The new year is here, and as always, everyone has decided to hit the gym once again. If not, you’ve at least convinced yourself that you’ll try to be healthier this year around, perhaps even for the entire upcoming decade. Also, I bet you had ideas of becoming financially independent as well — the combination of health and wealth. Truly a herculean achievement to unlock.
In all fairness, this can all seem like a pipe dream at first. But maybe we’re looking at this all wrong. What if we decided to look at fitness as a requirement, more than the icing on the cake? And, what if there’s a way to fast-track your journey to financial independence?
The best way to achieve it is by freelancing. And if you’re looking to start, I invite you to click here, here, and here. Physical fitness can be incredibly important, not just as a freelancer, but in life as well. The feeling one receives after an intense workout is nothing short of refreshing. Let’s understand how to stay healthy as a freelancer.
Go for a run!
This one is mostly a no-brainer. Running has become almost the default form of exercise today — and for good reason.
Most freelance jobs involve a computer. Be it writing, graphic design, or data entry. Freelancers spend lengths of hours staring at their screens while rushing to meet a deadline. With all this hectic work going on all the time, there is no scope for physical activity and fitness as a freelancer, and, in-time, symptoms of deteriorating health can arise.
The simplest activity that can be done to combat this is cardio-related exercise. Running, cycling, etc. Anything that gets your heart pumping. It’s great to get your brain and metabolism all refreshed and tuned before you get to work. Cardio will help you burn fat and calories, not only keeping you healthier but also in good shape. It can also make your heart stronger and increases the capacity of your lungs. It also significantly reduces the risk of facing a heart attack, and your fitness improves significantly, beneficial advantages to have as a freelancer. It’s an absolute win-win!
Further, this requires no equipment per-say. Pull out those dusty running shoes you bought on sale last year and, well, run! Run around your neighborhood or find a nearby park. Some cities even have avid, passionate running communities that you could become a part of.
It’s a no brainer that most freelancers spend a majority of their days indoors. Exposure to fresh air can rejuvenate your body and mind. If you can spare around 10-15 minutes for a walk outside before you start working, you will be able to notice how exposure to nature can improve your attention span and your efficiency by a huge margin.
Most adults spend hardly any time outside, so preoccupied with technology and work rather than the natural world around us. Fresh air can clear your mind, and taking some time off to breathe can help relieve stress and boost mood and performance. Freelancing takes a lot of brainpower and giving yourself a little more time outside will refresh your system before you get to work.
Stand up and walk around
Have you ever come across the phrase,” sitting is the new smoking“? While smoking is still probably worse for you, research has shown that the effects of sitting for long hours at a stretch can be just as bad as the deadly habit. Both lead to similar results, such as type-2 diabetes, cancer, and even heart disease.
If you find yourself spending hours together in a seated position, try taking occasional breaks from it. During these breaks, go for a walk, or even stand. Try stretches and simple exercises.
The advantage of taking a break from sitting is that standing burns more calories. Also, sitting for long hours at a time can lead to unfavorable health issues such as vein related insufficiency and blood pooling in the lower extremities.
Research has shown that working professionals and freelancers alike can benefit a lot from taking breaks. People who take time away from their chairs are less bored or stressed. Standing and walking around during your breaks also keeps you more satisfied than you’d ever be sitting for long hours continuously. Basic fitness and physical activity can go a long way in making you more productive as a freelancer.
Eat Healthy Food
Since freelancing involves a lot of sitting in one place all day, it is important to keep a check of your diet. A lot of people tend to work for long hours with their computers and eat unhealthy fast food or snacks. How would you fix this? The trick is to fill your cupboard with healthy snacks that you can grab anytime. Avoid purchasing unhealthy items so that when you’re hungry, you’ll only reach out to food that will do your body good.
Snacks such as fruits, nuts, raisins, and raw vegetables would be a great addition to your diet. Such a diet will have a positive impact on your health, as you will notice cholesterol levels drop and a reduction of weight.
While fast-food and instant noodles aren’t the worst things to eat, eating healthier food can be beneficial in the long run, and a consistent effort to stay away from them can have severely detrimental effects on both your physical and mental health.
Be Kind To Yourself
On the topic of mental health, it can be easy to fall into a spiral of self-depreciation and lose confidence in yourself. Make sure you’re kind to yourself and don’t feel too discouraged if something goes wrong.
Things happen, and it’s okay to pamper yourself once in a while. Besides, isn’t that what freelancing is for in the first place? Go out. Have that ice-cream. Watch that movie. Take some time off. Relax.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep because sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on cognitive function and memory. Staying up late to finish that project will likely yield poorer results than if you got some good sleep and worked on it in the morning. Sometimes the most healthy thing you can do is nothing.
It’s easy to miss out on a healthy lifestyle and a fitness routine as a freelancer. Deadlines, long hours and exhaustion prevent many a freelancer from going out and being the most healthy person they can be. But since being a freelancer allows you to plan your schedule, you actually do have a lot of flexibility. In other words, you’ve got no excuse here. So pull your socks up and run for your life.
Even an hour of simple walking or jogging in the morning, coupled with a healthy diet can do wonders for your health and your energy levels. This will help you not only become a healthier person, but also an efficient freelancer.
Also, both professionals and freelancers have noticed improved cognitive function and lower stress levels after a workout session, which can be extremely beneficial — especially in situations with tight deadlines. Take advantage of this opportunity, and become the best and the healthiest freelancer that you can be. Because a healthy freelancer is a wealthy freelancer.