While I wouldn’t call myself lazy per say, I can’t say that I have the motivation and determination to work out on a consistent schedule. Or eat healthily 100% of the time. This girl loves her cupcakes, and I’m not about to give them up to go Keto. Or join the Whole 30. Or whatever other diet is so hot right now.
Sorry not sorry.
And I highly doubt I’m alone in these feelings. While there might be pressure to try the latest diet fads, for most of us, it’s not only not practical, it’s also not sustainable. For me, it’s all about those little daily hacks that keep me feeling good and healthy. It means indulging in the occasional cupcake, but maybe opting for a salad later. It means going outside more often and working those muscles, even if it’s just a power walk. Little things add up and can make a big difference to your physical appearance and also your mind too.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you click them and make a purchase at no cost to you. Some of the items in my outfit were provided as gifts (marked c/o) from the brand. All opinions are my own!
Spoiler alert: I’m not a fitness or health blogger. This isn’t going to be a post sharing how to get motivated to put two hours in at the gym and commit to a green smoothie a day. This is about the small hacks I make in my normal life to maintain my weight, get in more exercise, and still spend plenty of time watching Netflix in bed. ;)
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Hack your way to more walking
My biggest exercise recommendation? Walking! While I do love a good SoulCycle class or yoga session, the truth is that they’re expensive, and don’t always fit easily into my schedule. SoulCycle is actually pretty far from where I live and work, so it’s just not practical to drive an hour round trip to work out most of the time.
It is, however, practical for me to walk across town for 15-20 minutes twice a day. Whether it’s to meet a friend, parking in a garage farther from my work office, or just getting out and walking the city on a break from work, it gives my mind some time to just wander and stretch those muscles. Plus, I often have great ideas when walking. Something about the time away from my desk, or the hustle and bustle of the city often inspires me to write, helps me solve what problem I’m working on at work, or gives me ideas for new projects.
Dieting not for you? Me either.
I’m not a dieter. The only diet I’ve ever attempted was going gluten free for a month. And I did it. But ultimately, I determined gluten is fine for me and I don’t need to live without it. So I don’t.
I have momentarily considered trying other diets like Paleo, Keto, and Whole 30, but ultimately have come to the conclusion that it is not practical for my lifestyle. Meal prepping is my worst nightmare, and I don’t have the willpower to eliminate so many major things from my diet. I also choose not to have the time for it. So what do I do instead?
I make swaps. I cut portions in half (or thereabouts) when I eat out. And I try to eat a balanced diet, most of the time. I try to make the majority of our dinners, bring leftovers to work most days for lunch, and when all else fails, there’s always an organic frozen meal (Amy’s Organic are my favorite) as a back up in my freezer.
I don’t always say no to indulgences, but I try to make better choices before and afterward to keep my diet balanced.
Make dog walks farther or longer
An easy way to hack in a bit more daily activity is to make my dog walks farther, longer, or more strenuous. I have to walk Rigby anyway, so why not make it into something that gets my heart pumping a little faster?
Now that winter has hit, it’s often pretty chilly so picking up the pace is pretty easy. We typically do a combination of a walk and a jog to take care of business, going uphill one way to really get those muscles working.
Try a new workout DVD
Don’t have time to hit up your local fitness studio? Try a workout DVD instead! I’ve been a long time Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred kind of girl, but I’ve also enjoyed the wide variety of options out there. These are also great to have on hand when the weather is awful and all you want to do is stay inside.
Here are some other favorites of mine:
Each of these recommendations are great for beginners, and many of them are also low impact so would also be good for those who are healing from an injury.
Find a fitness buddy
It can be easy to get off track when it comes to keeping up with exercise and healthy eating. For me, fitness and health is a whole lot about accountability. I definitely see more consistent results in my routine when I have someone who is willing to follow up with me to make sure I’m getting my daily steps, or am not over indulging.
Don’t know anyone who’d be willing to hold you accountable? That’s okay too! There are a couple of tools I also use to track my fitness. I use my Fossil Q Watch to track my steps daily, even when I don’t have my phone on me. I also like tracking what I’m eating with MyFitnessPal. This helps me see where I might be consuming empty calories (I tend to be a snacker, and I also have quite the sweet tooth!) and also allows me to add in my exercise to see how many calories I’m burning.
Make a reward system
If getting started is your biggest hurdle (I totally feel ya!), consider setting up a reward system for yourself. Staying consistent can be hard, and tracking your goals and rewarding yourself when you hit them can keep you on track.
I’ve found that I’m often motivated by rewards, whether they’re small treats, a new piece of clothing for hitting a big goal, or a cheat meal out with friends. I know some argue that cheat meals are a bad idea, but I personally choose to allow myself to have them. You only live once, and I think as long as your able to balance out your cheat meals, it can be done without derailing your goals, whatever they are.
Stay on your feet
When I’m feeling lazy, all I want to do is lay in bed and watch Netflix all day. Often, I find myself wanting to do this when I actually have a ton of things to get done and really shouldn’t be doing that. Anyone else feel this way?!
I’ve found the best way to combat this mentality is to not allow yourself to sit down and rest (within reason, of course!) until you’ve accomplished what you want to get done. What does this have to do with fitness and health? I personally feel that when I get more done, stay busy, and keep on my feet for most of the day, I feel less stressed, more accomplished, and less likely to find myself in the kitchen, mindlessly snacking.
Overall, you don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to stay healthy and more exercise into your routine. While I commend those that have an amazing routine at the gym every day and follow an eating plan, I’ve learned that this just isn’t the way I operate at this time in my life.
If you’re like me too, I hope these ideas help you hack your way to being more active this winter!
How do you stay healthy and fit during the cold weather months? I’d love to hear about your hacks in the comments!