Staying healthy and fit is important to your life—and maybe even more so to how you feel about yourself. But let’s face it—we’re not all morning people. Getting up before the sun rises is a fantasy for people with jobs, kids, and long commutes.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been told that spending some time at the gym is the best way to get in shape. And while that’s true for some, it isn’t for everyone.
Whether you’re a gym rat or a couch potato, it’s easy to feel like life is impeding your fitness goals.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what can seem like an endless list of exercises and workouts, we’re here to make it easier for you to get it done. Here are 9 no-sweat ways to stay in shape.
Get More Sleep
The average person needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night (although some people may need less or more). Sleep helps your body recover from the day’s activities and boosts the metabolism, so you burn more calories while resting. If you’re not getting enough sleep, try setting an alarm clock for earlier bedtimes or putting away your smartphone before bedtime, so you aren’t tempted to check social media or play games late at night when you’re tired.
Get Fit through Food
The foods you eat influence everything from your energy level and mood to your hormone balance and immune system health. The most effective way to get fit through food is to eat real, whole foods that provide nutritional stability and support your body’s natural detoxification processes.
Eating primarily plant-based foods will help decrease inflammation in your body, which causes chronic pain, arthritis, muscle tension, and more serious diseases like heart disease and cancer. Plant-based diets also help lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol—the bad kind—while increasing HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol—the good kind—which helps protect against heart disease by keeping blood vessels clear and flexible so blood can flow easily through them.
Smoothies are a great way to get your body’s nutrients without having to do much work. Smoothies are also affordable and easy to make at home. If you have a blender and some fruit, you can make your own anytime!
The best part about them is that they come in all sorts of flavors, so there’s something for every taste bud. You can also add different ingredients to boost your smoothie’s vitamins and minerals.
Turn Chores Into Exercise
Get things done around the house while still burning calories. Cleaning dishes can be done while taking deep breaths, and walking around while vacuuming gets your heart rate up and improves circulation and muscle tone. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. The small changes from these activities can add up over time and help you stay fit without even trying.
Stretch before You Step Out of Bed
You may be tempted to hit snooze and roll over, but stretching first thing in the morning will help oxygenate the blood and improve circulation, which helps everything from your heart to your brain function better. Stretching also activates your muscles, strengthening them so you can become fitter faster.
Take More Water Breaks
Drinking water helps detoxify your body, improves digestion and elimination, and helps keep your skin looking young and healthy. Water also keeps you hydrated so that you feel less hungry throughout the day. Through this, you can perform better by maximizing energy levels and reducing fatigue so that you can work harder for longer periods without getting tired quickly.
Meditation is an ancient practice that helps people relax, calm their minds, and focus on the present moment. There are different types of meditation, but they all share the same basic principles: sit quietly, focus on your breathing, and clear your mind of all distractions. Meditation can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and boost overall well-being.
A recent study found that people who meditated for 20 minutes a day lost an average of 6 pounds over the course of eight weeks without making any other lifestyle changes.
Self-massage is the act of applying pressure to muscles by hand or using an object or tool. A common way people practice self-massage is by rubbing their hands over their bodies, but there are other ways to give yourself a massage that are just as effective. The idea behind self-massage is that it helps break up adhesions (knots) in muscles and tendons so blood can flow more freely through them. This increases blood flow throughout the body, which can help improve overall health.
Besides improving circulation, studies have shown that self-massage can help relieve stress and anxiety, reduce joint pain and stiffness, release endorphins (natural painkillers), and increase flexibility.
Take Your Dog for More Walks
If you have a dog, take him or her for long walks at least three times a week. This will help improve your cardiovascular health, give you an excuse to get out, enjoy the fresh air, and give your dog some much-needed exercise. It’s like getting two workouts in one!
Consider a Standing Desk or Work on Posture
Standing desks are all the rage these days, and for good reason: research shows that sitting too much can lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. A standing desk allows you to burn more calories and stay healthier overall.
It’s also important to pay attention to your seated posture, especially if you spend most of your day on a computer. Slouching over your keyboard will only exacerbate back pain over time. If this is an issue for you, consider investing in an ergonomic chair with lumbar support and armrests that allow you to adjust the height of each piece separately.
Shedding pounds, building stamina, and maintaining a healthy body are all different aspects of the same goal: getting healthy. There are plenty of ways to get in shape that don’t necessarily require leaving your house or joining a gym. Recent trends in the fitness game have shown that it doesn’t matter how much we work out, but how little we can work out and still see results. It starts with some simple dietary changes and moves on from there. Follow these tips, and hopefully, you’ll get into the best shape of your life in no time. Good luck!