Lifestyle

Ladies and gentlemen, please stand up! Whether you’re trying to lose weight or stay fit, it’s important to get regular exercise during the day - especially if you’ve got a desk job. That's why you should exercise at work. If you haven’t already heard, sitting for long periods of time has been linked to several serious health concerns, including an increased risk of heart disease as well as obesity and metabolic syndrome. It's also been tied to an increased risk of cancer in women. Related: 6 Workouts To Do At Your Desk Fortunately, some experts think these health concerns may be overblown, according to more recent research. However, it’s still very important to step away from your desk during the day. Even if you exercise regularly before or after work, studies suggest that it still might not be enough to counter the risks caused by sitting for prolonged periods of time. "Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your health and survival," says Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) Senior Scientist Dr. David Alter in this article. "It is not good enough to exercise for 30 minutes a day and be sedentary for 23 and half hours." “Okay,” you say, “I gotcha - sitting is bad and exercise is good. But how the heck can I fit in a workout while I’m supposed to be doing other things like…WORK?!” While it might seem completely unthinkable to try to squeeze in some exercise during the day, it’s not as hard as you might think, according to Locke Hughes, senior lifestyle editor at the health and fitness site, Greatist.com. “Trust me,” said Hughes, “I know it can be tough to work in movement especially on days when you feel chained to your computer, but there are some easy ways to save your posture and help your overall health.” Here are some sneaky ways to fit in exercise at work, according to Hughes:

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Don't you hate Monday? Ugh, nothing ever seems to go your way. Take a second to look of these signs that it's Monday. You know it's Monday when... Related: 8 Ways To Deal With The Monday Blues

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Do you have a hobby or two? What are they? How much time you spend doing them? (Psst! Can’t get hired? Watch this free tutorial.) I know your reaction to this line of questions, “Lisa, why are you talking about hobbies. You're a career management coach. You help people find jobs and manage their careers. What does a hobby have to do with a career?” I submit to you that it means a great deal. Our expression of ourselves in the activities we do, especially the ones we thrive at and get invigorated by tells us about ourselves. It tells us what we enjoy, our interests, sometimes our passions. It may even help us to find our next great career. Who knows by exploring an area of interest that you already enjoy what could be the possibilities to be involved in that industry. I know. I know. You are going to say, “But Lisa, if I did my hobby as full-time work I would hate it.” Perhaps. But it comes down to balance, doesn't it? Investing so much of our life and ourselves into constant work, drains us. It doesn’t refresh us. Who said you have to work “a million” hours a week to succeed in your career? Here’s my pitch to you... What if you actually worked a balanced schedule and refreshed yourself in the other parts of your life such as fun and recreation (hobby)? I believe you will be more productive, more creative, more relaxed, and even amicable in your work. What is your hobby? Biking, skiing, car racing, running, music, art, history, politics, kayaking, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, hiking, cooking, sewing, knitting, painting, writing, photography, aviation, jumping from airplanes and the list goes on. I am sure I missed a whole crowd of them. I have had difficulty in embracing hobbies myself. I am a very productive person and if I am not checking things off my list I have felt I was wasting time. Well, not true, friends. Not true. Hobbies are meant to relax us. They are meant to be enjoyed. Putting our energies into something totally different than our careers or businesses can help our bodies and our minds. We gain new perspective on our jobs. I promise you, you will feel better and be more creative. You may come up with an idea to fix a problem you never would have before had you not “walked away” to engage in a new passion, even if for a few hours at a time. I mentioned hobbies have been difficult for me. I am more of the lover of all, master of none when it comes to this. Here or some of the hobbies I have dabbled in over the years: sailing, surfing, scuba diving, knitting, painting, photography, skiing, and snowboarding. My current hobbies are more around what I can do with my husband and boys – kayaking, hiking, biking. I also have picked up knitting again. This hobby comes and goes throughout my life. I learned to knit in high school. I knit nothing fancy and am a slow one but I find it enjoyable at certain times. During the past two winters I was a puzzle fanatic. I would find a cool puzzle. Put it out on a table in our living room area and work through it over the course of a week or weekend. As friends came by, we would ofyen work on the puzzle as we talked and had a glass of wine. My boys would help out with the puzzle as well. It working my brain, but it was social, too. I have some new/old hobbies I would love to explore more. Kayaking – I want to pick up enough kayaks for the family and begin to do this more often from spring to fall. Painting – I have never taken a painting class and am not sure I will paint anything beautiful but I would like to try an abstract acrylic class. (If anyone knows of a good teacher who can put up with a complete art newbie, let me know).

