If anybody needs to incorporate fitness into their weekly routines, it’s social workers. Online publication Social Work Today explains that burnout in the field of social work reached historic highs during the pandemic. The turbulence caused by the global health crisis created a greater demand for helpers, which has amplified the workload for many professionals in social work. According to virtual care company Wheel, the demand for remote social workers and therapists has also increased. High demand amidst a shortage means that today’s remote social workers may be forced to take on more than what they can handle.
Regular exercise can help social workers better navigate the challenges of their field. With regular exercise, social workers will have an easier time navigating their moods, which makes them more resilient against stressful situations. Below, we’ve provided a few tips that can help remote social workers make time for exercise amidst their busy schedules.
Make a Schedule
Don’t make exercise an afterthought. Rather than saying, “I’ll start my workout when I have time,” block off time in your calendar for your workout. If you scheduled your workouts as if they were work appointments, they would feel like more of a serious commitment. Additionally, you will also be less likely to set exercise aside if you’ve already included it in plans. It may also help to make certain adjustments to make time for exercise, such as waking up earlier.
Start with Simple Exercises
Many people are under the impression that exercise won’t be effective unless it is difficult. Though it is true that harder exercises will make you fitter faster, it’s easier to build the habit when you start with exercises that you can manage. That way, you set goals for yourself that you can easily meet, which can encourage you to push yourself further.
Our article on ‘Easy Exercises You Can Do at Home’ recommends simple exercises like walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming. Start with something you enjoy. For example, you can try walking around the neighborhood for 10 minutes. Once you get used to it, you can either increase your intensity or take longer walks. It’s all about setting small goals, meeting them, then slowly pushing yourself past your limits.
Try Workout Apps
If your job doesn’t give you enough time to see an instructor, try learning from a workout app. Free workout apps can give you access to instructional diagrams, guides, and videos. They might also come with features that help you track your progress. According to a list of workout apps, the best free workout apps include FitBit Coach, Nike Training Club, and Johnson & Johnson’s 7 Minute Workout App. Johnson & Johnson’s 7 Minute Workout App is particularly suitable for workers with hectic schedules, since the app limits its sessions within a short 7-minute to 16-minute range.
Look For Short YouTube Videos
For workers that don’t want workout apps depleting their phone storage, YouTube videos from reputed instructors might be the way to go. Usually, instructors on YouTube will have their own specialty; channel Blogilates creates Pilates workout guides for women, while Yoga with Adriene produces yoga videos for full mind-body improvement. Social workers can benefit from the full-length instructional videos produced by Fitness Blender, which each range from 10 minutes to one hour. The channel has over 500 videos that cover a wide variety of fitness topics, enough to help you build an effective workout routine.
Include Exercise in Family Time
If you still don’t have time for the short exercises recommended by workout apps and videos, why not try including exercise in your other obligations? Social workers that have their own families can use exercise to bond with their children. For example, you can make your daily walk more enjoyable by bringing your children with you. Or, you can try looking for exercises that are easy enough for you and your kids can do together, such as yoga or tai chi. This way, the family can spend quality time together while also protecting their overall health.
No matter what your profession is, it’s important to get a healthy amount of exercise. Social workers, who have experienced higher stress levels due to the increased demands the pandemic created for their field, should include exercise in their routines to build better physical and mental resilience.
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