Working from home has its upsides, but it’s not all conference calls in pajamas.

Without the daily physical and social activity found in the workplace, it’s easy for the body and mind to become inactive, even unhealthy.

But staying on the move at home is easier than you might think. With tips and resources from health-minded Bruins, you can start a new favorite habit today.

“The most important thing is that you create a schedule: Use a timer. Use an alarm, so that you don’t find yourself sitting on the couch working for hours,” says Elisa Terry ’94, associate director of fitness and wellness at UCLA Recreation.

The next step is to choose your activities. “Work for 25 minutes, and then move for 5 minutes,” Terry recommends. “Then you just rinse and repeat. The movement can be anything, from taking a little walk to doing little exercises to washing your hands.”

Terry also recommends scheduling a strenuous workout at least three times a week. Break a sweat by doing exercises in repetitions of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50. For example, 10 mountain climbers, 10 squats and 10 jumping jacks. Then, do 20 of each, and so on.

One final tip: Mix in mindfulness meditation. It’s transformational on its own and a great way to cool down after exercise.

Forget the Workout, Here’s the Work-In

The Bruin Health Improvement Program shares three exercises that you can try in your living room.

Mountain Climbers
A rock-solid plank is the foundation of the mountain climber. The movement of the legs is an attempt to disrupt the plank, but don’t allow it! To set up, place your hands or wrists right under your shoulders. Extend your legs into the top of a plank or push-up. Move one leg toward your chest and then back to the plank position, and then repeat with the other leg. This can be done slowly or quickly. Keep your shoulders over your wrists. Do not allow your hips, torso or shoulders to rotate.
Stand with your feet hip or shoulder width apart. Turn your toes out slightly — about 10 degrees. To descend, bend your hips and knees as if you were sitting into a chair. Keep your thighs and feet in line with one another, and don’t let your knees bend past your ankles. Maintain a good neutral posture and keep your torso tall. To ascend, drive through your feet to straighten your legs and stand tall. Squeeze your glutes at the top.
Jumping Jacks
Start in an athletic standing position, keeping your hips and knees soft. From a neutral position, lightly jump your feet apart (approximately 12 to 18 inches) and simultaneously move your arms from your sides to up over your head. Lightly jump your feet back together, and move your arms back to your sides. Be sure that your knees don’t cave in as you jump out. Keep your knees in line with your feet and hips. Land softly. Low-impact version: Tap your right foot out to the side and raise your right arm overhead. Repeat on the other side.

“Inside” Tips for Staying Fit