Be A Healthy Freelancer: Five Tips

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Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

It’s lovely to be a full time freelancer. The commute is ideal. The refrigerator is close by and I don’t have to label my food so the co-workers leave it alone. The hours are mine to set. That’s all pretty wonderful, right? Let’s flip this a bit. The commute means I can shuffle from the bedroom to the office (about 150 steps). I can go from my office to the refrigerator (oh, 300 steps). The hours, typically 8 am to 5 pm with about thirty minutes for lunch and occasional breaks to take Henrietta, the Diva Poodle, for a short walk… (perhaps another 700 steps a day). Then, the work day is done, the couch is cozy and the television beckons (add 200 steps). Okay, when you do the math there were times this work-from-home freelancer got no where near her 10,000 steps a day.

Fast forward to the S-Health app on my phone, my Weight Watchers membership and app and my FitBit (yes I believe in redundancy with counting my steps) and I now make sure I get up and move every 30 minutes. I walk on my treadmill or take Hen for a bit longer walk. I walk after work and before dinner. I still don’t get my 10,000 steps in every day, but I do get a lot more than the steps mentioned above. Why? In order to remain a happy freelancer, I need to be a healthy freelancer, right?walk a dog

Here are some steps (see what I did there!) you can take to be healthy as well as happy:

  • Get up and move! Honestly, until I became married to my FitBit and S-Health app I was able to convince myself that I was walking more than I was. After all, I did take Henrietta out walking at least a half dozen times a day and I did get up and move around the house. Well, once I started tracking it, it appeared I wasn’t moving as much as I convinced myself I thought I was. I know that since breast cancer I need to take better care of myself, eat healthier and get up and move. It behooves every freelance pet blogger to do the same. If you’re not healthy your work, and well, your health will suffer. The stats on sedentary lifestyles are frightening.  I find I walk more, faster and further if I have someone to talk with so if you want to walk and talk, message me and we can exchange numbers and become walking buddies.
  • Join a gym. Too many hardbodies for a softbody like me to feel comfortable there, but I have friends who love the competitive aspect of it.
  • Don’t eat your lunch at your desk. Make your lunch hour/half-hour a time to get up and boogie! Well maybe you won’t be dancing in the hallways at work or in your house, but if you plan your lunch time for it to be half eating/half exercising or walking you’re well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. I used to take my lunch in front of the television while I watched and then read a book. I now eat my lunch then take Hen for a walk — we’re both benefiting.
  • Practice good ergonomics. When you are spending your time at your computer desk make sure the desk and chair and keyboard are ergonomically friendly. Sit up straight. If you have back issues, look for a chair that provides back support.
  • Eat healthy. I will admit I love a good snack. Sometimes I will opt for a light dinner so I can have a snack I have been craving. Is it the healthiest? Probably not. But if I deprive myself every single day then I will binge. I do have healthy snacks in the house — cut up fruit and veggies, pretzels, whole wheat bread, high fiber cereal, low fat milk etc. I do have my Dove candies for those times when I just need a piece of chocolate. There are always salad fixings in the house and I have access to a tomato plant and pea plants in my backyard for a quick snack when I am walking Henrietta. Moderation is the name of the game. If you know you’re going out to dinner and having a cheesy, yummy pizza and perhaps wings and a beer, well then, eat light during the day so you can indulge without having to feel like you need to go an additional 10,000 steps on the treadmill.

Those of us who work from home and are pet owners have it a bit easier because you should have a constant reminder to get up and move. I know that Henrietta loves to “do outs” even if she doesn’t always do anything every time we go “outs” but it does get me up and moving and she benefits as well when we are strolling around the neighborhood while she searches for that perfect patch of grass.

Do you have any kind of a health and fitness routine that you follow? I’d love to know!

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(Photo Shutterstock: Walking a dog)