Now that you know all about the numerous amazing benefits of exercise and summertime is right around the corner, you may be wondering what to do if you don’t have time to actually head to the gym for an intensive hour-long workout. Just so there are no excuses (you’re welcome), here’s a handy little list of tips and tricks and my favorite ways to stay active regularly (without *actually* working out at the gym).
1. Energy Bursts
Try to incorporate 20-30 second “bursts” of exercise throughout the day, such as during your lunch break or during a commercial break. This can consist of any movement- whether it’s going up the stairs or jogging in place, it will help improve your overall cardiovascular fitness.
2. Set A Goal
Pre-determine a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART). An example of a SMART goal would be to drink 8 glasses of water every day for 2 weeks rather than to just “lose weight”. Make sure your actions are specific to your goal (i.e. using lighter weights with more reps to promote weight loss vs. using heavier weights with less reps to build muscle).
3. Have Fun
Keep your workouts fun by partaking in activities you enjoy doing anyways, like dancing in a Zumba class or playing a sport with a group of friends. Plus, the time will go by much faster when you’re having fun!
4. Outdoor Workouts
Take advantage of working out in nature, especially when the weather is nice. This can be as simple as a walk around your neighborhood or as adventurous as an exhilarating hike on a Colorado mountain trail.
Find a friend or workout partner to hold you accountable so you can both encourage each other to reach your goals. You can even take it a step further and ask them to join you in active events (going to the park vs. going out to eat).
6. Workout App
Download one of the many available apps to help you incorporate workouts that best fit your lifestyle and goals. If you’re short on time, this free 7 minute workout by Fitbit on YouTube is also highly effective.
7. Active Lifestyle
Make staying active a part of your daily lifestyle. For example, park your car in a spot that is further away to get in some extra steps, or take the stairs instead of the elevator when available. Every step counts!
Being mindful of your diet and nutrition goes hand in hand with living an active lifestyle. This does not mean to go cold turkey on all your favorite foods, but simply to be aware of your portion sizes and pay attention to the quality of foods you are consuming.
9. Drink More Water
Ensuring your body is adequately hydrated is one of the best ways to remain healthy when you’re too busy to hit the gym for an intense workout. Skip the coffee, soda, and sugary beverages to avoid dehydration – it may be difficult at first, but your body will thank you in the long run.
10. Stay Inspired
It may be popular opinion that getting started is the hardest part, but staying consistent can often serve as just as much of a challenge. Keep yourself going by watching motivational videos or following other people who inspire you to create a healthy and active lifestyle.
If you know me at all, you know my love for bonuses in nearly everything I do, so here is a bonus tip: Listen to your body. Each person has a unique body with specific needs and various preferences and different tips that work for them and their lifestyle. The best thing you can do for your health is that when your body is trying to tell you something, listen to it. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
There are so many ways to stay active and be healthy, so choose the ones that work the best for you and you’ll be more likely to stick to it in the long run and create a truly healthy lifestyle. Let me know if these tips work for you, or if you have any other tips to create an active lifestyle.