As a remote worker I appreciate the many benefits of working from home, with the flexibility to arrange my day however I want being top of mind. In reality, though, often it just looks like me sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time and when I get behind you'll find me doing it during the evening, as well.

This physical inactivity has the potential to make me fluffy. It's also why I've made it a rule to exercise every single day. While such a commitment can feel like a burden, it doesn't have to if you're flexible.

Here's what works for me (I'm in my 40s and have a body mass index of 22.5, which is in the normal range):

Alternate between cardio and strength training.

If you can spare an hour to run five miles, definitely do so. But if you're pressed for time or the weather is ugly, focus on strength training, instead. Building muscle will increase your metabolism so that you burn more calories throughout the day. To do it, do at least 100 pushups and squats within an hour. It's really that simple.

Swim a couple times a month.

I loathe driving to the gym, so I only swim occasionally. But it's a great workout and a nice diversion from running and weight training. It's also a unique kind of exercise because of the compressive forces of the water. In fact, researchers have found swimming is particularly effective as a cardiac disease risk factor modifier.

Hike with a friend.

Hiking can burn more calories than regular walking, particularly if hills are involved and you walk slowly down them and quickly up them. Grab a friend to accompany you--researchers have consistently found a strong correlation between social interaction and improved physical and mental health. Not sure where to go? I use the AllTrails app to discover hiking trails near me.

Snack on protein and high-fiber carbs.

I admit, the older I get the less I can eat without putting on extra weight. I keep a bowl of hard-boiled eggs in my refrigerator and feel good about the protein they provide. And researchers have found that people who have more fiber in their diets tend to have healthier body weight. My go-to high fiber snacks: raspberries and blackberries. Each has about 8 grams of fiber in one cup with the Institute of Medicine recommending 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams daily for men.

Published on: Jun 20, 2018