Everyone wants to be healthier, leaner, and fitter when a new year starts, and the laziest of us are no exception. Well, what works for the more active individuals won’t really work for the lazy. The fact is you can’t go from an essentially sedentary lifestyle to a bouncing-off-the-walls, smiling-in-the-gym lifestyle. That would be skipping several very, very, very important steps.
If you’re a lazy person who wants to become a healthy, active person with a fitter bod, then you have to do exercises and programs that will entice you to do them over and over. You can’t just jump into an advanced spinning class and expect to stick with it each day. Props to you if you can prove me wrong, but I was once a lazy person, so I know the process pretty well.
Try a low-intensity workout.
Yoga. Pilates. Bodyweight exercises. These are all low intensity and slow-paced, so even the couchiest of the couch potatoes can keep up. Beginner yoga and pilates classes go slowly, focus on stretching and building strength through static poses, and place heavy emphasis on your mental health.
Yoga is a great way to ease yourself into exercise. You aren’t required to jump around for an hour, and it’s easy to modify the poses to your own skill level. Pilates is all about developing control over the body in terms of balance, core strength, and endurance. Like yoga, it’s easy to modify to your individual needs.
Traditional weightlifting and bodyweight exercises are also a good way to test the exercise waters. You can start small with lighter weights and use your body weight to strengthen your body. Bodyweight exercises allow you to grow in strength, endurance, and go through your days with less struggle, and more energy.
If you aren’t a fan of the gym or exercise classes, these workouts can be done at home. You just need to buy the basic equipment and you’re set. A yoga mat, some resistance bands, and a pair or two of dumbbells is all it takes to create your own little gym and create a healthier life. As you become stronger and more excited to exercise, you can purchase heavier weights, thicker resistance bands, and accessories like yoga blocks to take your body further.
Watch and workout.
If you can’t stand the idea of missing all of your favorite TV shows, then you can try to exercise while you watch. Instead of lying on the couch, you can do floor exercises, walk on a treadmill, or ride a stationary bike. Abdominal exercises are the easiest to complete while you watch your shows since they typically allow you keep facing the TV (and you can do them during commercials), but even some simple plyometric exercises, like lunges and air squats, can be done. There’s also the added benefit that watching TV shows you enjoy makes exercise more fun and distracts you from the burning muscles.
There are tons and tons of TV show workouts available online for you to follow along with. Most of them require you to do a certain move when something specific happens (kind of like a drinking game). For instance, you might have to do 10 crunches each time one character says their signature line. You have to pay close attention to the show, but that’s never a bad thing.
If you don’t feel like following along with a specific tv show workout, then simply walking or biking at a pleasant, but brisk, pace on a treadmill or stationary bike will do the trick. You barely have to think about the fact you’re moving your body. A thirty minute to one hour walk/bike is great cardio, burns major calories, and doesn’t put your body under any strain that could persuade you to give up the fitness fight.
Sneak it in instead of going to the gym.
No matter how committed you are (or aren’t) to exercise, there are days when you just don’t have the time to exercise. This is when you should sneak the exercise in so it doesn’t take up a chunk of your day. You can do this by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the door, standing instead of sitting when possible, and even while you get ready in the morning.
Instead of just standing there brushing your teeth, you can do squats, calf raises, and even lunges. I’ve made this a habit. I spend a lot of time styling my hair so I typically do standing thigh abductors at the same time. A hidden benefit? It keeps me from being super bored when I get ready. You can also do these kinds of exercises while you wait for food to cook, coffee to brew, or any other activity that requires you to stand and wait. It’s such a sneaky way to exercise that your mind and body won’t even realize what you’re doing.
Do super short workouts.
If you’re lazy, you don’t want to spend hours in the gym each day. Luckily, you don’t have to in order to see results. There are short workouts you can do that are highly effective. Tone It Up is an excellent resource for five-minute workouts, and they’re all free. Three Minute Thighs, Five Minute Abs, 6 Minute Booty, and the 7 Minute Summer Workout are a few examples.
These workouts are obviously super short, but also challenging and will leave you with sore, satisfied muscles. It’s the best approach for the chronically lazy. You just do one short little workout and you can be done for the day, or you can do another short one later on. That’s as flexible as an exercise schedule gets.
As long as you keep these types of workouts in mind, you’ll be able to stick to your New Year’s Resolution to be healthier, fitter, or stronger without any major issues. Sure, you’re still going to have days when you just want to lay around on the couch, but at least you have some short workout options to choose from if you change your mind.