Wfh Tip: Get Outdoors and Exercise

Los Angeles is starting to lift its stay-at-home restrictions, and hiking and cycling trails are among the things reopening.

Whew, just in the nick of time.

I haven’t really exercised since March (I don’t count doing a few pullups as “real exercise”), and my irritability is getting bad.

I need to get out and exhaust myself in some way at least once a week or I am prone to moments of anger and a general sense of angst.

So if you’re at home a lot and you’re feeling a little testy, try to get out.

This is the third in a series on tips for working from home. Previous posts were A Good Day Off, and Don’t Miss Your Sleep Train.

Get a Good Workout

I like a long, primarily cardio workout. It’s what I’m built for.

The key is to get your body moving. When you don’t even walk to your car to get to work, you end up with an abundant supply of energy waiting to get out. Most days you can ignore it, but keep it bottled up long enough, and it may get out on its own.

Apart from the positive effect this has on your mind, your body will end up fitter and healthier.

After a good workout you’re likely to sleep better, and we know that’s critical.

Get Outdoors

I used to swim laps, but after becoming self-employed I heard my own voice quite enough. Putting my head underwater to guarantee airtight isolation and staring at a line of tiles with nothing else to do but contemplate the same thoughts that have nibbled at my sanity all day is a “no thanks!".

I find gyms claustrophobic. Apart from that period when I was into racquetball, I never enjoyed being at the gym. Climbing gyms are an exception, but even then I prefer climbing outdoors.

The goal here is to escape. The inside of your house is thoroughly mapped, you need to go some place where the walls are out on the horizon and the ceiling is the sky.

One of the best escapes for me is mountain biking. There are a lot of trails (well, fire-roads really) that run for miles in the hills that surround LA. The uphill parts are a great workout and the downhill is thrilling.

A typical weeknight ride would be 20-something miles and 2000 feet of climbing, while a weekend ride would almost double both numbers. But forget the workout, the reason I did it was because the views and the contact with nature cleaned out so many of my worries. It reset me.

Maybe just look at these pictures I took on rides:

That last one could be used on a pamphlet about the after-life.

And maybe that’s the point. To get out, to get up a hill, and to look out at a view like that is the best way to feel that whatever comes will come, and it will be fine.

This was day 11 of the #100DaysToOffload challenge.

Olivier Forget

Los Angeles, USA
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Aerospace Engineer turned sofware developer and bootstrappin' entrepreneur.