5 Fitness Hacks to Make it Easier for You to Exercise

Put On Your Workout Clothes Right Away

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I know a lot of people already walk around in workout clothes all day long (and I get a pass on that, since my job requires it), and I know it's one of my husband's pet peeves. He floated the question, "Do women automatically get a pair of yoga pants when you turn a certain age?" I could tell him, but then I would get kicked out of the girl's club.

However, one of the hardest parts of exercise is getting started, and part of that is putting on workout clothes. I don't know why, but this part of the getting ready process is always the most annoying if you're already on the fence. Spending any amount of time finding things becomes one more reason to skip the workout. Here are some of the tricks I've used in the past:

  1. Put them on as soon as you get up - If you workout in the morning, put on your workout clothes before your mind even knows what you're doing. That's one less obstacle to your workout. I've even had one client who slept in her workout clothes. Hey, whatever floats your boat.
  2. Wear workout clothes under work clothes - OK, this isn't for everyone, but it can be done with some finesse. I used to do this when I had an office job and worked out at lunch or after work. I wore workout shorts under pants or skirts, sports bras under blouses and, when the time came to exercise, I was already halfway ready to go.
  3. Change as soon as you get home - If you're a post-work exerciser, it's probably tempting to go home and sit down before you workout. Big. Mistake. Instead, put your workout clothes out in the morning and put them on as soon as you get home.
  4. Wear them all day long - Of course, I work at home and I'm a trainer who runs out every now and then to train people, so I often wear my workout clothes all day. I highly recommend that if you tend to break up your workouts throughout the day - then you don't have to keep changing clothes.

Sneak In Exercise All Day Long

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One thing fit people do is try to sneak in a little exercise all day long. That's why you shouldn't be surprised if the person in front of you in the grocery store line drops down into some pushups. OK, that's just weird, but there are ways you can add more exercise to your day just while doing regular old tasks:

  1. While brushing your teeth - See if you can hold a wall sit the entire time you brush your teeth. 2 minutes!
  2. While cooking - Waiting for the vegetables to sautee? Try squats, lunges, pushups, and jogging in place while you wait.
  3. While shopping - Most of us are in a hurry when we're shopping, especially at the grocery store, but every now and then, give yourself an extra 5 minutes to your shopping trip. Make several laps around the store before you start your real shopping. I don't know about you, but my grocery store is so huge, I could probably walk a mile in just a few laps.
  4. Workout at Work - You can do this office workout right at your desk and if you want something more intense, try this Staircase Workout.
  5. While Traveling - It's easy to add exercise at the airport, since we usually have plenty of time to kill while waiting to board the plane. Make as many laps as you can while waiting and you can even try this Airplane Workout.

Invent Reasons to Exercise

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The sad truth about our world is that we actually have to invent ways to move more. We sit more, we pay people to do things we used to do (like yard work or house cleaning) and we don't have as many reasons to move around. Here's how I do it:

  1. Leave Something in the Car - One way to get extra exercise, especially at work, is by leaving something critical in the car – money for the vending machine, your lunch, your lipstick, etc., and then take the stairs both ways to go get it.  And it gives you a break from work.
  2. Keep Bands or Weights Nearby - I used to keep a resistance band and a small set of weights at work and even in my car.  Whenever I was bored or had a minute, I would do things like lat pulls, rear flies, and squats. Yes, sometimes my boss would catch me, but it wasn't like I was snorting cocaine off the desk or anything, right? Check out this Resistance Band Workout for Ideas.
  3. One Bag at a Time - Another idea is to bring your groceries in one bag at a time.  Now, I know what you're thinking. If you're like me, you try to carry them ALL in at the same time, which is always a huge mistake (try dropping a bottle of olive oil on your garage floor). But, this is a great way to get in a few more steps and it all counts.

Trick Yourself into Exercise

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  1. Give Yourself a Challenge - Go out for a walk and give yourself little challenges.  See how fast you can walk to the next mailbox or pick a person in the distance and challenge yourself to pass that person as quickly as you can. See if you can run faster than your dog, your spouse, or that person on the treadmill next to you who's going 12 mph.
  2. Give Yourself a Reward for Finishing Your Workout - A glass of wine, a night out, a good book, a massage... give yourself a treat for finishing your workout. You have something to look forward to and you get to celebrate your success.
  3. Give Yourself a Consequence for Skipping Your Workout - Rewards are good, but negative consequences can work, too. For example, if you skip you workout, you have to call your mother-in-law and let her talk for as long as she wants.  Or maybe this one: If you skip your workout, you have to write a $100 check to your spouse. Yep, that'll do it for me.
  4. Make a Pact with a Friend - Ask a friend to workout at the same time of day and then check in with each other before the workout for some accountability.
  5. Do Something that Doesn't Feel Like Exercise - Hula hooping, playing with the dog, playing paddle ball, doing yoga with your cat. If regular exercise bores you, try an alternative to the usual workout.

Hire a Trainer

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If all else fails, it's time to bring in the big guns. Sometimes, you just need a little accountability to keep you on track, and a personal trainer provides just that. Also, having a financial investment is another motivating factor.

These resources should get you started.

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