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Balancing your family and work is very important. It can be easy to fall into the same old weekend routine with your family, especially if you have a high-stress career. In 2010, the travel agency Expedia conducted a survey on vacation time. As it turns out, 35% percent of Americans who took the survey felt more productive at work after coming back from a vacation, and 45% percent felt more in touch with their personal lives. So, turn off your work phone, hide the laptop, and take a little break with the family! Check out these fun mini vacation ideas that you and your whole family can enjoy!

1. Go On A Weekend Road Trip

Take your family exploring! Find an event you think your whole family would enjoy, pack your overnight bag, and get going!

2. Go Fishing

Whether you head to the seacoast or to a local pond, fishing is a great activity for the whole family. If you choose to fish locally, though, be sure to check and see if you need a fishing license! Even if fishing isn't your thing, you can still take the day and just relax on the water. It's as simple as renting a few kayaks.

3. Take Them On A Picnic

Pack some PBJs and take your family on a little picnic at a local park. This is a great way to get a little sunshine and fresh air after being in a stuffy office all week. Bring your Frisbee, kite, or puppy and let the fun begin!

4. Go Camping

Enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of the great outdoors! Camping is a great way to escape work and bond with your family. So, grab your sleeping bags, pitch a tent, and make some mouth-watering s'mores around the campfire.

5. Try Something New

Try rock climbing, go to a rodeo, or check out a car show. Do something that you have never experienced before; it could turn out to be a family tradition!

