Tips for balancing work and fitness when self-employed

Modern working life doesn’t really lend itself well to physical fitness. We spend a lot of time sitting down, staring at screens, and not moving around.

Also, when you’re running your business from home with an irregular schedule, it can be difficult to find the time to get into any kind of fitness routine at all. 

Luckily, we’re here to help you out with some everyday tips for balancing work and fitness, like these:

  • Stick to office hours.
  • Get some fitness gadgets.
  • Surround yourself with healthy food.
  • Make long-term changes
  • Set yourself some targets.
  • Change your lunch routine.
  • Workout at your desk. 
  • Find a fitness partner.
  • Join a 24-hour gym.

Stick to office hours

It’s impossible to balance work and fitness if your work time spills over into your personal time. 

Try your best to stick to office hours to make sure you’ve got time for regular exercise. If you’re self-employed, it can be a little trickier. So try your best to set working hours for yourself, stick to them, and don’t feel guilty about it. 

Get some fitness gadgets

There’s a gadget for everything these days, and health and fitness are no different. 

There are loads of gadgets out there that can monitor and track your progress. There are smartwatches and apps that record your heart rate, the calories you’ve burned, or even your sleep pattern, giving you all the information you need to complement your fitness regime. 

Surround yourself with healthy food

Fitness is as much about diet as it is about exercise. If you’re trying to keep fit without the right food, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. 

The hardest part of this is resisting temptation, especially when you’re self-employed or working from home. Don’t deny yourself food or starve yourself, just stock your house or workplace up with healthy snacks. 

Make long-term changes

The reason most fitness regimes fail is because of their inconsistency. A workout here, a nice salad there, all the while resenting the effort. 

Most healthy folks will tell you that the only way to do it is by incorporating healthy changes into your everyday routine. If you manage to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet every day, eventually it won’t feel like work at all. 

Set yourself some targets

Staying fit can also be difficult if you don’t have a specific thing to work toward. A fixed target will give you something to aim for and keep you motivated. 

Your target can be anything like:

  • A target weight.
  • A certain distance to run.
  • Doing 10,000 steps a day. 

It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve and your current fitness level. The important thing here is not to overreach. If you’ve never run before, maybe don’t plan to run a marathon in a couple of weeks. An impossible target will just demotivate you when you invariably miss it.

So start small, and build up slowly. You can always push yourself further once you’ve reached your first goal. 

Change your lunch routine

Most people don’t do much with their lunch break. Worse still, a lot of people will just eat at their desks while carrying on with their work. 

Try fitting in some physical activity during your lunch break instead. You could fit in a short workout, go for a walk, or even just do some stretching. The important thing is to get yourself moving as opposed to sitting down for another hour. 

It might sound like effort, but a break from your work with a bit of physical exercise is great for your body and your mind. It will help lower stress and re-energise you for the remainder of the day. 

Workout at your desk

If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk for your work, you probably find it difficult to find opportunities to exercise. But there are loads of simple exercises you can do while working that will increase your overall fitness. 

It’s generally recommended that you take a short break every hour to increase productivity, so get into the habit of doing small bursts of exercise during these breaks. 

You could do short sets of pushups, lunges, plank exercises, or walk up and down some stairs. At the very least have a full-body stretch to loosen you up after sitting for most of the day. 

There are also some sneaky exercises you can do while working. For example, you could buy some grip strength trainers for a great forearm workout you can do whenever you have a free hand. Or you could invest in a mini exercise bike, a fun bit of kit that will fit under your desk, allowing you to pedal throughout the day. 

Find a fitness partner

Getting fit can be difficult when you’re doing it alone, so reach out to a friend or co-worker and work out together. You can support, encourage, and challenge each other to stay on track. 

If it works for you, introduce a competitive element to the whole thing. You could work toward a large event like a marathon or charity run and see who can do the best. 

This doesn’t work for everyone, some people prefer to get on with it on their own, but if you’re competitive at heart, having a friend there to push you can be a great motivator. 

Join a 24-hour gym

If you find yourself working irregular hours and find it plan ahead, a 24-hour gym is a great idea. It will allow you to fit in a workout whenever you have the opportunity, whether it’s late at night, early in the morning, or on a lunch break. 

We’ve talked a lot about scheduling and time management when it comes to fitness, but we understand it isn’t always an option when you’re self-employed because your schedule could be pretty erratic. 

The truth is that maintaining fitness with a schedule like this means you’ll need to grab the opportunity to work out whenever you can. 

Keep your finances healthy with a simple app 

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 
Find out more here.

Related Resources

Read more