#Health & Fitness
A Lazy Girl’s Guide to Staying in Shape
by Caroline Harris
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You know exercise is important. But how much exercise is enough? There’s so much buzz around boxing, spin, pilates and other high-intensity workouts that exercise can become intimidating for many Americans.
Independent studies from Planet Fitness, Innovate MR and Kelton Global expose misconceptions about fitness. On average, Americans believe they need to work out at least five days a week and at least 95 minutes at a time in order to benefit. Planet Fitness is calling “bullfit” on these claims! In reality, as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day can raise your heart rate and help maintain your fitness levels, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Translation: You don’t need to be pounding the pavement six times a week to see results. Fitness can be fun! You’re much more inclined to stick to a routine you enjoy, anyway. We rounded up some lazy girl fitness tips because hitting the gym can be tough. Here’s how to tone up without exhausting yourself in the process.
1. Stand up at least every hour.
You can work a desk job and still squeeze in those 10,000 steps. Make a conscious effort to stand up at least once every hour. Go to the bathroom, catch up with a co-worker, fill your water bottle or show off your outfit. Your body will benefit and so will your brain.
2. Exercise during TV commercials.
Turn on your favorite show, and time your workouts to the ads. Do some planks, push-ups, squats and burpees when the commercials come on. Lift some dumbbells or flow through a few yoga poses. Check out this three-minute workout for some inspiration!
3. Go for a 20-minute walk each day.
The next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, switch your phone to Spotify, and go for a stroll. There are so many benefits to walking more. Regular brisk walking helps boost your mood, increase your cardiovascular fitness and reduce your risk of heart disease. With podcasts being all the rage, you can use this time to multitask! Learn something new by plugging into a pod while getting your blood flowing.
4. An easy workout is better than no workout at all.
Hate running? No worries. Can’t stand crunches? Not a problem. You don’t have to exercise like you’re trying out for the Olympics. Briskly walk on the treadmill at a slight incline, or do 100 jumping jacks. Instead of being overly ambitious, listen to your body and its needs. Sometimes that means hitting the elliptical for 20 minutes. Sometimes that means going a little harder depending on your fitness level.
5. Stay hydrated.
Drinking lots of water boosts your brain, improves your mood and is great for your muscles. Water is better for fighting off fatigue than coffee or tea. Starting off your mornings with a big glass of water will help you look and feel your best. Remind yourself to stay hydrated by investing in a super-cute water bottle that you’ll want to reach for all day. We love this hot pink hydro flask.
6. Run to your favorite song.
If there’s a song you can’t get out of your head, play it on a loop as you jog around the block. Promise yourself that you only have to run for those three minutes (or four to five minutes, depending how long the song is). By the time the song ends, you may be so in the zone you’ll want to keep running!
7. Sleep it off.
Sleep is so important. Rest and recovery are key components of any fit life, so aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Apps like SleepScore will help you track your sleep for better shut-eye. Get deep, restorative sleep by practicing sleep hygiene. That means instead of scrolling through social media before you fall asleep, try a mini digital detox! You could light some candles and cozy up with a great book. You could also whip out your yoga mat for a mini stretch session. Yoga with Adriene has calming routines for bedtime.
8. Park as far away as possible from your destination.
Get in some extra steps by parking on the far end of the parking lot. You’ll barely think about those extra few minutes of walking, but it all adds up. If you’re a city slicker who doesn’t drive, try walking whenever possible. If your destination’s far away, you could take a Lyft halfway and then walk the rest.
9. Make exercise part of your social life.
Fitness doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Join a club soccer team, or take up tap dancing! Your new sport can become a fun hobby you enjoy. You’ll meet new people while hitting your health goals. You could also have a designated “fitness friend.” Go hiking together on a Saturday afternoon, or motivate each other to take a HIIT class. Friends make everything better, including fitness!
10. Invest in great gear.
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