The lazybone fitness guide
Are you starting to feel a little soft and squidgy, but can't seem to get motivated to do anything about it? Sounds like a case of lazybones maximus! Fear not, we're going to get you moving again and put the word 'exercise' back into your vocab.
Excuses, excuses, excuses - we've got them covered!
We've all made them, we've even convinced ourselves they're true, unfortunately the only people we're kidding are ourselves! Here are some excuse comebacks that will (hopefully) inspire you to get fit.
I slept through the clock, so I won't bother!
Get a louder alarm clock. In fact invest in two. Put one on the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off. Otherwise exercise at the end of the day.
Exercise is bad for you. You can injure yourself!
The longer you don't exercise, the more risk you have of hurting yourself when you do move. Find out how to exercise properly to minimize the risks of hurting yourself and getting sick.
It's too hot/cold!
Wait for it to be ideal and you'll be waiting forever!
I'll exercise tomorrow!
Tomorrow never comes. Put it off today and you're only getting better at putting it off forever. Start small - a little work each day allows you to chip away at your long-term fitness goals.
I'm too tired!
Which is better? Feeling tired because you're bored or being a sloth, or feeling tired because you've worked out? Besides exercising boosts your energy levels.
I have to look after the kids!
Take them with you! Go to the park, run around, play with a ball or a frisbie. They'll enjoy the exercise and you'll be setting a great example.
Go for it - set goals
The first step to setting a goal is to actually identify what you want to achieve. For example, do you want to exercise to get more energy, drop a dress-size or tone your butt? The second step is to break down the goal into achievable chunks.
Another trick is to keep a diary of your sessions. It's great for your motivation to see how much you've put behind you and how many sessions of quality work you have accumulated.
5 more reasons to be inspired to exercise
Still not convinced? Here are the big benefits of a regular exercise routine...
- It improves self-esteem and well being
- It stimulates the digestive system which is essential for the absorption of nutrients and the discretion of wastes
- It improves the condition of the heart, lungs and blood circulation
- It raises the metabolic rate which gives you more energy and aids in weight reduction
- It helps to alleviate depression, stress and fatigue by boosting the production of therapeutic chemicals in the brain
Once you're mentally in the exercising zone and are comitted to your goals, splurge on a good pair of training shoes. It's important that you have the right gear so you don't damage your body exercising. Plus, you're more likely to be motivated to put the shoes to use if you've forked out some serious cash for them.
You'll also need a re-fillable water bottle, as it's vital to keep hydrated while sweating away fluids.
Start your exercising shecdule gently - just 15 to 20 minutes a day to begin with, three times a week, then start adding extra days on top of this. If you go straight into a full-on schedule, you're only setting yourself up for injuries and failure. And most importantly, do something that you enjoy, it will make self-discipline and forming a routine so much easier.
The bare bones - 6 week plan
Boredom is one of the big reasons why people give up on exercise so if you don't like any of the exercises suggested below, substitute them with jogging, boxing, swimming, skipping or rowing. Aim to keep moving consistently for 30-45 minutes to achieve aerobic benefits and always stretch afterwards.
Day 1: Gentle walk for 45 min - stretch for 15 min
Day 2: Bike ride for 45 min - stretch for 15 min
Day 3: Alternate power walking for 10 min and climbing stairs for 10 min repeat twice - stretch for 15 min
Day 1: Walk including hills for 45 min - stretch for 15 min
Day 2: Power walk increasing intensity by pumping arms for 45 min - stretch 15 min
Day 3: Gentle bike ride for 45 min - stretch for 15 min
Day 1: Bike ride for 45 min - stretch for 15 min
Day 2: Walk on beach 45 min - swim for 15 min - stretch 15 min
Day 3: Alternate power walking for 10 min and climbing stairs for 10 min - repeat twice - stretch for 15 min
Day 1: Power walk increasing intensity by pumping arms for 45 min - stretch 15 min
Day 2: Roller-blade for 45 min - stretch 15 min
Day 3: Kick soccer ball around with friends or family for 45 min - stretch 15 min
Day 1: Alternate power walking for 10 min and climbing stairs for 10 min - repeat twice - stretch for 15 min
Day 2: Walk on beach 45 min - swim for 15 min - stretch 15 min
Day 3: Bike ride or roller-blade for 45 min - stretch 15 min
Day 1: Bike ride including hills for 45 min - stretch 15 min
Day 2: Alternate power walking for 10 min and climbing stairs for 10 min - repeat twice - stretch for 15 min
Day 3: Kick soccer ball around with friends or family or power-walk for 45 min - stretch 15 min
It's important to stretch after your exercise routine as it reduces the risk of injury, improves joint mobility, increases flexibility, improves posture and helps you to relax mentally.
Aim to include these resistance exercises - which can be done in front of TV, or just about anywhere - in your weekly routine at least three times a week:
- Push ups - Start in the pushup position, hands shoulder-distance apart, fingers spread slightly and pointing straight ahead. Focus eyes on the floor. Inhale as you lower and exhale as you push up until your elbows are slightly bent. Work up to completing 3 sets of 10-15 repeats.
- Lunges: With your back straight, step forward with your right foot about one metre, bending your knee until your thigh is virtually parallel to the floor. Don't lean forward, and keep your knee directly in line with your foot. Push off with your right leg and return to starting point. Repeat 10-15 times, alternating legs, two to three sets of 10-15 each side.
- Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. With stomach muscles tucked in and buttocks contracted, slowly bend knees, lowering buttocks no further than knee height. Keep knees over toes and heels on floor. Work up to completing 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Tricep dips: Find a window ledge and rest your butt and hands against it. Straighten your legs in front of you, with your weight on your hands. Dip slowly, lowering your butt and bending your elbows until you feel it in your upper arms, then push up to near straightness. Work up to completing 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
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