Why is movement so important?
Now that we work at home, we no longer bike to work. We walk or run less to make the train or bus and we no longer have to climb as many stairs to get to the office.
After a few weeks we will find that we are less fit. Fortunately, our bodies can reverse this process too! If we reintegrate short moments of sport and exercise into our lives, it can make a big difference. For example, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, sleep quality, cognitive performance and feelings of anxiety can all improve after just a few moments of exercise. Of course, these effects become even greater if we keep moving for a longer time.
In addition, there is a lower risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, fractures and some forms of cancer. Also not unimportant: when we are fitter, we often have a better immune system.
Exercise also improves cognition. One of the reasons is that blood pressure and blood flow increase throughout the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen and that makes our brain work better. The hippocampus, the part of our brain that is very important for learning and memory, is very active when we move.
The stroll during the lunch break is a very pleasant break, isn't it? It is beneficial for our feet and stimulates the blood circulation in the legs and our body.
A ten minute walk makes all the difference. Just make sure that you really have a break and are not still at work. Make sure that you cannot be reached by phone. For example, put on music or an audiobook (if you're going alone) to make sure you take this time to yourself and work is secondary for a moment.
Are you motivated and do you want to plan additional training moments during work? Then just go for a walk during a phone meeting. Challenge accepted!
Even when we're at the computer, we can add little things to keep moving a little more and to stimulate blood flow.
Take, for example, a Blackroll or a hedgehog ball and roll it under the tendon plate under the foot. This stimulates blood flow to the tendon plate and causes us to activate the muscle pump in our legs and help the body pump blood to our bodies.
Would you like more tips on how to easily get more exercise during the work day? We'll give you a few simple exercises later in this blog!
Put on shoes or not?
When we work at home, of course, how we look is less important. Many people probably don't wear shoes anymore and walk comfortably barefoot, in socks or in slippers through the apartment. But what does that actually mean for our feet if we do it all at once over a longer period of time?
The function of shoes is to protect the feet. From dirt or sharp objects on the floor that can irritate the skin. In addition, the shoe naturally supports the stability of the foot.
A number of people get away with unsuitable shoes and have no problem with them at all. It demands a little more on the foot, but as long as the foot can take this load, this is not a problem. But there are also people who are more sensitive to injury. This often leads to complaints recurring when the foot itself has to become more stable by wearing less suitable shoes.
For example, we usually see a peak of people with injuries after the summer vacation when they walk in flip flops and sandals in the summer. Now of course the same problem arises as in the summer, but then in your own house.
Walking barefoot is not bad at all and of course we can also walk comfortably in Finken. The problem, however, is that we are now doing this all at once without our body having time to get used to it and slowly build it up.
Posture behind the desk
Posture at work is essential in order to avoid shoulder, neck and head complaints in particular. In the office this is made easier by large screens (1-2), a good desk (adjustable) and a comfortable work chair (adjustable). At home you often have other chairs (harder, without armrests, not adjustable) and tables.
Our tips: If possible, work with a large laptop or screen and make sure that the incidence of light does not disturb you. The light should come in from the side. The elbow height can be used as a measurement parameter and should be approximately at table height. If there are no adjustable tables or chairs, you can work with seat cushions or other materials. If your feet don't touch the ground, you can work with a footrest
Many people lack exercise in everyday life. As mentioned above, this fact has often worsened with the home office. How can you remedy the situation if you are “locked up” at home all day? Here are a few tips:
It is important that we do not neglect our physical fitness, especially during this time, because it has a great influence on our immune system. This includes exercise, but also nutrition, stress management and mental strength.
The fact that there is no commute to work has at least something good for many: you can sleep in longer. However, it is advisable to extend the lunch walk mentioned above, but still get up a little earlier and do some exercise before work. Preferably the coffee in the to-go mug and around the house. Ten minutes are enough to wake up the body. Firstly, we have already completed some of our prescribed 10,000 steps, and secondly, we are much more efficient for work if we don't have to do a "cold start".
«Suddenly it's noon...»
When we have to rush from one meeting to the next or stare deeply at our screen, time can sometimes fly by and we have already spent five hours at a time sitting. We all know well that this is not ideal. The best thing to do is to set an alarm clock on the mobile phone (or take an egg timer, for example). After every hour we should take a short break to do a bit of exercise. In addition to some stretching and relaxation exercises, light strength exercises such as 15 squats (squats), push ups (pushups) and crunches (torso bends) are ideal. For more advanced skiers, jumping lunges and burpees are recommended. This is not a workout, but 2-5 minutes of activity that briefly demands the pulse before continuing with sitting. The time that you spend on training can be recovered several times by the fact that training also increases cognitive capacity, which makes work more productive and efficient.
«You are what you eat»
Okay, aybe. But it is certainly true: you work the way you eat. When we work at home, snacks from the fridge or snack drawer are of course literally next to you. The shorter the distance, the greater the temptation. At least that's how we feel. So a good tip: equip the refrigerator with fruits and vegetables. An apple or a carrot as a morning snack is not only low in calories, rich in vitamins and filling, it also does not lead to the well-known 'sugar crash' that takes away any desire to work after the lunch break at the latest.
«I have to check the calendar quickly »
When we plan a workout, whether with the help of a personal trainer, alone in the gym or at home, the chance that we will actually do it is much greater. It is therefore worthwhile to reserve a time slot, to enter this in the calendar and to regard it as a serious part of your day. It will not be replaced by a meeting or postponed until tomorrow if it has a permanent place in your calendar. We recommend about an hour two to three times a week, during which we really concentrate on physical exercise.
Mental strength is also part of our well-being and our profession as a personal trainer. What is generally true and is even more important in these times: Positive thoughts are a driving force that strengthen us mentally, especially when we are surrounded by so much negativity and stress. For example, it is advisable to look back on your day. Do this during the day or in the evening before going to bed and appreciate 3-5 positive events, no matter how small. What did I do well today? Was anyone particularly nice to me? What made me happy and what can I be thankful for today? Was it possible to watch a beautiful sunset from the window? There is always something positive, we just have to practice recognizing it.
This blog was created in collaboration between ZüriBalance Physiotherapy, Stronger Coaching and Podotherapy Laufgsund. Please visit our websites for more information.