One of the big advantages of working from home is that it forces you to spend most of your time in the same place. That means no time wasted on commutes, and no time spent thumb-twiddling during quiet periods. If you really wanted to, then you could take no more than a few dozen steps a day – getting up to go to the toilet, or to the kitchen.
Of course, there’s a hidden cost to all of this efficiency, in that it removes all of the natural opportunities you’d normally get to get up and exercise. It might surprise you to learn just how much extra physical activity you’re giving up when you eliminate even a short walk from your day. The effects of this, in the long-term, can be disastrous. If you’re housebound because you’re recovering from a personal injury, then things can be especially difficult.
Your physical health can suffer. You might become gradually obese, and lethargic. You’ll put yourself at greater risk of just about every kind of diseases there is. There are also mental health consequences to prolonged inactivity. You might become depressed, or unduly stressed-out.
All of which means that home-workers must worry a little more about getting the right amount of exercise. According to the NHS, a healthy adult should look to get around 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. This might mean brisk walking, hiking, or dancing.
What’s recommended by the NHS should be considered a minimum. If you find that you can easily fit more exercise in by, say, walking the dog for ten minutes extra each day, then you’ll put yourself ahead of the game, and reduce your risk of all of the side-effects we’ve described.
What’s the best form of exercise?
Some forms of exercise have different effects to others. Sprinters look very different to distance-runners, for example. It’s also worth thinking about things like injury prevention: certain kinds of exercise, like yoga, will naturally give your body a full work-out, covering up imbalances. Getting a variety of different kinds of activity into your schedule may also help to ensure that your entire body is getting a workout.
It should also go without saying that the best form of exercise is the one that you’re able to perform consistently. Pick an activity that you actually enjoy, and you’ll be that much more likely to stick with it over the long-term. If you can fit in a social dimension, then all the better!
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