TIME TO GET STARTED...
SO WE’VE DEALT WITH YOUR EXCUSES, BUT HOW EXACTLY DO YOU TURN YOUR NEW-FOUND RESOLVE INTO ACTION?
If you’ve never had an exercise regime, the best way to make working out a lasting habit is by introducing very small changes into your day.
ACCORDING TO DR BJ FOGG, DIRECTOR OF
THE PERSUASIVE TECHNOLOGY LAB AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY, THE SMALLER, THE BETTER. ‘IF YOU DON’T MAKE YOUR FIRST BEHAVIOUR TINY, YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY FAIL,’ HE SAYS. THIS IS BECAUSE BIG CHANGES REQUIRE MORE WILLPOWER AND ABILITY, SO IF YOU DON’T HAVE EITHER, YOU’RE SETTING YOURSELF UP TO FAIL.
FOGG IS THE FOUNDER OF TINY HABITS, A FREE ONLINE PROGRAMME HELPING PEOPLE AFFECT CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES: ‘THE TINY HABITS ETHOS IS ALWAYS IN THE FORM OF: AFTER I DO X, I WILL DO Y,’ HE EXPLAINS. ‘BY ANCHORING YOUR NEW HABIT TO AN EXISTING ONE YOU WILL MAKE THE NEW HABIT MORE REGULAR.’
THIS MEANS THAT BY DOING SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS ONE PUSH UP AFTER YOU GET OUT OF BED, EXERCISE WILL START TO FEEL LIKE SECOND NATURE. HERE ARE OUR TOP TIPS FOR SQUEEZING EXERCISES INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE:
PRE-SHOWER PLANKS IF YOU’RE WAITING FOR THE WATER TO HEAT UP, WHY NOT PUT THAT 30 SECONDS TO GOOD USE? HIT THE DECK AND HOLD A PLANK FOR 30 SECONDS, AT FIRST, THEN LONGER. DO THIS
EVERY DAY AND YOU’LL BE WELL ON YOUR WAY TO A ROCK-HARD CORE AND TONED TUMMY. Dog jog
Taking your pooch for his daily walks can seem like a chore, but as you're doing it anyway, why not make the most of it? Rather than taking a leisurely stroll around the park, help his fitness as well as your own by alternating your pace between a brisk walk and a slight jog. Introducing this kind of interval exercise to your daily routine is a speedy route to cardiac health… and slimmer legs!
You’ve served the kids their tea and you’re not eating until your other half gets home, so what do you do? Well, you can put off the other chores and use the time for a quick abs workout. Sit cross-legged on the floor and hold your arms in prayer position in front of you. Keeping hips square and abs tight, breathe out as you rotate your upper body to the right. Return to the middle and repeat on the other side. Do as many reps as you can before they’ve finished eating.
‘By doing something as simple as one push up when you get out of bed, exercise will start to feel like second nature’
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY DO YOU MAKE A CUPPA? RATHER THAN WAITING FOR THE WATER TO BOIL, USE THOSE EMPTY SECONDS TO DO A QUICK BURPEE. ONCE YOU GET INTO THE HABIT, UP THE NUMBER. SAY HELLO TO STRONGER ARMS, CHEST, QUADS AND GLUTES IN NO TIME.
Crunch in your car
Stuck at traffic lights? Time to work your abs. Exhale all the air from your lungs and use your abs to suck in your stomach as if you were trying to pull your belly button into your spine. Hold, release and repeat up to ten times for a toned tum.
ZEN BEFORE ZZZZZS...
BEFORE YOU CRASH INTO BED EACH NIGHT, GET INTO THE HABIT OF DOING THIS SIMPLE YOGA POSE TO LET GO OF THE DAY’S STRESSES. STAND UP TALL WITH LEGS TOGETHER, INHALE AND REACH YOUR ARMS STRAIGHT ABOVE YOU. AS YOU EXHALE, ENGAGE YOUR ABS AND FOLD FORWARD, KEEPING YOUR BACK STRAIGHT. TUCK YOUR CHIN IN TOWARD YOUR CHEST, RELAX YOUR SHOULDERS, AND
EXTEND THE CROWN OF YOUR HEAD TOWARD
THE FLOOR TO CREATE A LONG SPINE. REACH
YOUR HANDS TOWARDS THE GROUND, AND HOLD
FOR TEN BREATHS. AS YOUR FLEXIBILITY IMPROVES, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO LAY YOUR PALMS FLAT ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR LEGS STRAIGHT.