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Exercise & Work for Designers

Planet illustration studio company blog 030 / Adrian draws on his experience of fitting exercise into his daily work life... by freelance illustrator Adrian Cartwright

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Exercise tips for designers.

4th October 2016

Adrian Cartwright draws on his experience of fitting exercise into his daily work life.

Like many in Design, we sit around quite a bit, and as the years go on, we find ourselves losing that Athletic body and find ourselves slowly swelling.

Working from home you’d think you could down tools anytime, and go for a run. Alas, more like a drift to the fridge is probably a more realistic break from the desk.
Finding the time and motivation can be difficult and here’s my slant on it. WARNING ! You might not like it.

I’ve been a freelance illustrator for 26 years, I’m overweight and have a young family. I used to work from home, and did so for many years, but in early 2014 I moved my business out of the house and into rented studio/offices.
After many years starting exercise regimes in what was a relaxed work-life environment working from home, I was now having to commute and plan my day.
Commuting takes time, and boy it can take a lot of your day up, but what it does is segments your day, helping to define work and personal life.

So we have two situations...
Working from home, and from a work place. I’ve experience both, and from home I always struggled to keep a exercise routine. I think this was because I didn’t have a fixed element to my daily routine, like catching the 8:28 Bus.
Although I did have children to drop off at Nursery it was shared with Jacqui (better half) and my life was very flexible with no day the same or week for that matter. So routine seemed the thing I needed to keep me focused on a regular exercise. Something I simply couldn’t do at the time.

I found working from my studio / office in Derby City centre, took some of my time due to the commute, but it also gave me a less distracted day from personal life, and now because I was working within fixed hours, I found myself having a lunch break.
This is where I started swimming, a sport I’ve always enjoyed. So I started off easy with just a couple of swims a week, then up to 3 then 4 and even 5 days (Mon-Fri). I was on Fire !

How not to work around it...
This is when I noticed that I was not just swimming more often than not, but the time spent doing the exercise was getting longer and longer… All good for fitness I guess, but lets put it this way, I was swimming for 2 hours a day, 4-5 times a week, and in the middle of my working day.
8 hours is a whole day off work I realised.
It’s tempting to ignore the exercise and focus on the customer needs. Sacrificing your fun in the gym to pander to a customers urgent request is responsible for your business, but if done too often, can kill your exercise routine. So make those judgments carefully.

Happy with the length of time I was exercising I realised that I needed to move the time. That’s when I moved my exercise to mornings. This way it doesn’t impact on my working day and I get the routine I need to continue with my exercise…

One other idea that I’m currently experimenting with is making my commute the exercise. Walking and cycling is perfect when you think about it. Saving money by combining your travel with exercise. Something I’ll like to blog about in the future, so watch this space.

So to conclude.
there’s no secret way, it’s simply about making time, and for me ROUTINE is KING.
Another byproduct of regular exercise is happiness, it’s true. I feel more content and happier when I’ve exercised regularly.

I hope you’ve gained something that might help you with your Exercise and Work-Life balance.

Slightly thinner and more muscly Adrian Cartwright - illustrator. Make a plan.!

Author: Adrian Cartwright illustrator.

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