The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Working Out

Aly Walansky
Angelita Niedziejko/Getty Images

Angelita Niedziejko/Getty Images

Based on all of our ridiculously overly-scheduled lives, when it comes to fitness, it’s rather easy to hide behind being busy.  Maybe you have time to exercise one day, and maybe you don’t the next, but you can make those “here and there’s” matter. Here’s how!

Consciously synchronize your breath with your movement
Not only does it oxygenate your blood, bringing fresh nutrients throughout your body, but it also quiets the mind and nurtures focus (and who doesn’t need more focus in our busy world), says Christopher Harrison, a former Broadway dancer and award-winning Aerial Choreographer.

Include an inversion in your exercise regimen
When you send fresh blood to the brain it tickles the hypothalamus to release neurotransmitters that help regulate the body, says Harrison. During an inversion the pituitary gland alone will release nine hormones (such as seratonin, endorphines, oxytocin, etc.) that keep your metabolism in check. If you want to lose weight, keep your bodily functions operating optimally by doing inversions.

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Make it worth your time
If you are trying to blast calories or maintain some level of fitness, don’t bother with too low of an intensity of a cardio workout, says Dr. Julie Sieben, a chiropractor, yoga instructor, personal trainer and author of Six Weeks To Love Running. You have got to feel like you are doing something! On a scale of 0-10, 10 being the most intense workout you have ever experienced, try to maintain between a 5-7. You should be breathing heavy, but not sucking wind. You should be able to speak in short sentences, but not carry on a full conversation. Anything less intense than that carries less value, since we are trying to get the most bang for our buck.

Speaking of cardio…
HIIT training workouts are time efficient ways to burn fat and calories. This is when you alternate between higher intensity (say 8-9) and a lower intensity (4-5), says Sieben. It may look like running for 2 minutes and walking for 1 minute for a total of 20 minutes. All in all, it’s a super way to maximize fat loss during and AFTER the workout!

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Strength train
So: build muscle, and burn more calories when you are not doing anything at all, sounds good right? It is! To make the most out of it, do compound exercises, says Sieben. For example, squats with an overhead press or lunges with a side raise. Use more muscles during your period of exercises and not only will you maximize your effort, but you won’t have to do it as often. Use a challenging weight. You should fatigue in 10-12 reps. If you could do 20 reps. it’s too easy and you’re not making the most out of your time.

The most important piece in all of this is nutrition
Hey, if you don’t want to exercise that much, than you need to eat a clean diet that is not excessive in calories which will lead to weight gain. If you can balance the energy you have coming in (calories) with the energy you have going out just a little bit – even 200 calories off a day (that is equivalent to the two pieces of chocolate we just mindlessly ate) you can lose weight without much extra effort. Keep what goes into your body healthy, natural, fresh, low in calories, high in nutrition, and low in fat and have protein with every meal. And hey, maybe we’ll find exercise is overrated! (Not).

Eat slow
Remember to eat with small mouthfuls, put your fork down as you chew, and chew really well before swallowing the food. Slow eating is one of the easiest lifestyle habit changes you can make to reduce your kcal intake – as the reduced pace gives your stomach more time to tell you that you’re feeling full and so you will often find you aren’t eating nearly as much to feel full as you did before.