Working, travelling, and staying fit: how to manage wellbeing for self employed? It is possible, but you need to be mindful about it.
For digital nomads with wanderlust in their veins, health sometimes takes the backseat as we try to wrangle our lifestyle and stay on top of career goals. There’s constant challenges – where to stay and work, and how to make money!
Wellbeing for self employed: the simple trick
Being exposed to different climates and environments can take its toll if we aren’t careful. Wellbeing for self employed and digital nomads means keeping fit. But, this can be hard because we usually don’t stick to one place long enough to invest in a gym membership.
What can we do if we want a toned, healthy body that we’re proud of?
It’s simple, we can walk.
Walking burns a ton of calories
According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, we need least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. If you break this up into small chunks, it means you can exercise for 30 minutes five times a week and get the full benefits. But you need moderate to high-intensity kind of aerobics to pull it off.
Walking offers just the kind of cardio you need — easy to do, and even easier to modify depending on your time and level of physical fitness. If you keep a leisurely pace, you can burn around 70 calories per mile. The more you increase your speed, the more you can burn. If you walk at a brisk pace, you can burn anywhere from 300-400 calories an hour.
Here’s a calculator that can help you count the calories. If you want more accurate results, you can always use a pedometer or a Fitbit bracelet that will measure everything.
If you’re quite out of shape right now, walking is a great idea because it allows you to start things at your own pace. You can then slowly increase intensity as you grow stronger and get more stamina. You might even be forced into walking as you globe-trot if you choose a style of travel like house and pet sitting.
Walking has a lot of health benefits
Walking doesn’t just burn calories, it also speeds up your metabolism. Even your passive metabolic rate can rise. This means that when you’re resting, you’re still using more energy than before, and your body starts melting fat quicker.
Hiking destinations are perfect for digital nomads
Want a surefire way to make yourself stick to an exercise regimen and finally get in shape? Take a hiking trip.
For a digital nomad, this can be a great experience that provides the perfect opportunity to blog about something extremely interesting. It also means you’re taking a big step for your health and you won’t be making any more excuses.
There are plenty of options to choose from, like the short and fun Inca Trail, to the memorable Camino de Santiago that can take up to a month to finish. The Camino is renowned for being a deeply transformative experience that lets you experience Spain the way you never have before. It’s very good for people who plan to work the entire time because you’ll generally have internet access for most of the hike.
If you really aren’t a fan of hiking, city breaks are the next best alternative. Sightseeing often means you have to cover a lot of ground on foot. Since you are too busy looking at said sights, you will not even notice how many miles you are covering.
If the main reason you’re not in good shape is that you find the whole idea of exercise kind of dull, then walking is a great choice for you.
It’s easy to multitask as you stroll. Put headphones on and listen to your favourite soundtrack, audiobook, or podcast, or take your camera with you and get some work done for your blog. You can take some stunning photos while you explore the city you’re currently in.
This option is perfect for a digital nomad or the self-employed who need unique and interesting ways to capture a journey, whether it’s in your backyard or further afield.
If your life is too hectic, organising a specific time when you can go and take a walk each day can help immensely. If you want, you can use a walking exercise as a rest from work. Determine a schedule that lets you work a few hours non-stop, but then take a half an hour hike to clear your head, get your focus back, and get inspired again.
Enjoy the ease of walking! This simple aerobic exercise can help you get in shape, and if you’re a digital nomad who craves to be inspired, it also offers you the opportunity to further indulge your wanderlust by exploring every destination on foot.
About the author:
Rebecca Brown is a translator by day, and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.
We’ve previously talked about great attributes coworking cafes have. As freelancers and digital nomads ourselves, we’re always on the lookout for coworking cafes that offer key ingredients we need for a productive day away from the home office.
The best coworking cafes we frequent all look great and offer a nice, comfortable space to work in, the sound is just right, as is the vibe. And of course a coworking cafe needs decent WiFi and power outlets.
