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Simple Yet Effective Life Hacks to Make Your Lifestyle More Active

Simple Yet Effective Life Hacks to Make Your Lifestyle More Active

Group of people doing stretching exercises.

    Getting active can be a challenge, especially if it requires that you go to an extreme amount of extra effort to do so. There are a few ways, however, that can help you get active without the extra effort, which can help you lose weight, get healthier, and feel great. Here are five life hacks that can help get you up and active without you even thinking about it.

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    1. Stop Pushing Snooze

    One of the biggest things that people do which negatively affects their overall activity level is pushing snooze time and again each morning when they should be leaping out of bed. Though it may seem as if your alarm clock is enough, setting several alarms is a great way to make sure that you are up and alert. Having multiple alerts like one on your wrist watch, one on your cell phone, and your traditional alarm clock will force you to get up to shut them all off thus helping to wake you up and get you moving for that early morning workout.

    2. Bring the Gym to You

    It does not take expensive machines to make you healthy. You can bring the gym to your home by using things like chairs, stairs, and even the good old floor of your home to get you more active. Try using household items to help get you healthy. It will save you money and time and effort in the long run as you will not have to join a pricey gym or drive there to workout. Doing squats on a chair, leg exercises on the floor, or even using something as simple as a paint can as a weight can truly help get you active.

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    3. Do Exercises All Day

    Slipping in a bit or cardio while you get dressed, some strength training while you wait for dinner to cook, some squats while you walk across the house, walking in place or riding an exercise bike while playing video games, and other similar tactics can help you stay active without the boring routine of a workout. Using these tactics is a great way to add some exercise without having to commit to a routine that may be stressful.

    4. Cut Down Calorie Intake

    Taking the time to write down what you eat may seem like a great idea but often carrying around a notebook to do so can be incredibly frustrating and often times people simply forget. Instead, buy a watch or calorie counting app that keeps track for you. These technological devices can help keep track of how much you have eaten and how much you can still eat to continue to lose weight.

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    5. Use Your TV Time as Workout Time

    Those of us who just want to sit down and relax with their favorite show when they get home know how annoying it can be to have to get up and go exercise when you are trying to enjoy a little rest and relaxation. That being said, people who watch television also know how annoying commercials are and how they can disrupt the flow of the greatest drama. Take the time to turn your commercial breaks into workout breaks. On average, during an hour-long show there are about 20 minutes of commercials. If you take the time to do a few exercises during each break you can have timed intervals in which to workout, you can avoid paying attention to pesky ads, and you can even get in a 40 min workout without getting tired by just watching two hours of television.

    These life hacks are meant to make getting active easier, and they will help if you take the time to do them. Getting active does not have to be difficult; with a few simple steps, anyone can get active and make a huge difference in their lives and overall health.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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