Have a gym membership but can’t find the time to go there and sweat it out? Find the gym overcrowded and the equipment too complex for your comfort? Feel too lazy to drive all the way to the gym?
These are some questions the quintessential ‘gym slacker’ will relate to.
However, fitness doesn’t always have to be associated with hitting the gym. To an extent, it’s true that working out at the gym adds to your fitness, but it is always better to make little changes in your life which add to your overall health and fitness. It’s all about making healthy choices, instead of the unhealthy ones.
Here’s a list of some changes that can help you stay super fit without sweating it out at your local gym.
1. Ditch Bad Habits
Harmful habits such as smoking, drinking and taking drugs have had a bad rap for years. These need to be ditched at the earliest for taking the fitness route. Even sitting for over 11 hours per day increases the risk of premature death by 40%, which spells trouble for ‘binge watchers.’
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the least you can do is cut down on these habits, if not give them up completely! Reduce on the number of alcoholic drinks (including the ‘night cap’), say no to drugs, pull the plug on smoking, and use your time for activities other than binge-watching your favorite series (which makes you sit in one place for long hours).
2. Get Restful Sleep
Sleep restores your body and adds to your physical and mental health. Make sure that you get proper sleep for better metabolism, heightened concentration and increased immunity. Sleep deficiency can lead to a number of diseases including stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Also, without adequate sleep, your body won’t function the way it should and add extra pounds to your waistline. So that ‘beer belly’ may be a consequence of missing out on restful sleep!
The National Sleep Foundation’s study states that young adults and adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep. For older adults, the duration is 7 to 8 hours. If you have trouble falling asleep, here are some pointers that can help:
- Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. It should be cool, pleasant and distraction-free.
- Listen to white noise as it can help you fall asleep like a baby. Select from nature sounds, machine noises or ambient sounds and find out what works best.
- Have the habit of constantly checking the time? It does nothing but builds stress and delay sleep. Hide the clock and keep your mobile away for the night.
- Indulge in a warm, soothing bath that helps you soothe those tired muscles and mind.
- Meditation, deep-breathing practices or activities such as blowing bubbles can also help you sleep better.
3. Say Goodbye to Stress
According to American Psychological Association’s 2012 Stress in America survey, “stress keeps more than 40 percent of adults lying awake at night”. This is just one of the many complications that stem from stress.
It’s a no-brainer that effective stress management is essential and you need to take some much-needed steps before it affects you adversely:
- Practice deep breathing as it paves the way for better health and wellbeing. Do this first thing in the morning and also before you hit the sack.
- Maintain a stress-journal and record your thoughts in it. This habit not only helps you get rid of worrisome thoughts, but also improves your brain’s cognitive function.
- Eat healthy by including lots of organic and seasonal produce in your diet. You can also eat foods such as pistachios, avocado, blueberry, almonds, salmon, oranges, and milk as these are known to relieve stress. At the same time, try and stay away from guilty-eating.
- Take breaks from daily routine. Go for short trips, take a Yoga retreat, book a staycation, opt for a spa session, and pamper yourself thoroughly.
- Calm your senses with the goodness of aromatherapy. Look around and you’ll find plenty of places such as Botanic Universe for stocking up aromatherapy and other wellness products that keeps stress at bay.
4. Develop a New Skill
Developing a new skill not only boosts your brain function but also gives you the opportunity to socialize and expand your social circle. It helps in your personal growth, opens up alternative livelihood opportunities, increases your self-esteem, and more. Above all, it keeps your brain sharp and keeps diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s away.
Join a dance class, learn a new language, take up a new musical instrument, learn to bake, go underwater diving, or practice photography. The idea is to follow your passion and imbibe new skills.
5. Kickstart Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start your day with a healthy breakfast to set the tone for the day.
Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, increases your risk of falling prey to various diseases such as strokes, heart diseases, abnormal blood glucose levels, reduced insulin sensitivity, and high blood pressure. Here is a great list of food blogs to follow.
6. Curb Those Portions
Guilty of overloading your plate with your favorite food? How about curbing the portions and yet, enjoying your favorite meal?
Begin by cutting down your food intake, especially when it comes to calorie-rich items. This infographic is extremely handy for this purpose. Apart from portion-control, switching your plate size (using smaller plates) also works wonders for cutting out extra calories.
7. Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate
Drink plenty of water, fruits and vegetable juices throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and stay in the pink of health. Hydrating will flush out the toxins from your body, help in proper functioning of the organs, and burn those extra calories. Also, it’ll help you lose weight more effectively than any fad diet!
Can’t warm up to the idea of increasing your water intake? Try these amazing alternatives
8. Get Moving
Just because you’re not hitting the gym, it doesn’t mean you can skip the most important part of being fit and healthy, i.e. regular exercise. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, there’s no escaping physical exercise. It improves your blood circulation, alleviates stress, offers more flexibility, and packs a punch to your day! Apart from keeping you fit, indulging in physical exercise also helps in mitigating the risk of several diseases and building your stamina.
Take your pick from various exercises, which you can do practically anywhere and make sure that you stick to your workout regimen without fail. Fix a time to engage in any physical activity that raises your heart rate such as brisk walking, running, yoga, aerobics, bicycling, swimming, or playing sports such as basketball. You can also benefit with the help of everyday lifestyle habits such as taking the stairs, playing fetch with your dog and taking it out for a walk, parking the car away from the store, and so on.
P.S. Like the compulsory warm up, don’t forget to have a nutrition-laced diet before you start exercising.
9. Daily Chores to the Rescue
Who knew doing daily chores could burn calories!
Dusting, mopping, doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, cooking, vacuuming the entire house, and gardening are effective calorie-burning activities you can opt for. Even grocery shopping and running outdoor errands can help burn more calories than you can imagine.
So, the next time those dishes in the sink need some cleaning, don’t forget to lend a helping hand!
10. Pump It Up
Dancing is an excellent alternative to exercise. It also adds the much-needed fun factor and removes monotony from the usual workout sessions. Even if you do not want to lose weight, dancing acts as a great stress buster and boosts your confidence. It also improves your balance, increases your muscle strength, enhances your lungs and heart, and offers better coordination.
Experiment with different dance forms such as hip-hop, salsa, tap-dancing, jazz etc. until you find your true calling. The best part is that it works for everyone, irrespective of their age and occupation.
If you intend to pursue dance seriously, you can take dancing lessons and join a group. That’ll help you better your social skills and you can always make new friends at the class!
To Sum Up
Game for applying these easy fitness tips? Implement them and keep tabs on your progress by using calorie-counting apps and fitness gadgets.
Have a fitness tip that can help gym slackers? Let us know in your comments!