5 Easy Fitness Hacks
I tend to feel like it's easier to be active in the summer than the winter. I like to blame winter weather, but when I really tried to find more ways to be active, I realized there were things I could do all year round. Here are five tips to help you work a bit more activity into your busy schedule, no matter what season it is.
Count Your Steps
Credit: Giorgos Michalogiorgakis
Use a pedometer, Fitbit or NikeFuel to track your steps. I work from home, and when I started counting my daily steps, I was horrified. I knew I was pretty sedentary, but I didn't realize just how few steps I took in a day. The step counter reminds me to get up, walk, and stretch during the day. I can pace and walk around the house while I'm on calls instead of sitting at my desk. After I started using a FitBit, I made a happy discovery -- I walk at least half a mile doing basic chores, and even more when I do the bigger household tasks on weekends. I can always use more motivation to clean.
Give Yourself A Challenge
Credit: Missy S
Maybe your challenge could be to walk a certain number of steps each day. You could challenge yourself to do a daily yoga practice. There are also many single-activity "30 days" challenges that focus on a single task -- like doing squats or planks. While none of the challenges on their own will make up my whole fitness routine, they help me with my daily goal to sit less and move more.
Don't Be A (Total) Couch Potato
Credit: Deb Hultgren
Instead of just sitting and watching television commercials -- or fast-forwarding through them -- use them as a fitness break. A half-hour sitcom has 8-10 minutes of commercials. Keep a mat by the television, and use the breaks as time to get up off the couch and move your body. Do some stretches. Do some burpees. Get your kids involved. Then settle back to watch some more of the show... until the next commercial break.
Credit: Dinner Series
Over the past several years, I've become much, much better at drinking water regularly throughout the day. It helps me keep my energy levels up. If I'm feeling sluggish, chances are I haven't had enough water. Even I have to admit that I sometimes get tired of water, and that's when I read for my infuser. My favorite thing to put in water is cucumber slices. Try it!
Work Out With YouTube
Credit: Three pound weight on a purple yoga mat via Shutterstock
I have workout DVDs. I have many workout DVDs. I have to confess I don't use them a lot. There's something about them that I find a tad intimidating, sometimes. Last year I discovered something that I love. Lionsgate has a whole YouTube channel of workout content called Lionsgate BeFit. It allows me to sample all kinds of different workouts. I also love that the workouts are different lengths. I can find a 30-minute workout, but if my schedule only allows me 10 minutes? They have those, too. If I'm traveling, the workouts can travel with me.
How do you work more activity into your day?