I’m so excited to give you all the first episode of my new podcast, Bring Your Own Office. I am recording and publishing a few before I push live to iTunes, but each new episode will be published here with a transcription (coming soon) and points from my episode.
In the below episode, I discuss:
- Four ways you can fit in workouts in your flexible schedule
- How I used SurfShelf (Amazon aff link to all products in this post) to create a treadmill desk
- Why I block out workouts like I do any other meeting
Transcription of Podcast:
Hey everyone, this is Kelsey Jones and welcome to the first episode, ever, of Bring Your Own Office. A podcast about productivity, being better at life, remote work, creating your own schedule. Basically anything about designing your life to make it what you want it to be.
Today I thought that it would be really interesting to talk about fitting in workouts throughout the day. The past few months I have been working with a buddy of mine. She’s getting married in November. I have two more speaking gigs left for the year. In September at the SEJ summit in New York City and then also at Pub Con, which is in October in Las Vegas. I reached out to her and I said, “Hey, we should be each other’s accountability buddies.” Just because we have these goals where we want to look our best for these specific events. She was in. (That’s probably a whole other podcast in and of itself, just that whole idea of accountability when it comes to meeting goals that you want to live your best life.)
One aspect of that, that has always been a pretty important part of my life, but even more so now in the last few months, has been working out. I work out not only for the obvious weight loss benefits, but also it helps me with stress: it gives me a distraction. A lot of times, I’ll worry about getting everything done or projects that are reaching their deadline but aren’t done yet. Doing hard workouts is something that kind of gets my mind off [work] and is a good distraction throughout the day.
That being said, I know when it comes to working form home it’s probably a little bit easier to fit in your workouts because you’re able to get them done at a more flexible pace than maybe you would if you were in an office. I know that if you’re dedicated enough you can make anything happen, no matter where you work.
I thought that I could talk about some of the ways that I fit in workouts in my schedule, while I’ve been working from home. I will say that my usual workout schedule varies depending on the season. Whenever the weather is really nice out in September, which goes into fall, or when it’s starting to get nice in March and April. Those kind of seasons, leading into summer and fall and then even spring, I will be outside a lot more. That means I’ll go on runs. I’ll go on walks with my dogs or with my friends. I’m a lot more likely to have that be part of my workout routine.
Other Ways to Fit in Workouts
Some of the ways I have fit in walks is I’ll do that for my lunch break, and then for my actual eating of lunch, I’ll do that while I’m doing email or doing an easy task. There’s other times when I have tried walking my dogs first thing in the morning, before I do anything else. I’m someone that, that doesn’t really work well for because in the morning I am a little bit lazy. I’ve decided to kind of embrace that instead of making myself feel bad about it. That doesn’t work for me, but for some people doing something active, like walking their dogs and actually getting outside right in the morning, kind of helps them feel less isolated when they’re working from home during the day. I think it’s a lot about what works best for you when it comes to workouts.
Harder Workouts May Be Easier in the Morning
There’s been other times when working out right in the morning really works for me. I did the 60 day program Insanity from Beachbody. I did that right in the morning, right when I woke up at 7 am for the whole 60 days. It’s such a strenuous workout, that I knew if I waited later then I would be more willing to put it off, especially because I have such a flexible schedule. A lot of times I will put something off because I know that I could do it later and then I end up not doing it. I think that’s one aspect of working for home and creating your own schedule that you need to make sure you don’t overlook.
Even though you’re working from home, you need to create a schedule that fits in what you want to get done that day whether it be workouts, or certain tasks around the house, time with your kids or spouse, etc.
Find the Best Time of Day For Your Workouts
I think sometimes working from home and having that flexibility can work against you because you think you can just do it later or you’ll just do it the next day, versus working in an office. I always felt like everything was more structured and I had to fit my priories around that time I had to be in the office. I think it’s important to treat your work days with that same seriousness that people do when they work in an office, at a desk job. Whether that’s working in blocks of times, with set breaks. Again, it’s whatever works best for you.
