5-Minute Work-At-Home Breaks to Get Moving & Boost Your Energy
With so many of us working from home, it’s pretty safe to say that we’re not quite as active as we used to be. It’s been tough to keep a good work-life balance, to say the least.
People who used to go into an office are no longer commuting, and there’s no walking down to the break room in the middle of the day for water cooler talk.
And even if you’ve always worked from home, social distancing has made it a little harder to get out and about during the day.
While remote work does have plenty of perks, it also makes it harder to step away from the home office, which leads to us being a lot less active.
Studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time can take its toll on your health, and it can even shorten your life span. It’s even been compared to being obese or a heavy smoker. (Yes, really!)
Even if you set aside time to make exercise a priority during the week, let’s be honest: sitting in front of a computer screen all day is no picnic. It can make us feel tired, lazy, and sedentary. And nobody wants that.
We all have busy work schedules, and it can be tough to remember to take regular breaks. But the thing is, movement breaks don’t have to take a ton of time. Even just 5-minute work breaks during the day are enough to get you up and moving and give you a much-needed energy boost.
Short “brain breaks” have been shown to have a positive effect on kids in school, so it’s not surprising that adults can benefit from physical activity during the day, too!
Movement activities also help improve concentration, and they increase productivity and creativity, too.
Here are a few easy ways to get out of your chair and boost your energy. Instead of zoning out and scrolling through your social media feeds, try one of these 5-minute movement breaks instead!
The health benefits of yoga are endless. From lowering blood pressure to improving flexibility and relieving pain, you really can’t go wrong with it.
A 5-minute yoga routine is a great way to break up your day. Not only will it get you moving, but it’ll help relieve stress and make you more focused for the rest of the workday.
Here are a few simple poses and flows you can try:
- Downward Dog to Plank – Stretch out your entire body and get your blood flowing by alternating between downward dog and plank. As a bonus, you’ll give your abdominal muscles a nice challenge. ·
- Sun Salutations – Sun salutations wake up the body by taking you through a flow that starts in mountain pose and ends in downward dog. Go as fast or slow as you like. There’s no wrong way to do this.
- Cat/Cows – For movement that also focuses on breathing, a series of cat/cows is the perfect way to unwind and stretch out the body.
2. Breathing Awareness and Stretching
For a physical break that helps calm the mind and restore focus, try standing up, performing a few stretches, and focusing on deep breathing to get oxygen flowing through the body.
Stretch your arms, legs, neck, back, or whatever feels good to you. As you stretch, take deep breaths in through your nose and exhale out through your mouth. Exhale loudly as you breathe the tension out. It’s like a mini-meditation.
Grounding, or Earthing, is a great way to reconnect with yourself and also the earth. It literally means getting outside in the fresh air and putting your bare feet on the ground.
When your feet touch the ground, you connect with the earth’s energy and frequencies to promote calm, relaxation, and re-centering.
(Better hurry up and try this one before it’s too cold, though.)
4. WFH Wakeup
If you need a nudge or reminder to take regular breaks, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Would you believe there’s actually a Google Chrome extension, called WFH Wakeup, which gives you guided movement breaks throughout the day?!
What are you waiting for? Go install it now!
5. Movement Apps
There are also movement apps that you can use on your phone so you can take a break no matter where you happen to be. (Sometimes the office is the school parking lot or soccer field!)
- Stand Up! – This work break timer app will go off during the day to remind you to get up and move around.
- Break Time – You’ll never forget to take a break with this app. It works on your phone or you can also install it on your desktop.
- Time Out – The cool thing about this app is that you can set it up to take 10-minute breaks or even very short breaks, which are aimed to stop you from tensing up. They’re just a few seconds long, but they break up the monotony.
It doesn’t really matter how you choose to take a break during the day. The important thing is to just get yourself moving to mix things up! Trust us, you’ll feel so much better and more prepared to take on the rest of the day if you step away from the screen.
No matter how many tasks you have on your plate, we all have an extra 5 minutes to spare – especially when it comes to taking care of our health.
What’s your favorite way to step back from work time and get moving during the day? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks!