope this isn't your everyday, the workday can get stressful and it's helpful to disconnect. Taking your stress and frustration out on a colleague isn't the way to handle a work problem. Instead, you can exercise, which will help much more.

In a moment of stress or when you’re feeling down, head over to the wall, place your back against it, and lower yourself into a chair position, with your legs in a 90-degree angle and hold for as long as you can.

Either meditate on your own or turn on a guided meditation and watch as your stress fades away, while you focus on remaining in this position for as long as you can. While this is one of the best exercises to do while stressed, it can also be done between calls or when you feel like you need to readjust your back.

Talk about a great way to work your upper back and take a break from the hustle.

8. Challenge your company to join in your at-home exercises

If you really want to take it up a notch, challenge your colleagues to join in on the remote work from home exercises you have been doing. Show them your favorite ones and start meetings or the workday by motivating each other. You could set a challenge to drop down and do 10 push-ups to build your upper body, 10 lunges on each leg with a resistance band, or do a 5 minute workout burst to give everyone a burst of energy.

Get your colleagues into a big huddle room and start your workouts and stretches together, no matter where you are. Your colleagues will love the support and your dedication to your fitness, and you’ll love having someone to push you. Not to mention you'll start every day and meeting with a fun, engaging way to bond before getting started on your projects and tasks.

Dialpad meetings in desktop app

9. Roll it out—In your chair, on your desk, or on the floor

Now, this might sound a bit strange, but one thing you should definitely add to the top of your work from home exercises are rolling exercises.

You can either use a pillow or purchase a foam roller which can help you reach the difficult places, but rolling your body out will serve as both a useful exercise and a great way to work out the stiffness and kinks that you'll often experience when working from home and sitting all day.

You can even use a water bottle to roll out your hands and wrists to stretch your fingers and give them a typing break.

10. And don't forget to stretch and recover

While working out and exercising should be incorporated into your everyday routine, one of the things that cannot be forgotten about is the importance of stretching, even for home exercises.

Rather than pushing yourself every day to get in a HIIT workout or sprint, try your hand at a low impact workout such as a yoga class or Pilates to help you strengthen and stretch. After your wall sits or pushups, your morning walk, or midday Tabata, you absolutely must stretch before returning to your seat or you'll fall victim to painful soreness, stiffness, and lower back pain.

But your arms, legs, and back aren't the only things you need to exercise. In fact, what you probably might not have considered before is that while you're working, your fingers are exercising for eight hours straight.

That's right, if you have ever felt your hands, fingers, or even wrists tense up, it's because they need a good stretch and some recovery. The same goes for your eyes. Take time away from the computer and keyboard to stretch out your fingers and wrists, using some equipment such as pillows or resistance bands or no equipment at all.

Improve your work from home lifestyle

If you're in a hurry, save the longer exercises for after your workday and always make sure you have given yourself at least five or so minutes for a deep stretch to thank your muscles and body for staying strong and active.

Your health is incredibly important and taking time to focus on your wellness and mobility can help you not only be healthier but be more productive as an employee. Your heart rate, endurance, and mobility can reap many health benefits because you took time out of your day to work out.

To start using these exercises, build a plan, and stick to it. You won't regret taking the time out of your day to exercise, especially when you start noticing how much more productive your workday is, how much better you feel after incorporating movement into your morning, midday, and after work, and how much your body will reward you for keeping it healthy—no matter how busy your workday is.

Work (and exercise) from anywhere with Dialpad!

If you’re out for a morning run or a quick walk around the house, Dialpad helps keep your team stay connected, no matter where you are. Try video meetings with Dialpad for free!