If you’re like 45 percent of Americans (according to this Statista survey) one of your 2018 New Year’s resolutions was to “get fit” or “get in shape.” In order to make this happen, you might be going to the gym five times a week or counting your macros and calories. Maybe you even hired a personal trainer. But according to this Business Insider article, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. This means that statistically, you’ll quit working on all these great new habits in just four to five weeks.
Instead, focus on how you can incorporate healthier habits into the lifestyle you already lead. It just so happens that today is the perfect day to start because it’s National Take the Stairs Day! Taking the stairs to work, your doctor’s appointment, etc. is a great example of changing something small to make your life healthier. It doesn’t involve paying hundreds for a trainer or spending hours in the gym, so you’re more likely to make this a permanent habit.
Besides taking the stairs whenever possible, follow these five free and easy tips to incorporate exercise into your daily life.
Park farther away
Each time you go somewhere, park farther away than you normally would. If you’re at a shopping center, park in the very back. If you’re at a business with minimal spaces, consider parking a couple blocks away instead. Not only will you get more steps in, but you won’t have to compete for the “best” spots. An added bonus is not worrying about accidental damage to your car in crowded parking lots, as the back is usually emptier.
Netflix and workout
If you’re just not willing to sacrifice your favorite Netflix (or other) show in favor of going to the gym, don’t worry. Bring the gym to you. There are a variety of at-home workouts that you can find for free on the internet. There are even workouts designed for specific shows. Do you watch Orange is the New Black? Do 10 jumping jacks every time there’s a flashback. Game of Thrones? 20 squats every time house words are said. You can find more popular workouts like this, here.
Do some desk exercises
One of the biggest challenges that face those trying to live a healthy lifestyle is often work. Sitting at a desk for hours on end can make it hard to achieve your fitness goals. To help combat this, you can do some simple exercises at your desk and in the office. If you don’t want to be the person randomly squatting, you can do things like toe taps and leg raises underneath your desk. If you don’t mind a more conspicuous workout, do some tricep dips with your chair or use the nearest (sturdy) wall for some wall push-ups.
Step up your cleaning/gardening game
You have to clean anyway. Why not turn these chores into mini workouts? While cleaning, you’re probably already moving around from room to room. To turn it into a workout, do lunges instead of walking. Doing the laundry? Incorporate squats instead of just standing there. Dishes? Practice your balance and help tone your core by standing on one leg while working. Similarly, you can make gardening more of a workout by adding in exercises throughout.
Drink more water
This can help you achieve your fitness goals in multiple ways. First, it keeps you hydrated. You can’t workout properly if you’re dehydrated. Another benefit is that you’ll have to take bathroom breaks more often. Head to the farthest bathroom to gain more steps. Finally, maximize your benefits by only keeping your water bottle half filled. You should still drink the same amount of water you would otherwise, but you’ll have to get up to refill it more often, giving you the perfect opportunity to get in some steps.
The last and final step toward a healthier you is to consider the influence that stress has on your health. Stress can impact the amount of sleep you’re getting which adversely affects the impact that your workouts have, as well as your eating habits. Whether it’s work stress, family stress, financial stress, or something else; make an effort this year to de-stress. And if that stressor is financial in nature, check out our blog on budgeting, or the first log in our series on financial planning.
If you want to see significant changes such as weight loss or muscle gain, you’ll still have to take time to do other workouts. However, these tips will make your lifestyle more active and help you make fitness a habit.