Sloth might be called a sin by some, but it feels so damn good to just laze around, working your way through your Netflix queue and DVR. There’s no way we weren’t intended to indulge. The problem is, we then get to a point where it hurts to move. Eventually we’ll even need to be crane-lifted out of the hole they cut in the wall of our house once our overtaxed heart gives out. Since no one wants that, but we do want to keep our relaxed lifestyle, here’s 20 helpful workout tips for those of us who love laziness.
Learn to Love Your Body
Most of the difficulty with working out isn’t physical, it’s mental. So, you shouldn’t take yourself out of the game before you even get onto the mat. Beauty comes in all shapes, and by thinking positively about yourself and forgiving your lines and curves, you develop a much kinder outlook that will serve you well, whether you get into the gym or not.
Find The Time
If you’re not a gym rat, you haven’t carved out time in your life for exercise, so you should do that first. Find a time that works for you to exercise, and then do nothing during that period for a few weeks. Now that you’ve carved out your workout schedule, you can add in whatever exercises you want.
Progress Not Perfection
Don’t jump in with both feet, as that rarely works. Even if you do 10 push-ups and sit-ups during your workout time, it’s more than you were doing. Then, next week, you can do 11 of both. Small changes are lasting, while big ones lead to burnout.
Pick Your Place
Instead of focusing on working your entire body, pick a specific area to work on. If you want to lose weight, the core is a good focus. You work that, adding in other areas as time goes on.
Easy Does It
Try growing your workout by small degrees. Begin very gently, adding in one more rep per day or per week. By changing a scant 1% with each upgrade, you eventually will be wherever you want.
Change The Game
This is a personal favorite. We all tend to think of going to the gym and sweating like a fiend as the only way to exercise. Hell no. There’s couch and bed exercises you can do that will start you off. First thing in the morning, do ten V-sit-ups or leg lifts. Anything to move, however small. The next time you’re on your couch, do a few dips or pop a couple of squats before you fast-forward through the commercials.
Do It Daily
This doesn’t mean blasting yourself day after day. It means getting into a daily habit of doing something each day, even if it’s just five minutes of skipping rope or 5 leg lifts. Keep the momentum going with movement and your body will start craving it.
Doing something you hate is not going to make you love it. If you like sports, or slow walks, or dancing, do those. Play tennis, climb a wall, or roll a giant tire of those things seem amusing to you. If they get stale, switch to something else.
Stay The Course
Persistence pays off far more in the long run than making huge changes. Also, when your body gets tired, get used to continuing to move, slowly and gently. Small, sustainable alterations that don’t take much out of you is the passcode to success.
Water Your Weight Away
Start drinking more water. Unless you’re already drinking a couple of gallons a day, staying hydrated is a big part of being healthy, and will aid you in dropping pounds, having energy, and building muscle. Ditch as many sugared drinks and coffee as you can in favor of the clear stuff.
Make More Mass
Muscles burn calories, even when they are resting. Rather than killing yourself with cardio, try to focus on adding muscle to your body. It will burn fat while you sleep.
Mix & Match
This has a double meaning. We’ve already said you should avoid getting bored with your workout, but you should also be picking workouts that hit multiple body parts. Squats work your calves, quadriceps (upper legs), and your sweet behind. The more of your body you can move with ever repetition, the more results you’ll get with less work.
Manage Your Fuel
Eating is as big if not a bigger part of the fitness game. Learn to eat carbohydrates before you work out, and have a protein snack within 30 minutes after you finish. The carbs give you energy to get the job done, while the protein helps you build the mass that will keep you trim and sexy.
Like food, giving your body lots of sleep is key to avoid overeating, stress, and have enough verve to actually do your exercises. Give yourself every opportunity to sleep long and soundly and your entire life will improve.
Human beings are social animals, so having a group or partner who you enjoy seeing and enjoy burning calories with will keep you going when you’re physical body is ready to say die. The more pleasurable your social life, the less you worry about your body.
Learn The Order
Knowing what routine to do in what order makes every pumping session, jog, or handball game better. Usually you want to lift weights, then do cardio, since the cardio is more likely to tire you out. Listen to your body as you add a new exercise and, if you start feeling worn down, switch up the way in which you do them.
Keep a Record
The mind lies to us if we let it. To avoid this trap of misinformation, you should have a record of every day you accomplished your goal, be it ten crunches, a 10 mile run, or just setting aside 20 minutes wherein you would be working out. That way you can cross something off for a sense of accomplishment, and look back to see how much you’ve done.
Get the Right Gear
Finding workout clothes you like, that make you look good, shoes that don’t hurt, and gear that does what you want are all important facets to motivating you to do it. Don’t go overboard spending a ton on gym memberships or snazzy clothes, but do feel good about the stuff you do have.
Fear is mostly just ignorance of a situation dressed up. It is also responsible for keeping more people out of shape than anything else. If you’re afraid of the gym, go there several times a week just to get familiar with the area. Go there at different times to find out when it’s less crowded. Take a buddy with you. The more educated you are and the more you know what you’re doing, the less fear will control you. Also, don’t be afraid that you can’t do it. You can, you just need the time to get there.
Keep It Up
No matter how slowly, how glacially, how plodding, just keep doing small things each day. If you don’t stop, even if you stay at the same pace, you’re never out of the fight.