Remote work: Make sure you move.

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stretching white cat

Today I wanted to write a bit about remote work and making sure that you move. Yesterday I took a visit to the Physio – my back’s been giving me issues lately and I wanted to share some insights into why this is and hopefully help those of you who may fall into the same trap I did.

I’ve been active most of my life, especially when working in the city centre. I’d walk to the train station, then from the train station to the office. At lunch I’d walk into the city centre and back – followed by the walk home.

On top of that, I’d try and get to the gym either before or after work (it was on the route between the office and the station) and do 30mins to 1hr in there.

But, then in 2011, things changed – I changed job to a location where I had to drive (public transport would take much, much longer) and I stopped moving. I still tried to do an activity once a week – but that’s where the trend slowly started to creep up.

Wait, that’s not an image of the stock market… It’s my weight progress over the past few years.

In 2016, I started working remotely full time – no driving no nothing. In 2017 (Nov) through to 2018 (Sep) I worked remotely while travelling so I did manage to do various things to keep fit (we hiked, did a 3 week Muay Thai camp, and lots of city tours) but we also ate everything in sight.

During 2020 (lockdown) we had our first child, and we DID walk much more while trying to get him to nap in the pram (and you can see the trend start to reverse) – I also ended 2021 with one less internal organ than I started with but more on that in a future post.

Fast forward to the end of 2021. I’d been particularly immobile now that the toddler was sleeping in his cot again. I’d converted my garage into a home gym during the first lockdown and was determined to start back again (even booking a Personal Trainer to visit once a week).

During the 2nd session, while doing relatively light deadlifts, my back went on me. I’d not moved, I’d not really done anything but launched straight back into thinking I could lift weights like I did 10 years ago! This was nothing to do with my PT, I’d just got too confident and ended up “tweaking” something.

So, how do you avoid the same fate?

First up. Like anything the situation is reversible for me (luckily) and through some Physio exercises I can start to ease the pain in my back. But this all could have been avoided if I took the time to “move some more”. So what do I recommend for you if you’re in the same situation (working from home, not moving much).

  • Move more – Even if it’s just around the front room. My smart watch has a handy feature where it buzzes and says “get up and move”.. so I’ve actually been listening to it and moving when it tells me to.
  • Twice daily stretching – focusing on my hip flexors and lower back (one example is below).
  • Consistent exercise – I’m utilising my Personal Trainer more, and will be embarking on a consistent exercise program.

I’m hoping to also document my journey when it comes to fitness and movement, as in my opinion it goes hand in hand with being able to commit to writing, creating content and working remotely.

If you like the sound of that, you can follow me on Twitter where I’ll be sharing each step of the way (and maybe I can make my weight “stock market chart” start to decline).

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