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Dear J.T. & DALE: I just turned 31, and I'm having a difficult time finding a career path. My mom says I should look into nursing, but I can't see myself being a nurse. Another idea my mom presented is becoming a mechanic. I like cars, but I'd rather drive them than fix them! My true dream is to be an actor! But the entertainment industry is very competitive, and my folks suggest that I have a backup plan. My mom told me that if I don't engage in something soon, then I have to move out. I could use some advice. - Tyler DALE: There are two basic career strategies: "Follow the money" or "Follow your passion." The second of these creates confusion, especially when stated as "Do what you love, and the money will follow." In your case, this would suggest that you're meant to be an actor. I'm not so sure. Do you love acting, or do you love the idea of being a successful actor? This is a critical question that applies to any career, not just the glamorous ones. Being, say, a successful stockbroker, is a wonderful job, but before going into that field, you need to ask yourself if you love financial analysis and selling, or if you love the idea of nice paychecks and lunches with clients. My point is that many people confuse a passion with a daydream. That's why we recommend a third path - what I think of as "Follow your gifts." J.T.: I agree, but I prefer the practical name "Leverage your skill set." I have stopped telling my clients to think about "a career" - the average person today will change careers many times - and instead I ask them to identify things they do well that apply to multiple careers. If you have acting skills, for instance, then that would be part of a skill set that includes speaking, performing and presenting. Which careers utilize those skills? Sales, customer service, training and so on. The key, Tyler, is to choose something that will let you start gaining experience, and then, over time, you can alter your path. I don't think this is the answer you wanted, but I believe your parents are right - jump in and get started. © 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale at advice@jtanddale.com or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
This article is part of an exclusive month-long program on CAREEREALISM to help readers break free of The Golden Handcuff Effect. Click HERE to learn more about the Professional Emancipation Project, a.k.a. The P.E.P. Talk. When I was approached to write an article for CAREEREALISM on work-life balance, I LOLed — laughed right out loud at my monitor. Some think I’m a master at this topic, but I hardly feel like a respected authority. Maybe I’m being too modest. I think I’ll just tell my story and let you decide. But, first, I have a confession. As much as I enjoy getting to know job seekers, clients, and old friends online and on social media, and let them into my family world (my kids keep me pretty busy and I’m always posting about them) and my professional life (I write about my business A LOT), there is one area I don’t talk about much. In this article, I’ll give you my thoughts on work-life balance with an added twist involving a third factor, a surprising extenuating circumstance in my life, that requires additional balancing. It’s personal, but it’s what makes me feel even remotely qualified to write on this topic, so I will share a relevant perspective I’ve never shared so publicly before. Before I jump into that, I want you to get to know me a little. Some of you know me for my hats. So, let me introduce myself. I’m Kristin — the hat lady. (A step above crazy cat lady.) There are three main hats I wear, symbolically. Family, business, and my surprise mystery circumstance. I’ll tell you more about the real reason for the hats later. The first hat symbolizes the overriding priority and motivation in my life. Family. I’ve got a lovely dog, Bella, my significant other, Tom, and our two children, William and Ruthanne. They're our pride and joy. I’m an only child, as is my mom, so our family is small, and my kids get plenty of attention (especially with their main talents). They're Shakespearean actors and the theater is often half-full of family and friends, coming to see my offspring. They have such a flair for acting, just like I have for hats. My other pride and joy is my business, Profession Direction. I’m an executive resume writer and job search coach. I help professionals find their ideal job faster. About three years ago, I decided to work from home. Since then, I’ve built a national name for myself by obsessing over resume writing best practices and learning the secrets of the “hidden job market.” I get geeked up about nerdy things like grammar rules, webinars, and Microsoft Word formatting tips. I enjoy marketing and promoting my brand as the hat-wearing resume writer. Running a virtual office has got its challenges, though. A lot of work hours (balanced with hours in the theater). So, why start a business when I have active kids to distract me? The biggest part of why I decided to set up my virtual business is also the next hat I wear and the third thing I balance. This hat is purple, the color for lupus. I was diagnosed about five years ago and have struggled to balance my family, my work, and my treatment for the disease. As much as I love that people know me for my funky hats, they serve a medical purpose – I’m extremely photosensitive and they protect me from UV light. Luckily, I have a good sense of style (at least I think so). The good news is that my lupus is not life-threatening. There’s a high likelihood that I will live a normal life-span. But, I have many symptoms and appointments that don’t lend themselves to holding a normal job. I thought there MUST be something I could do from home and have the flexibility I needed to balance the three most important aspects of my life – my family, work, and now my health. Since I had been working with job seekers in person as a contracted job developer through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and loved writing their resumes, doing that from home, virtually, was a no-brainer. I’ve expanded beyond that original vision, and I’m so glad I made the decision to take my career into my own hands. Have I become an expert at running my household smoothly while working from a home office since making that decision? Am I Wonder Woman? No and no. But, I’ve learned work/life/health balance is a continuous process. I work toward it with a few small strategies:

1. Every day, every hour, I ask myself: What is the best thing to be focusing on right now? And then I give myself permission to reprioritize, do it, try something new.