If you’re not a morning person and you don’t want to do workouts first thing in the morning, or if you can’t because you have an early morning obligation, like taking your kids to school or whatever. Lunch is a good break time for a workout, like I said. One thing that has helped me is attend classes during the day, when it comes to workouts. That has helped me because I have a set time that I have to be there. That’s helped me be a more accountable rather than, “Oh I know I need to go for a run today, I’ll just go later.” Attending a workout class really helps.
Lately, my routine has been working out at night. After my work day is over at around 5 or 5:30, I’ll go to my workout class at 5:30 or 6:30. [In the evenings as well], hopefully your spouse is home and can watch the kids. You can have a neighbor that’s hope in the evening watch your kids while you do your workout. Whatever works best for you.
Do Mini-Workouts Throughout The Day
There’s a couple other strategies that I’ve tried throughout my time working from home, that I know has working really well for some people. One of those is doing exercise in spurts, throughout the day.
For a while, I tried setting a timer for after every hour. I did five minutes of walking in place. You could [also] do five minutes of jumping jacks, or just five minutes of stretching. This is a really good way to kind of fight back against the effects of sitting all day. It’s a good way to get up your steps if you have an activity tracker like Fitbit, which is what I use. It also kind of helps you work under a deadline. If you know you have an hour until your next break, sometimes that urgency will also help you complete a project faster.
[For example], if you worked even six hours a day with a five minute break after that, that’d be about thirty minutes of walking or exercise. That’s a pretty good workout if you did that everyday. 30 minutes a day, that’s a really great way to get your activity in.
Walking / Treadmill Desks
Another thing that I’ll probably dedicate a podcast to later on is walking desk. I have a treadmill that has a plastic shelf that I bought on Amazon called a SurfShelf. It’s basically a strong plastic shelf that you attach to the front of your treadmill or your elliptical or whatever you have. It lets you work while you’re typing. I usually go about 2 miles per hour. It’s not a strenuous pace but I get sweaty pretty easily. I think that’s an effect of when you workout pretty frequently, your body get sweaty easily because it’s used to operating at a high efficiency to cool you down.
A treadmill desk probably isn’t the best thing if you’re going to a meeting after but it’s another great way to get your steps up again or to sneak in some activity while you’re walking. Again, I’ll do a podcast about walking desk, treadmill desk, later in the series. A lot of people have lost 10, 20, 30 pounds just from walking on a treadmill desk, 5 days a week, 4 to 5 hours a day. Again, that’s a commitment, [but] it does work for some people.
Schedule Your Workouts
Fitting in workouts I really think it depends on first your dedication, and that goes for anything when it comes to any type of activity. If you are dedicated towards making it happen, then it will. Again, that means scheduling out your workouts. I put my workouts on my Google Calendar, just like I would with any regular meeting. That’s set up to send me a push notification on my phone that I have 10 or 15 minutes until my workout is supposed to start. A lot of my workouts now are classes because since I work from home I like going to a workout class because it gives me accountability to be there at certain time. It’s also getting me out of the house and meeting new people. [It helps to have] fun with a group of people versus working out by myself at home.
Treat your workouts as an appointment, like anything else you would, and you’re a lot more likely to get it done. That’s basically my tips for fitting in workouts when you work from home. Whether it be walking during lunch or first thing in the morning. Activity scheduled classes at night when you have more free time. Fitting it in throughout out the day, 5 or ten minutes where you have it. A treadmill desk that can help you stay active whenever you’re actually working, you’re still walking. There’s tons of possibilities when it comes to fitting in workouts while you’re freelancing.
I’d like to thank everyone for listening to this first episode of Bring Your Own Office. I’d appreciate your feedback and tips and how you fit in workouts during the day. I’d love to hear what you do to stay motivated. How you schedule and prioritize your workouts, so you make sure they get done. I’ll take all the help I can get because there’s some days that I don’t want to work out. Any advice you have I’d love it. Thank you for joining me and until next time.
Have feedback on the show? Leave a comment or start a conversation on social media using the hashtag #BYOO.
Want to be a guest on BYOO? Email me!
Featured image made in Canva. Other images via Unsplash.