There are some unique challenges to staying in shape as a freelancer. On the one hand, you don’t have to work a typical 40 hour workweek and usually work from home, so it might seem that you have more free time than most people.
On the other hand, many freelancers have staggering deadlines to meet and often have unpredictable schedules. This can make it hard to stick to a schedule, like going to the gym several times per week at a designated time.
Freelancers often spend a lot of time in front of their computers, on the phone or working in public places such as cafes. This is not always the best way to stay in shape. That’s why it’s important to come up with a fitness routine that is consistent with your lifestyle.
Simple Yet Great Exercises Freelancer Can Work On
The following ten exercises can help you stay in shape no matter where or when you are working!
1. The Freelance Power Walk
Walking has been proven to be one of the best exercises of all, especially if you walk as quickly as possible (sometimes called power walking). On average, a person who weighs 180 pounds will burn about 100 calories per mile.
The key to getting as much as you can out of walking is to do it consistently. One great thing about walking is that you can do it anywhere. To correctly execute the freelance power walk, you must resolve to do it at least 5 days per week, no matter what your surroundings or the weather. Make sure you have warm clothes and rain gear for days when it’s a little rough outside.
If you work at home, you can simply walk outside your house, whether you live in the city, suburbs or a rural area. If there are outdoor trails or a running track that you prefer, you can drive there. When you’re traveling, you can always find places to walk.
Ideally, you should work your way up to around 5 miles per walk. You can even get some work done while you’re walking. Use this time to talk on the phone (it’s best to get a hands-free headset so you can maintain a good stride).
2. Freelance Burpees
This is an ideal exercise for someone who doesn’t belong to a gym, or who has a membership but seldom goes! You can do burpees anywhere, with no equipment and the only real limitation is that it’s best to have high ceilings or do them outdoors as you’ll be jumping.
A burpee is basically a combination pushup and jumping jack. It’s an intense cardiovascular workout and also builds upper body strength. If you’re not in shape, you may struggle to squeeze out one or two at first! If that’s the case, don’t be discouraged. Just keep trying and you will soon get up to 10 or more.
Start out in a standing position, hands at your side. Place both palms on the floor and jump back with your legs so you’re in a push-up position. Do a full pushup. If you can’t do this, you can cheat by placing your knees on the floor, but try to work your way to a real pushup.
When you come up from the pushup, leap forward with your legs so you’re in a crouching position. Then jump and clap your hands over your head. That’s one complete burpee. Doing 3 sets of 10 is an intense full body workout. You may start off doing considerably less, but any that you do will be of great benefit!
If you’re not used to doing intense exercises, you should start off doing burpees 2 or 3 times per week rather than daily. Even when you’re used to them, every other day is fine, as your muscles need a day off to recuperate.
3. Freelancer Stretches
Stretching is a great exercise that is beneficial for everyday life, which means you can do it much more often. In fact you should do it regularly, several times per hour. This can help you avoid many problems associated with sitting in one position for long periods of time. It can also be done whether you’re at home, in a hotel room or in a neighborhood cafe.
Stretching improves your circulation and relieves stress by relaxing your tense muscles and mind.
One type of stretch is to stand up and stretch your hands to the side and then over your head, taking a few deep breaths. Then swing your arms and body, first to one side, then the other in a swaying motion. This will loosen your back, shoulders and knees.
4. The Freelance Cobra
This is a variation of a yoga exercise, and is excellent for stretching your torso. For this one, you get in a pushup position on your stomach. Instead of doing a full pushup, however, press into the ground (or mat) with your hips while raising your torso.
As you do this, exhale and hold the position for 15 seconds.
5. Freelance Style Squats
This is another basic exercise with many benefits. While it can be done at the gym with weights, you can also do a free form version that’s just as beneficial.
Stand up straight, then bend your knees with your arms stretched out, parallel to the floor. Do the exercise slowly, in a smooth (not jerky) manner. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. You can work your way up to doing 25 reps, but don’t overdo squats, especially if you’re prone to knee injuries.
6. Freelancer On A Bike
This is the next best thing to taking a long bike ride. It’s one you can do right on the floor on your exercise mat. Lie on your back with your hands locked behind your head, knees bent. Begin moving your legs in a cycling motion. At the same time, move your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. If that does not work then using products like this Pedal Exerciser can be a solid alternative.
This simple motion is a great workout for the abs also known as the bicycle sit up, and you will start to feel it right away. Do 3 sets of 15 reps twice per week.
7. Freelance Pull-ups
These are classic exercises that you probably did in school. Many adults, however, find that they can no longer do them! That’s all the more reason to practice, as these are among the best upper body workouts of all. They strengthen the arms, shoulders and back.
You obviously need a pull-up bar do do this one, but that’s an inexpensive piece of equipment you can place in almost any doorway. Any bar, or even a tree branch will work as well! You can do as many of these as you can squeeze out, but don’t strain yourself at first. Start off with an underhanded grip, as this is a little easier than an overhand grip. Work your way up to 2 sets of 10 reps.
8. Freelance Warrior
This is simply shadowboxing. If you’re dedicated, you could get a punching bag or heavy bag, but practicing punches and kicks in the air is also a fine workout. If you want, you can imagine you’re striking a client who never paid you!
Punching and kicking is good cardiovascular exercise. You can alternate hands and feet. Be careful, though, as punches can strain the shoulders, and kicks take their toll on your knees. If you use about 3/4 strength, you should be safe. Do this for 5 minute bursts and you should feel rejuvenated.
9. Lunging Freelancer
This is a good stretch, as well as a core strengthening exercise extracted from yoga pose called Crescent Lunge, sanskrit name: Anjaneyasana, This posture stretches the thighs, hamstrings, groins and hips.
Step forward with your left foot and bend the knee so that it’s at a 90 degree angle with the floor. Your back knee should also bend towards the floor. Return to the starting position, change leg and repeat. Do 10 reps and then switch legs.
10. Freelance Chair Dips
This can be done using any type of hard chair. Sit on the edge of the chair with your hands behind you. Carefully slide off the chair, and bend your elbows as you lower yourself as close to the floor as you can manage. Then push back up. Do 10 reps.
Freelancers Can be Fit!
These are just some of the simple exercises you can do to improve your fitness level as a freelancer. You don’t have to confine yourself to these, though. Think of what else you might do. If it fits your schedule, you can always join a gym, but there are many effective exercises you can do at home (or wherever you are).
Freelancing requires you to be innovative about your career, and the same goes for your fitness routine. With a little attention and focus, you can be a fit and healthy freelancer!
How do you keep fit and stay healthy? What other exercises do you usually do to keep fit? Please share with us in the comments.