• February 18, 2020

Flexibility is a built into all of The Melting Pot’s services and most of our community have full control over the shape of their working week. When we called upon the wisdom of the TMP toilet whiteboards to tell us the pros and cons of going freelance, flexibility was cited as one of the benefits. This comes as no surprise, as after all, you get to do what you love for a living, within your own time, and in the space you choose. That isn’t to say, however, that freelancing is all fun and games. It necessitates lots of hard work, and that can make life as a freelancer hectic. Often, your busy schedule will leave you with very little time for other things.

Notable among these “other things” is exercise, it can be really tricky to prioritise with so much else to consider. A Healthline article notes that exercise can increase your energy level, along with reducing the risk of chronic disease, and improving your brain health and memory. As such, I’ve put together these tips to help all you freelancers out there harness these benefits:

Start with just a few minutes

In a feature about exercise, the Guardian notes that just a few minutes exercising can already do you a world of good. The key here is to minimise time being sedentary and exchange it with being active, even in the little things — going up and down a flight of stairs (or scaling the 4 floors up to TMP), tending to your garden, cleaning the house, preparing your meals, or even walking around the house. A Pain Free Working article about the risks of sitting too much explains that these activities, while ‘little’, can make a whale of difference already. It even reduces the risk of dying early! Truly, any form of activity is good for all of us, so keep doing those everyday tasks and maximise your movements!

Mark off exercise time

IDEA Health & Fitness Association’s Sandy Todd Webster recommends scheduling exercise time, then committing to it. “Literally write the workout into your calendar,” says Todd Webster, “and then hold that appointment as sacred.” One setup you might want to consider is allotting 30 to 45 minutes every morning to exercise. Doing so lets you establish a routine that you are likely to follow. Even better, a pre-work morning exercise will jump start your brain, and make you more alert and productive.

Aim for variety

While you want to establish a routine in terms of scheduling your exercise, it is best to vary the exercises you do. To this end, Metro’s start exercising guide advises you to consider the impact levels of various exercises. Brisk walking, for instance, is a good exercise for beginners, but can be rather boring. Running is even better, though it can be too challenging for starters. With that in mind, find exercises or physical activities that suit your fitness level. Just make sure they’re something you enjoy.

Take advantage of off-days

Finally, devote part of your off-days to physical activity. Spend more time at the gym. Participate in a dance class. Play sports. Doing so is a healthier way to spend rest days, and a means to better integrate exercise into your lifestyle.

Exclusively written for themeltingpotedinburgh.org.uk

By Jillian Cobb