Cooper and I have always mostly hung out in north / east London, and we’ve got a few of our favourite coworking cafes in this part of the city to share with you here. Of course, if you suggest others, please do let us know in the comments.
Our favourite coworking cafes in east / north London
Mare Street Market, E8 4RU (London Fields)
My cool friend Rosie introduced us to this lovely east London destination. I’ve never seen anything like it! Mare Street Market is nothing short of what you’d expect from the excellent area that is Broadway Market and London Fields. The space here is huge, with a stylish bar in the centre of it all, and smaller counters or stores around the edge of the space, including a podcast studio, florist, record store and café.
Mare Street Market offers long benches for working on, and an ambient outdoor area. The food and drink selection is great.
Downsides of this coworking cafe space is that it can get very busy later in the day on weekends or when the sun is shining, and there’s not easy access to power supply. For an hour or two full of good cheer and stylish environment though, we love this place.
Tip: time your trip here with breakfast on Saturday morning, and a wander around Broadway Market, our favourite London market.
The Last Crumb, N16 0AS (Stoke Newington)
This is a lovely little coffee shop – bright, airy, dog friendly, and conveniently positioned in the heart of Church Street, Stoke Newington. The Last Crumb is a reasonable size and has spacious tables to work out, with some access to power sockets. The coffee and snacks here are good too.
They offer the space up for events too, so keep an eye out for networking opportunities or local activities that may inspire further creativity.
Barber & Parlour, E2 7DP (Shoreditch)
This is typically cool Shoreditch, with a delicious menu and great energy always. We’ve spent hours working at Barber & Parlour, mostly on Sundays. The vibe is relaxed, there’s plenty of space and different options for seating. Cooper and I have always found a spot by a wall with a power socket, and there’s internet here.
As for most good places, it does get very busy as the day draws on, so we usually get here early, do a bit of work and head off around lunchtime.
Barber & Parlour is positioned in the middle of Shoreditch, not very far from Spitalfields Market, so there’s plenty to see and do in the area, including the graffiti walk if you want to fill your Instagram feed.
Dudleys Organic Bakehouse, E8 2LQ (Dalston);
We’re sorry this wasn’t around when we lived in Dalston – Dudleys is a new addition to the high street, not far to walk from Dalston Kingsland overground. It’s a fabulous space with excellent snacks, coffee, tea, Wifi and nice atmosphere.
We love the vibe here. Sometimes the music could be turned down just a smidge, but as far as coworking cafes go, this is one of our new favourites!
UPDATE: now also a lovely little cafe on Stoke Newington High Street, open Monday to Sunday 8am to 5pm, right near The White Hart pub.
Google Campus London, EC2A 4BX (Old Street)
We discovered Campus Londona good few years ago, prior to moving over here. This is a fabulous place for start-ups, freelancers, solopreneurs, tech and creative minds who want to learn, network and develop ideas together.
Campus London has a huge cafe dedicated to remote working. The whole place is pretty inspiring, and while I’ve not been there for a while, it’s always in my mind. You can sign up to access the facilities and their events. Find out more here. The slogan, ‘come start something’ says it all – so if you’re in the same frame of mind as us, let’s have a coffee here and make things happen.
Husk Coffee and Creative Space, E14 7LW (opposite Limehouse station)
This is a lovely, spacious spot, designed as a coworking cafe. Husk offers a variety of seating options including couches, small tables and benches. Food and beverages are aplenty; there’s an events calendar here too, and they host English practice get-togethers. A hive of creative energy!
Really keen to know what you think makes a great coworking cafe, and importantly where do you suggest, in London or the world? Let us know in the comments…
If you’re a freelancer, digital nomad or telecommuter, you’ll appreciate the value of a great coworking cafe. Not to be mistaken for a coworking space (which we’ll look at soon here on the blog), coworking cafes offer the best of a coffee shop but with work-friendly benefits.
