With the hype of New Year’s resolutions at a particular high, chances are you’re rethinking your fitness routine for the months ahead. But, if you’re anything like me you wear your yoga pants more often for dates with wine and your favourite TV show during the dark winter than time on your mat. As you work on improving your activity levels, here are five simple ways to help you lose those extra pounds from the holidays. Attention couch potatoes, this one’s for you!
1. Add on extra physical activity throughout your day
Although this may seem like a no-brainer for some of us, by simply adding in any physical activity will increase your overall fitness level in the long term. For example, if you have a choice between a streetcar ride and a long walk to the subway station and you’ve planned out your day well enough, opt for the walk. Skip the elevator and take the stairs whenever you can, use your work breaks as an opportunity to go out for a short walk and catch some fresh air and carry groceries from the car to the house or your condo instead of using a cart”after all every little bit counts!
2. Bring a stability ball to the office to work on your core
Tired of harboring a spare tire at your midriff rather than a six pack and feel like you’re pressed for time for long core workouts? A simple way strengthen your abs muscles (and your back) is to bring a BOSU ball to work and make it your new desk chair from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. In due time you’ll have a stronger core and leaner silhouette making more intense core workouts easier to include into a long and busy day once you’ve increased your strength. And who knows, maybe you’ll start a new trend at work!
3. Wear your workout leggings to work
This may sound odd, but the less clothes you have to lug to work on your gym days, the less likely you are to put off your gym workouts. Since many workout leggings double as fashion pieces that work great when worn with cute tunics or comfy sweaters and a sleek pair of booties, there really isn’t a fear of you breaking the office dress code. Take the convenience notion a step further by wearing your sports bra that day instead of your regular one. We love Lolé« White Torre Jogger Pants ($137) and Hyba Printed Leggings ($23).
4. Plan short but effective workouts
Don’t make the excuse that you don’t have enough time to flex those muscles! Because of the popularity of HIIT and circuit workouts, there are tons of short workout videos you can find online or purchase (my personal favourite is Autumn Calabrese’s 21 Day Fix) that run for 30 minutes tops and give impeccable results. Plus, by getting your workout out of the way before you shower and leave for work (or whatever else fills your daily routine), you won’t have the chance to flake out. Tip: Cue up your video and take out your workout duds the night before to make the morning easier to conquer.
5. Wear a step counter
Whether it’s a FitBit, an Apple Watch, a Nike Fitness Brand or even just using an app on your phone, a step counter helps you to optimize the walking you do on a daily basis by making walking a part of your fitness goals. According to celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, all of us should aim for a total of at least 10,000 steps a day. Once you hit that, increase the goal to 11,000. Just make sure you wear the step counter all day when you’re on your feet so you don’t miss out on any steps. (Translation: That means all the time from your day at work to workouts on the treadmill!)