Fitness can be a challenge when you're a freelancer. It's easy to forget about being healthy when you're working from home almost everyday. You can get sucked into the zone, spending hours on end in front of the computer, and completely forgetting about eating right or getting exercise. Then, when you eventually reach your off-hours, it can be extremely tempting to go on hibernation mode, sink into the couch, and stare at the television.
What's important for freelancers to remember is that staying fit means staying in the game. When you're sick, you can't work, and you don't get paid. It's definitely a lose-lose situation that you wouldn't want to find yourself in.
Have a plan. If you want to be a fit freelancer, you need to figure out what you want to do. Will you work out at home, or go to the gym? Will you be keeping a meal plan and set aside time for cooking, or will you have to allot time for dining out? If you work in a coffee shop or co-working space, you might want to enroll at a gym or yoga studio that's close to those places. The good news is, you can pretty much do anything you want since freelancing gives you the freedom to do so.
Make the time. One of the best things about freelancing is that you have full control over your schedule. You can figure out what time of day you can work out and take your snack, lunch, and dinner breaks. If you're a night owl and you do your best work at night, then you can surely find a pocket of time during the day for a workout session. If you like exercising early in the morning, then you'll have no trouble scheduling it before you start working.
Be sensible. When you have so much freedom, you can easily let yourself go. You can drink as much soda and coffee or eat as many chocolate bars and chips as you want. You can vegetate on the couch all day and stay up all night. You can work, work, and work, and eat late, or forgo it altogether. Don't do it! Commit to being fit and healthy, try to find a balance between work and personal time, and just take care of yourself.
Stay motivated. Tearing yourself away from the computer is already hard enough. Pushing yourself to exercise everyday and eating at the right time can require some motivation. If you really don't like working out or have trouble motivating yourself to stay active, simply moving around for a few minutes at a time in set intervals throughout the day can do wonders. Go for a walk around neighborhood, or jump around in your yard a bit. Every bit of activity helps.
Short breaks can do you a lot of good as well. Stopping every once in awhile allows your eyes, fingers, and brain to rest. You'll come back to your job with fresh eyes and renewed energy. And if you're finding it hard to stick to a balanced diet, make the effort to find recipes (or menu items) that you love. Buy your favorite fruits, and keep your favorite salad dressing and veggie dips in stock. If you like green smoothies or granola bowls, go for it. Healthy can be yummy, and if you have good food to look forward to, you won't be skipping meals and turning to junk.
Those times when you get extremely busy can be particularly challenging. When you're overwhelmed by project deadlines and you don't feel like you can muster up the willpower to keep up your fitness routine, tell yourself that you'll have trouble doing all that work if you're unhealthy. That should at least help get you up and running.
Freelancing and fitness don't seem to fit together, but they do. Being a freelancer gives you the flexibility to do what you want. Take advantage of that to be the best freelancer that you can be!
What's your workout routine? Do you have a go-to healthy meal? Let us know in the comments below.