The benefits of regular exercise and improved fitness are widely recognized by health professionals. With all the commitments and responsibilities in our schedules, it can be difficult to find time to exercise and stay in shape. To help you manage your time, and take care of your body and mind, here are 12 great fitness hacks to improve your quality of life.
1. Fine Tune Your Abs With This Easy Fitness Hack
Take the classic plank exercise. Only thing kick it up a notch with some movement. From the classic plank position, lift one arm at a time and reach forward. Then, the other arm. Do this 10 times on each side for a 1 minute plank. 5 times each for a 30 second plank.
Lift one leg up and swing it to the side. Then rotate to the other leg. Do this for 10 reps on each side for a 1 minute plank. This will take your ab workout to the next level. You’ll feel a burn like never before and tighten up your core.
2. Perform Quick Sets Of Exercises While Watching TV
Get your tv show fix and your workout in at the same time. There really is no reason why you can’t find time to exercise. The most common excuse for not exercising is lack of time, yet most of us watch TV on a regular basis.
Got a commercial break? Do ten pushups or any amount to start with. Work your way up to 10-15 if possible. Another commercial break? Do another set of push-ups. Then, do another set. Now continue with three sets of sit-ups or crunches and hey you got a workout in!
3. Find The Farthest Parking Stall When Running Errands
Have you ever seen people park so far from the entrance of a store or mall, then walk in? Chances are they’re being fitness savvy and have found ways to get in the extra steps for better health.
Get a pedometer. You can find one for free in the Google Play Store or many other app stores. Install it on your smartphone and it will automatically count and record the steps you take every day. Aim to take 10,000 steps a day for an active lifestyle.
4. Get Yourself A Good Playlist- Feel Good Fitness Hacks
Music can be a motivator. Especially, if your workout routine starts to feel like well, a workout routine if you know what I mean! Listening to a great playlist can help kick your workout into high gear and keep it there.
One rule of thumb. Be sure to listen to your workout playlist only when working out. Create an uptempo playlist of your favorite songs. Try mixing in songs of yesteryear that you love.
5. Keep On Dancing- Most Fun Of All Fitness Hacks
Another way to get a quick workout at home is to start dancing if you haven’t already. You don’t need any workout equipment and it’s really fun! Most of all, you can do it at home and don’t worry no one can check out your dance moves!! Or go out on the town and get your groove on.
Put on your favorite tunes, perhaps even the playlist you have just created. Then start dancing! Dance for 2-3 songs, then take a 5 minute break and dance for a few more. Get in at least a 20-30 minute dance session.
Benefits of dancing include:
- Stronger muscles, increased endurance and motor skills
- Increased aerobic fitness
- Improved condition of your heart and lungs
- More muscle tone and strength
- Healthy weight
- Stronger bones and lesser chance of developing Osteoarthritis
- Better coordination and agility
- Improved balance and flexibility
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
6. Body Weight Workouts
People are working out in creative ways and face scheduling challenges getting to a gym. However, easy and effective full-body workouts at home are possible without a gym. You can put together a great workout using bodyweight exercises that can whip you in shape and keep you there.
Start by using the classic body weight exercises such as the push-up, sit-up ab crunches, planks, squats, leg lunges, pull-ups, etc. Mix and match exercises for enhanced results.
For instance, do upper body workout exercises one day, and lower body exercises on another. Then do ab and core workouts on another. Or incorporate all exercises for a full body workout at once! If you haven’t worked out in years or really haven’t at all. Then, it’s best that you start with easy 1 or 2 exercise workouts.
7. Find A Physical Activity You Enjoy
Find a hobby or activity that you enjoy. Specifically one that has a fitness aspect to it. Such as, hiking, swimming, biking, walking, basketball, etc. Perhaps something you’ve enjoyed doing years ago.
Doing something you love makes it easy to do. So it can be a motivator in itself. So, find yourself a new hobby or extracurricular activity and start getting back in shape naturally.
8. Make Fitness Part Of Everyday Life
If you include the aspect of fitness in your everyday life, it will become second nature. You will find it easy to get in a workout here and there to help you get and stay fit.
When you discover the forms of exercise you enjoy and the days and times that work best for you it can become a good habit.
If going for a run in the evenings, at a park on the way home from work suits your lifestyle, commit to it. Get your running gear ready the night before and take it with you to work so there’s nothing to hold you back.
9. Try A Virtual Trainer- Tech Fitness Hacks
Having a Personal Fitness Trainer is a plus when it comes to fitness motivation and insight. However, not all of us can afford one. A human one that is! You can afford to get a virtual fitness trainer. In fact, you cannot afford NOT to get a Virtual Fitness Trainer if you don’t have much fitness knowledge.
There are many mobile fitness apps that imitate real-life fitness trainers. They provide personalized coaching and detailed real-time feedback. Many offer goal-oriented fitness and nutritional plans and best of all, it’s free.
10. Take The Stairs
No matter what your fitness goals, daily physical activity is a necessary part of a successful fitness plan. Taking the stairs anytime you have a chance is one of the simplest fitness hacks around.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. At the shopping Center, take the stairs instead or the escalator. Do you live in a condominium complex with elevators? Take the stairs instead. Easy.
Benefits of taking the stairs:
- Increases muscle strength
- It builds endurance
- It improves overall health
- Helps you lose weight
11. Don’t Forget To Stretch- One Of The Most Overlooked Fitness Hacks
If you skip stretching, you increase your risk of injuring yourself during training. This is one of the most overlooked workout life hacks. Take a few minutes before and after each workout to properly stretch. Even if you only have 30 minutes in the gym, take a few minutes to both stretch and warm up before workouts and cool down and stretch after each workout. Your body will thank you for it.
12. Get More Sleep
If you are like most of us, you could use more sleep. The benefits of sleep are well researched and getting enough sleep is necessary for optimal health. So, turn off the electronic devices an hour before sleep, make sure your sleeping area is cool and comfortable.
Try to go to bed and wake at the same times. Avoid eating a heavy meal a couple hours or closer to bedtime. And try to avoid drinks close to bedtime as well to prevent the need for a bathroom break in the middle of the night. Turn off the lights and go to sleep.
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Benefits of getting good sleep include:
- Weight Management
- Stronger immune system
- Reduce stress
- Lowers risk for diabetes
- Increases focus and memory
- Get along better with people
- Lessen your chance of developing serious health problems
- Better muscle recovery and repair
- Produces growth hormone
How much sleep do we need? In general, recommendations depend on age and are as follows:
- Newborns to 3 months: 14-17 hours.
- Babies up to 11 months: 12-15 hours.
- Up to 2 years old: 9-15 hours
- Children up to 5 years old: 10-13 hours
- Up to 13 years old: 9-11 hours
- Teenagers up to 17 years old: 10 hours a day.
- Adults: 7-9 hours daily.
- Adults 65 years and older: 7-8 hours daily.
Make this year your best one yet! Take control of your health and well being. Use these fitness hacks as a guide to help improve your overall quality of life. Which of these fitness hacks do you like best?