Every New Year, many of us make resolutions to get fit. We google for the best workouts, draw up a detailed schedule, and set alarms to remind ourselves. After two weeks, our minds give in and our bodies give out.
The thing is, you don’t have to hit the gym five days a week, or go on a miserable diet to lose weight. Unless you really enjoy doing it. The trick is to incorporate activities into your daily life.
So, here are eight ways that a desk-bound, cubicle warrior can use to get in shape in 2017 — without having to work out like Rocky.
1. Walk of life
Walking is the best form of exercise if you’re lazy. An average person who adds in 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine may burn up to 150 calories per day. The quicker the pace, the more calories you’ll burn.
Get off your bus one stop earlier, and walk the rest of the way. During lunch, walk a bit further to try out a new lunch spot.
On weekends, plan your shopping routes such that you can work in some brisk walking in between malls. You won’t even feel like its exercising.
2. Shake it off
The more we move, the more calories we burn.
Dedicate a time each day in the privacy of your own room to dance like there’s no tomorrow. You may dance like Monica from Friends, or have moves like Jagger, it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that you move your body. Just put on Taylor Swift on YouTube and dance along with her.
Five minutes each night will do. No one is judging.
3. Born to run
If walking helps in shedding calories, running intensifies the process. Research shows that people exert 2.5 times more energy running than walking.
Run outdoors, not in the clinical confines of a lifeless gym. Pound on the tarmac, go uphill and down slopes. Your runs are less monotonous this way.
Listen to upbeat tunes and get your adrenaline-pumping. You get to burn calories and enjoy the process.
Start off slowly, aim for 2km if you’ve not jogged for a long time, then gradually up the running distance. Setting out with an ambitious goal is likely to make you throw in the towel quickly. Aim for at least a 20-minute run to maximise the health benefits.
4. Food, glorious food
This is the downfall for most of us. We love food too much.
When setting up resolution at the beginning of the year, we tend to go cold turkey and cut out our favourite foods, which only make us crave them more.
You can still give in to your cravings, but in moderation.
Share your dessert with a friend instead of wolfing it down yourself. Have a big breakfast, moderate lunch and a small dinner. And allow yourself two snack times throughout the day, like nuts and fruits. Cut down on soft drinks and opt for plain water.
5. Step it up
Remember we asked you to get off the bus one stop earlier? Here’s part two.
When you reach your office or home, take the stairs instead of the lift. If you work on the 10th floor, start off slow, get off on the 5th and take the stairs to the 10th.
Increase the levels of stair-climbing progressively and work towards taking the stairs completely. You don’t have to speed-climb, do it at your own pace.
6. The sun always shines on TV
Watching shows is a dangerous thing, especially now when you can just put on Netflix and binge-watch all eight episodes of Stranger Things at one go.
That’s almost eight hours, meaning chances of you wanting to snack are high.
Never succumb to snacking when watching TV. You get distracted and tend to eat more than you intend do. This will ruin any plans to get fit.
7. Computer age
In the office, on public transport, at home, we’re glued to our phones, tablets and computers.
Make it stop.
On weekends, get off the tablet or computer; get out for a stroll in the park, or go for a swim; get your limbs moving and your heart pumping. You don’t have to be repetitive, alternate your routines.
Don’t keep in touch with friends just on Whatsapp or Facebook. Go out and actually meet with them. Hang out, do stuff, don’t hide behind the screen. With time, your addiction to tech devices will diminish, and you’ll feel less sluggish.
8. Enter Sandman
Keeping in shape doesn’t just rely on working out. One key ingredient is getting enough sleep. When you rest, your body regulates your metabolism and heals your muscles, which in turn will boost your general energy levels. Your parents always nag about getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep, and they’re right. You’ll wake up a healthier person, both body and mind.
You don’t have to give yourself a resolution that’s hard to keep in 2017. After years of couch surfing, you just won’t turn into a supermodel in two months (yup, tried and failed). Keep your plans realistic.
After all, change begin with the smallest step. Good luck, and we’ll check back with you at the end of the year.