If you’ve spent the last few weeks trying and failing to make good on your New Year’s Resolution to get fit we might be able to help. It’s not always easy for contractors and freelancers to find time in already jam-packed schedules to get down the gym. And if you work from home, it’s not as simple as cycling to work, taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus a few stops early. But our businesses are only as fit and healthy as our bodies are, so how can contractors and freelancers make sure they get enough exercise?
The NHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week for healthy adults of working age. Rather than restrict activity to a few times a week, they suggest we should aim to be active daily. And recent research has suggested that sitting for long periods – as many of us do when working – is the absolute enemy when it comes to physical fitness. Sitting for long periods slows our metabolism, and has been linked to increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and early death. We didn’t really like the sound of that, so we tried to come up with some ways to work exercise into contractor life.
Shake things up with clients
If you have to meet with clients, change things up. Rather than sitting in an office or a coffee shop, get out and do something physical. There’s a long history of deals being done on the golf course, but if that’s not your thing, why not invite your clients to try something new with you? Rock climbing, spinning classes and yoga could all be transformed into a networking event if your clients are willing. Or you could go all West Wing and pilot the walking meeting. There’s even a name for this craze – sweatworking!
Work standing up
If sitting is the enemy, switch to standing. You’ll need a desk or workstation that you can adjust to be the correct height for your standing posture. If your home office doubles as a gym, you could even set things up so you can work from the treadmill or exercise bike.
You can do it from home, you don’t need any fancy equipment, and it’s great for the mind as well as the body. As well as aerobic exercise, the NHS also recommends that adults do strength-building exercise at least twice a week. Yoga, with its emphasis on alignment, muscle tone and flexibility, is the perfect candidate for busy contractors and freelancers looking for a low-commitment strength exercise.
Move around the house
Set a timer and every 30 minutes make sure you get up and move around, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You could use this extra time to help with the household chores: get up and hoover a room, carry some washing up the stairs and put it away, scrub the kitchen sides or take the dog for a walk. A Fitbit or similar bit of wearable tech will help you keep an accurate track of how much you’re really moving, and will give you a reminder to get up and move about.
Why not launch your new routine right now? Walking while you make phone calls is a great way to start. Our team at Kingsbridge will be happy to talk you through your business insurance options even if you are a little out of breath! Just give us a ring on 01242 808740.