Easy ways to stay fit and active as a freelancer

Working out and staying fit sounds challenging, but it doesn't have to be
It is impossible to deny physical activity's positive effect on the body and mind. If you want to stay healthy, keep your mind sharp, reduce stress or even find inspiration and combat depression, exercising should have a spot in your weekly calendar. We've collected five activities you can easily fit around your frantic freelancing schedule, so consider this article your wake-up call and get out there!

  1. Yoga

Yoga may feel like a far cry from the sweaty workouts in the gym, but there's a reason everyone from your grandparents to the US Army is practicing it. Resources for beginners are available online, and a simple yoga mat can be found for around €20. It may take some time to get your head around the many poses, but once you do, you will have an extremely versatile tool to combat back pain, stress and soreness, which you can use for any duration, at any time of the day. If you're worried that sitting in a chair all day hurts your body, then yoga is the simplest and easiest way to fix that - it also helps with flexibility and balance, and leads to better sleep.

Check Jonna's yoga class from the Freelance Business Month.
2. Resistance bands

If you'd like to give your body a bit more of a challenge, resistance bands are a great step up from yoga. Even if you're struggling to do a single push-up, resistance bands will help you build up your strength bit by bit, as they come in different sizes. They are extremely versatile too and work equally well in the park and the bedroom. They are also easy to use, with plenty of workouts online. Bands can range from €10 to €50, depending on the brand, and they are easy to find and test in sports shops. Quite a few exercises can also be done while sitting, so now you'll have something to do during boring Zoom sessions!

3. Running

If your fitness level isn't very good, running can be painful at the beginning - but it can also become one of the most fulfilling forms of exercise you can do. With summer coming and the weather getting sunnier, it's a great time to pick up a pair of affordable running shoes and challenge your limits in the local park. As soon as you push through the initial barrier and your body adjusts to the stress, running will show you its full range of benefits. It will give you a sense of achievement for smashing past your previous records, it will clear your head and give you superhuman clarity of thought, it will benefit your lungs and heart, and help you shed some extra pounds. Also, it will make it easier to run after your bus.

4. Gym classes

If you struggle to be consistent in working out at home, the gym can help keep you motivated. It's like a Netflix subscription for your body! Most gyms offer free classes aimed at keeping you fit and burning fat, usually lasting less than an hour (typically 30 mins), so you won't feel like a beginner. Just do whatever you feel comfortable doing and work your way up.

With a lot of gyms reopening after the restrictions end, there will be plenty of discounts aimed at getting people to join. If gyms are still closed in your area, you can set a gym at home and follow online fitness courses.

Ivan Raynovski has kindly shared during the Freelance Business Month valuable nutrition tips and a quick exercise you can do at home at any time.

5. Cycling

If you commute to your favorite coffee shop to start work, cycling there and back can be a fun aerobic exercise that will give your body a boost and grease your mental wheels. It's also low-impact, so you won't worry about stressing your joints or hurting yourself. Taking a bike around a green park on a sunny day will relax and invigorate you, while going for a quick ride before breakfast will boost your insulin levels and help you lose weight.

Buying a bike can be expensive and will take up space, but leasing bicycles is becoming more and more popular - if you live in Belgium, you can lease a fancy bike for as little as €30 per month. Look for cycling communities around your area and find what suits you best.

You don't need to pick one option and stick to it - in fact, we'd suggest trying different activities to find the one you like best. The important thing is to give your body some exercise at least twice a week. It will help you feel more alive, and give you the confidence boost needed to tackle your work with laser-sharp focus. But be warned - exercising can become addictive!
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