At the very mention of the word “workout”, countless people cringe instantly. Far be it from pure laziness, a lot of us are hardwired to believe that working out has to be taxing, punishing and rewarding only in the long term. And even when the reward comes in the form of a great body and health, you still have to work tirelessly to keep it. But little do we know that such rewards can come even with the slightest changes in our everyday life. Read on to see just how easy working out can get.
Set goalsThis is probably the first thing you should do. Whatever effort you decide to make is ultimately going to be fruitless, unless you set some realistic goals. They should be defined as specifically as possible, so as not to find yourself groaning every time at the incoming workout session. For example: „I will do twenty jumping jacks every day this week“, or „I'll start with five squats and then raise them by five every following day“. If you focus entirely on the bigger picture, like losing a certain amount of pounds by a certain deadline, you're causing greater pressure on yourself, thus increasing your odds of giving up.
For those of you who work in an office, bound to a desk for eight hours a day, there are two nifty little “hacks” you probably didn’t know were workouts:
- Keeping a good posture – while sitting, for an hour each day, move to the edge of your chair, back as straight as possible, shoulders rolled back and down, with your abdomen and core tightened. It sounds easy, but keeping a good posture is an endurance workout, like doing planks.
- Standing up – during conference calls, presentations, meetings… stand up from your chair and walk around as much as possible.
Sneaking in workouts
Another way to get yourself used to incorporate workouts is to do insert them as smoothly as possible into your private life. For example, when you’re watching a TV show, do a set of short exercises during the commercial break. A series of yoga stretches on your bed, right before sleep and after waking up, or leg raises while you cook are also an option. You can also do a burst of high-intensity workouts just before you take a shower – like jumping jacks, mountain climbers and the like. These will get your heart rate up, and the shower will help improve the blood flow.
If you have a pet, you can include them in your routine as well. Dogs are especially useful in this particular situation because you probably already walk them on a daily basis. And if you don’t, now’s as good of a time as any to start! Spend at least an hour walking the dog around the block or, break up the pacing with a full minute sprint. Your furry companion is bound to love it. Play fetch, chase it around and see how fast your workout turns into a bonding session as well.
Ditch the car
Unless your workplace is too far away, and the way it is terrible, switch out your car trips for walking, cycling, or public transport. Whichever of those three you choose is completely up to personal preference, but each has its own great advantage. Public transport is cheaper and faster than the other two options, however, it’s more stressful and often overcrowded. Cycling, on the other hand, can be physically more taxing, but there are more practical solutions, like Reef electric bikes. These can save you the initial physical exertion, and ease you into the transition from carpooling to cycling.
Whether you are a gym rat in search of other ways to incorporate workout in your daily life, or someone trying to create a habit of it, make sure to inform yourself well, first. There are tons of great ideas and “hacks” that can help you bypass that initial urge to skip workout day and just go for the snacks and soda in front of your favorite TV show. Eating healthy and getting enough rest is a must, and if you set realistic workout goals in the form of small milestones, you’ll see how quickly your lifestyle changes for the better.