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More people than ever are working from home. With the switch happening so quickly for so many, it can be easy to forget to step away from your inbox and prioritize other important activities, like standing up to stretch or taking a break to step outside. Here are some simple and creative ways to add movement and fresh air into your workday.
Schedule Time to Get Outside
Enjoying the outdoors can be easier when it doesn’t involve a major time commitment. Some days, there’s just not a full, uninterrupted hour to get outside. Instead, find ways to schedule in mini doses of nature time. Simple changes like starting each day with a walk around your block, biking when you need to make an essential trip or blocking off time to enjoy lunch on the porch or in your backyard can go a long way in reducing anxiety, increasing creativity and bettering your overall health. Take your pet with you to give them some exercise, too. When the time is already baked into your routine, it becomes a non-negotiable.
Find Your Flow
It can be tempting to roll out of bed, brew some coffee and shuffle straight to your at-home work space. But adding a buffer between sleep and emails can create a more pleasant morning. This is where at-home yoga practice comes in handy. Clear some space, unfurl your yoga mat and sink into a few deep stretches as the sun rises. If you’re wanting a guided flow, there’s no shortage of online tutorials, including classes from our friends at CorePower Yoga. Picking a few poses that focus on relieving stress or working stiff muscles is good place to start. Bonus points if you can practice near an open window for a bit of fresh air.
Consider using this time to train for spring and summer activities like running, hiking, backpacking, cycling and mountain biking with these indoor routines from Expert Advice. It’s an easy way to inject some movement into your day without needing much space, time or equipment. In addition, resistance bands can be versatile tools for efficient, effective workouts at home. They come in various lengths and levels of stretch to help you train different parts of your body. Think about adding these moves to your at-home routine: banded crab walks, donkey kicks, one-arm rows or squats with little more than one or two bands.
Before beginning any training plan, check in with your doctor or certified training professional.
Meditate for Mindfulness
Mental fitness is as equally important as the physical, and meditation is a simple exercise that can be done anywhere, any time. Simply pick a quiet spot in your home, and either select a guided meditation online (CorePower offers a few) or quiet your thoughts for a set amount of time. (If you’re new to the practice, set a timer so you don’t distract yourself by peeking at the clock.) Sitting down, place your feet on the floor or cross your legs, rest your hands on your knees, close your eyes and relax your mind. Meditation has been shown to combat stress, ease pain, and increase mental alertness and creativity.
Take the Stairs
Shake up your running routine and find an outdoor staircase for sprints. Local parks and track fields can be great places to find steps to run. Once there, pop in your headphones, warm up your muscles and bust out a few laps. It’s an easy way to pack a lot of cardio into a short amount of time, and your body (and mind) will thank you.
This can be as simple as spending 10 minutes reveling in the beauty of blooming trees, planting your bare feet in cold blades of grass, counting chirping birds outside your window or tending to a community garden. Trails, parks and other green spaces aren’t easily accessible to everyone, but it’s possible to find little things to study closer to home, whether it’s the ivy crawling up your building, a fresh breeze slipping through a window or the small patches of grass planted throughout your city. Take a mental inventory of the ways nature shows up. Appreciating the outdoors can be a simple way to unwind and gain perspective on a hectic day.