So you want to become healthy without breaking a sweat? Well, you’re certainly not alone! Most people across the globe are looking for fitness hacks; hence the soaring popularity of five-minute abs and ten-minute workouts. Only a small portion of people have the ability and willpower to engage in physical activity. A smaller number will consistently workout, while only a handful of people will go on till the end. If you are someone determined to go till the end, we wish you all the very best but for the rest, read these ten fitness hacks.
1- Start experimenting
One common mistake everyone makes is directly jumping into one type of exercise and sticking to it long enough to get completely bored with it. Your brain needs variety. When you do something monotonous, your body, as well as your brain, gets accustomed to it, and you stop seeing results. That’s why, when you join a Zumba class, you see results in the first month; but after few more weeks, you’re back to where you started. The solution is to start experimenting with different activities. That’s why you have demo classes. Take the demo classes for Zumba, go for running, swimming, gym, etc. to see what works best for you. Essentially, take a ‘cafeteria approach’ to fitness.
2- Find something to motivate you
Motivation doesn’t bring results. Discipline does. But discipline is intricately connected with motivation. So find a way to motivate yourself. Find a way to keep the momentum on, such that your fitness routine becomes as fundamental a part of your day as brushing your teeth. The best way is to anchor yourself to the idea of becoming very lean and fit. Many sportsmen have the image of their favorite player or idol in their rooms, phones, laptops, etc. The reason for this is that whenever they see the picture, they are reminded of why they began to focus on their fitness in the first place. Find that one thing that will motivate you. It might be to post pictures on social media or to get into a bikini – anything that will keep you on even when you don’t want to.
3- Finish off your workout the first thing in the morning
In his book“Eat that Frog,” Brian Tracy states that whatever work you dread the most, do it first. The reason is simple – once you workout in the morning, you are actually getting rid of the most difficult task for the day; enabling you to be completely calm and relaxed, and make room for all the other relatively easier work of the day. But when you postpone it to the end of the day, you tend to be tired, and use that as an excuse to escape working out.
4- Get away from equipment
The moment you think of a gym, the image that comes to mind is one of the complicated machines with people grunting and panting heavily. This is why many people develop an aversion to the gym. They think that it is all about heavy lifting. But the truth is that you can do a lot of exercises without lifting heavy. There are exercises like jump rope, burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, box squats, climbing stairs, etc. And engaging in sports like swimming will make your workout sessions all the more enjoyable. So ditch the idea of needing to use complicated equipment in order to work out, and think simple.
5- Create a portfolio of workouts
If you really want better results in a short period of time, create a portfolio of workouts. Do not stick to a single workout. Rather, choose and create a palette of workouts focussing on all possible aspects of your body. Here is how a typical portfolio will look for a week:
Sunday– Rest (Starting with rest is the best part of this).
Monday morning– Brisk walking for forty-five minutes.
Monday evening– Play a sport for thirty minutes.
Tuesday morning– Cardio.
Tuesday evening- Leg exercises (lightweight) at the gym.
Wednesday morning– Punching bag, shadow boxing, jumping rope (for one hour in total).
Wednesday evening– Walking (relaxed) for thirty minutes.
Thursday morning– Swimming for thirty minutes.
Thursday evening- Chest exercises at the gym.
Friday morning– Jumping rope and cardio.
Friday evening– Jogging for thirty minutes.
Saturday morning– Cycling for thirty minutes.
Saturday evening– Ab workouts at the gym.
Then change the workouts after twenty-one days, and reset your pattern to avoid plateauing.
The advantages of this portfolio are that:
– Breaks the monotony of an inflexible schedule.
– Concentrates on all aspects of fitness like endurance, agility, flexibility, strength, aesthetics, etc
– Faster results.
6- Do reverse counting while doing repetitions
This is an effective way to trick your brain. When you count forwards till 100, your brain sees it as a task, but when you count 100 backward, your brain is happy that there are lesser milestones to reach. This makes your body work faster, as you see the numbers decreasing with each rep. The decrease reinforces the attitude of exercise.
7- Invest in good sports gear
Do not take workouts for granted. When you go to school, you carry books. Similarly, when you are going for a workout, carry gear that is suitable for it. When you miss a day working out, you will feel bad seeing the gear lying at home doing nothing. So get the right sports gear.
8- Listen to good music
Listening to music reduces the stress of focussing on workouts. Listening to music helps you to avoid boredom. Research shows that individuals who listen to music while working out tend to work out longer.
9- Don’t copy your neighbor
A common mistake that most people do is that they try to model their fitness routines after those of other people they know. This is not the right way to workout. You must know your goals and decide your schedule accordingly.
10- Don’t push yourself to do something
Be natural and spontaneous and do not engage in any workout that is not your cup of tea. This will avoid the negative conditioning.
11- Set realistic goals
Getting a six pack in three days is exactly like getting a Ph.D. in two hours – both are impossible. Be realistic with your goals and expectations. This will serve as positive reinforcement for you when you achieve the target of the day or week.
When you arm yourself with these fitness hacks, lethargy doesn’t stand a chance before your determination to shed those unwanted pounds!