The flexibility of working from home or remotely is, well, brilliant. But sometimes we need to get out into a place where there’s other people. This can be because ‘home’ (wherever you call it) is noisy, or lonely. I’ve done some of my best work immersed in ‘the zone’ in a fave coworking cafe discovered around London, Vancouver, even Cairns in North Queensland.
The line between a coworking space and a coworking cafe is blurring, as some coworking cafes around the world are really set up very well for working in. Fresh Cup magazine has written about these trends happening in the USA that we found interesting.
If you have a favourite coworking cafe I’d LOVE to know about it – please drop details in the comments below.
Attributes of a great coworking cafe
We seek work-friendly spaces everywhere we travel, from Ibiza to Lisbon, the Gold Coast to London. What distinguishes a normal café or space where it’s technically possible to work, from a fabulous coworking café space that’s free, motivating and easy to work in?
In our experience, a cool coworking cafe has:
Space and cool design elements
Our very favourite coworking cafes in London and around the world inevitably offer a sensory and design experience that we can’t get in the home office. In fact, it’s recognised that coworking cafes and coworking spaces of the future that are to attract the most clientele, will boast cool design. We want to be creatively inspired, and it starts with the architecture and interiors of the places we’re working.
Hotel cafes and bars often do this really well. The Hoxton in Holborn and W Hotel’s Perception Bar in Soho London, and Room Mate Aitana in Amsterdam are great examples.
Essentials in a coworking café also include comfortable seating and a nice amount of space. Various options for working such as bench space, tables, seating at different heights and maybe even some sofa areas are also preferable.
Our favourite coworking cafes are bright, inspiring, interesting but ultimately cosy. They’re convenient, with easy access to transport and other amenities in a city we’re visiting or working in.
Delicious coffee and food (fuel!)
There’s nothing quite like the tantalising smell of fresh food and coffee while you work. I especially like it when I’m not having to cook it. That’s just me though.
A coworking café should offer great coffee and a range of food, from treats to lunch. Preferably at reasonable prices.
Energy and ambience
There’s a fine line between ‘just right’ and ‘too much’ in cafes targeting freelancing or digital nomads. Cooper and I need to find a place that plays agreeable music. This obviously might differ person to person. The best type of work soundtrack for me is smooth House or world music like Buddha Bar. I don’t want music blaring, but I’d like to be able to hear it and enjoy it.
Similarly, if the crowd in the café is too noisy, or there’s kids running around, I can’t work effectively.
My best experiences in coworking cafes are when the energy is buzzing and there’s other people working in there. Sometimes you can catch the right level of background activity like food prep, conversation and background noise that makes it easy to focus on the task at hand.
Dog friendly is always a bonus!
Easy access to decent tech
We’re talking about ‘working’ after all, and there are some basics that all remote workers will agree on:
Stable, quick, reliable internet
Inexpensive internet access (if not free)
A secure connection is preferable. That said, we have recently purchased a VPN to keep our networks private when we’re working out and about. Reputable firewalls and virus protection should also be implemented on your machines. For more on safety for digital nomads take a look at this helpful piece from Traveling Lifestyle
Plenty of accessible power outlets – the scramble for the only corner in the room with an electrical socket is never fun.
Know a spot that fits the criteria? Also keen to hear about what other elements you consider are crucial in a work-friendly coffee shop. Do please share in the comments.
Welcome to Travel Live learn, where we are passionate about living a life full of great adventures. We are Sarah + Cooper: we know life's short, and we're here to encourage you to make the most of it! We have worked in media, communication and creative roles for many years, and have spent over 10 years living and working abroad. Our hottest content topics here are pet friendly travel, house + pet sitting, and designing a life as expats or digital nomads wherever in the world you want to be. Join our community of over 11,000 like-minded adventurers - find out more by signing up for the mailing list and our Facebook Group. Find us on YouTube too. NEW podcast now live: search 'Freedom and Four Paws' on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or your fave podcast service provider.