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I often say that getting a job IS a job. It turns out that the IRS sees it that way, too! Job hunters can (under certain circumstances) deduct expenses they incur in their search for employment as if the job hunt were a business. In this week's U.S. News and World Report article, I offer some tax and financial management suggestions from a CPA specifically for job hunters. You're probably not cheered up by carefully tracking and recording all your expenses - especially when you're unemployed or looking for a new job. Yet, when you take charge of your finances and maintain good records, you can claim the deductions that are legitimately yours at tax time, and maintain your best possible financial situation for both the short and long term. Happy hunting! READ FULL ARTICLE ► Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This article is part of an exclusive month-long program on CAREEREALISM to help readers break free of The Golden Handcuff Effect. Click HERE to learn more about the Professional Emancipation Project, a.k.a. The P.E.P. Talk. Did you know that you can actually find work from home jobs from Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, or businesses with a national footprint? There once was a time when going to work meant that you had to get up early in the morning, get dressed, make breakfast, rush out the door, drive in hours of traffic, and arrive at a remote location to perform your job. You assume that this is the only lifestyle – isn’t this what everyone does? Your employment circumstances look exactly like your parents’ way of life. The working world is changing – old business conventions are being replaced with new technologies. New business models are replacing their venerable older models. Both businesses and government are realizing that making it easy for their employees to telecommute can be cost effective, have major impact on work life balance, and help them retain a happy, dedicated, workforce.

Hundreds Of Work From Home Jobs

Contrary to public opinion, there are hundreds of legitimate home-based opportunities, provided by companies, and U.S. Federal and State agencies you know. The Internet revolution has created a new means of communication; as a result, many jobs that needed to be performed on the business site, are now perfectly performed in the home. In addition, the fear that work performance levels would sink, due to lack of direct management, is no longer an issue, because of the cutting edge advancements in the fields of communication and data technology.

So, What Are My Options?

You can telecommute from home as an employee, or as an independent contractor, otherwise known as a freelancer. Some telecommuting positions allow the worker to be home all the time. Other telecommuting programs require the worker to spend some time in the office during the week but allow them to complete the majority of their work at home. You can find work from home jobs with Fortune 500 companies, like AT&T, Dell, Google and Amazon.com. Several large companies, and even the United States government have embraced telecommuting options for employees. At Dell, managers work with their teams of employees and make individual arrangements that can include working from home. Dell is just one of the many companies that have started to offer telecommuting for employees. You can also find work from home jobs within the U.S. Federal government. On December 9, 2010, The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Act), was signed into law. The Act has had tremendous impact in aiding Federal agencies to broaden the telework experience for federal workers. You can find available government job listings offering telecommuter opportunities, by visiting USAJobs.gov, and entering the keyword telecommute in the search bar under “What.”

Micro-Entrepreneurship

Micro-entrepreneurship is a viable option if you want to begin to work from home, either to supplement your income, or build a home business. Micro-entrepreneurship is performing small jobs that can be done in your spare time. Some freelance websites allow you to list jobs that you are willing to do for a fee. Then, companies and individuals can hire you to complete the job. You can sell services that are in demand, and can be completed quickly, to build a substantial income on these freelancing websites. Most freelancers who use these websites, only receive part of their freelance income from the sites. As a micro-entrepreneur, you get to earn a great living, and sustain work from home jobs that you love. Fiverr.com, ODesk.com, Elance.com and Amazon’s Mturk.com are a few micro-sites that come to mind. If you are skilled in the creative arts, you can find fulfillment when sharing your talents as your business. Writers may find a way to write that first novel. Often, artists and writers need to keep working a regular job until they achieve some level of success with their art. Telecommuting or owning a home-based business may provide additional time at home, and flexibility, that the artists and writers can use to perfect their skills and use their talents.

How Can I Find Work From Home Jobs?

Numerous options are available if you want to find work from home jobs. If you are happy working in your current field, you may want to discuss telecommuting with your employer. You can also look at employment websites for work from home opportunities. Finally, if you are a budding entrepreneur, you can find success at home, by building a business focusing on helping others. With some creativity and hard work, you can work from home, in a way that will be most fulfilling to you.

The P.E.P. Talk

This article is part of our P.E.P. Talk Series. Over the next month, some of the brightest and best authors, business professionals, and coaches are coming together to share their valuable advice for breaking free of "The Golden Handcuff Effect" so you can take full ownership of your careers and experience Professional Emancipation. Photo Credit: Shutterstock