Exercise and Working From Home

So I’m sitting here, at my desk in the basement (aka – “the dungeon”), and what is right next to my desk but my bicycle hooked up to one of those stationary trainers. The ones where you pedal your ass off and go no where. I call it “the road to nowhere” because no matter how hard I try, I always end up in the same place that I started.

So that bicycle is basically mocking me. It knows somehow that I had a Sausage McMuffin and large latte for breakfast, and have a weekend full of holiday eating ahead. So it’s mocking me because it knows that instead of writing this blog, I should be on it pedaling away. Burning calories. Watching old movies and Beavis and Butthead episodes on the 11 inch TV/VCR combination that I have in front of it.

So what am I doing instead? Listening to Pandora, responding to a zillion emails, and blogging. But I thought that working from home was supposed to make it easier for me to work out? No membership required – no commute – no need to wait in line for the treadmill. Ummmm…not so much. At least in my experience.

If you are one of the growing trend of people working from home, I’d really be curious on your input here. I get the theory – all the benefits of working from home, etc. I have just found that in practice (and I’m not the only one, by the way) it doesn’t always work out that way. There is a reason that people joke about treadmills being expensive laundry hangers. I didn’t make that one up.

I’m pretty comfortable with assuming I am not the only one that struggles with this challenge – as such, here are just a few thoughts related to the combination of working out and working from home…


Some Is Better Than None – I used to be guilty as charged here, but keep in mind that ANY amount of working out is better than NONE. This has been drilled into my head by some excellent coaches over the years and I think it’s finally sinking in. I used to believe that if I couldn’t get my solid hour in that there was no point. But that is simply not true. If you only have time for 30 minutes in between calls, DO IT! It all adds up over time – it really does.

Hold To A Schedule – If at all possible, keep your workouts to whatever your normal schedule allows. Some people are morning people – some prefer a mid-day workout – others at night. Just because you started working from home and might not be going to a club, that shouldn’t change. We are all creatures of habit and disruptions to that habit are usually bad. Stick to it best you can.

Commute Time – One thing that working from home “should” allow is some extra time on the front and back end of your day since you don’t have to commute. That time doesn’t have to be all spent working. While some of your co-workers are commuting to the office, use that time to work out. They aren’t working at that time anyway, so they shouldn’t expect you to be either. Plus, the emails coming in should be much lighter – unless your co-workers are texting and driving.  🙂

Time Zones – This doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you are located in the Central time zone and your home office is in California, that basically gives you the early morning hours “free”. Get a workout in while your co-workers are still in bed. Or you could be in CA and office is on the East Coast – in that case, your evenings would be free. You can do the math I’m sure. The point is use it to your advantage if that situation exists.

Home gym or Membership – This is one that I always struggle with, and still do. I have the bike/trainer combo, which helps a LOT since I like to ride my bike. But I’m currently missing a treadmill. Is it worth the monthly membership for a club I don’t go to that often just to have a treadmill handy – or should I invest in a treadmill for the house and hope I don’t start hanging clothes on it? Tough call since decent treadmills aren’t cheap. Check back with me on that one in a couple months. I’d say if you have nothing in the house, then just do the gym thing. If you have a couple of pieces of cardio equipment, then pony up and start using them!  🙂

Communicate It – There are a number of ways to do this. You can just let people know that from 7-8A you’ll be working out so don’t expect you to be around. Or set your Instant Message status to “working out”.   Tell your team you are stepping away for a quick workout. Lots of options here. But being more public about it somehow makes it more official and you tend to be less likely to go take a nap on the couch if you just told your team you’d be on the treadmill. There is a level of accountability there once you have made it public. Don’t be shy – I think more people than not will either be impressed that you are working out, motivated to do so themselves, or both.


So all that being said, I have missed my window of workout opportunity for the day. Well played eh? 🙂 Seriously though, if you work from home any amount of time, I know this can be a struggle. Stay on it – don’t give up. And again, ANY amount is better than NO amount.

Go workout … NOW!!

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