What’s a fitness hack? A fitness hack is a helpful little nugget of advice that’s going to help you easily and seamlessly start living a better, healthy, more fit life. It’s going to help you fit into that dress faster. It’s going to help you get over that plateau. It’s going to make your doctor happy. In short, these are little things you can do in your every day life, that are going to add up to a BIG difference when you stay consistent with them over time.
1. Substitute cinnamon for sugar in your morning coffee. Switching from sugar to cinnamon in my coffee was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. The flavor of cinnamon mixed with the slight bitterness of coffee creates a melody of flavors in my cup, without the need for the white devil, a.k.a sugar. Save on calories, that insulin spike, and fat retention by using cinnamon.
2. Get better workout clothes. Seriously, this may sound shallow, but you’d be surprised what new workout clothes can do for your motivation. Studies show when you are comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’re more likely to hit the gym for that workout. If you’re feeling self-conscious about the way you look, it becomes far too easy to skip that workout.
3. Speed it up. Your music that is. Working out to songs that contain higher beats-per-minute (BPM) will result in your ability to go longer, harder, and feel less fatigue. Seriously, scientists have looked into this stuff and concluded our motivation levels and ability to do work is tied to the music we’re listening to. Ditch the Jack Johnson for some Daft Punk the next time you’re working out and see how you feel.
4. Dump the flavored yogurts. Seriously, some of these flavored yogurts have as much sugar as a can of soda…and contain meager amounts of protein. Instead opt for fat-free Greek (I love Fage brand) which will net you 27 grams of protein and only a few grams of sugar per serving.
5. Build your own gym. Not only is it completely easy and inexpensive to create a do-it-yourself gym, it’ll also make it more likely that you’ll workout, since everything you need is only a few feet from you at any given time. Check out our handy-dandy guide for advice on how to create your own at home gym on a budget.
6. Burn more calories by working out less. Say what? That’s right, you can actually burn more calories by working out less. How’s that work you’re wondering? Start including active hobbies into your daily life. These activity hobbies will actually burn more calories than you thought, and see it’s presumably something you enjoy doing, it won’t really be “working out”. Who’d have guessed gardening burns 170 calories an hour!? For a full run down on little things you can do to increase your total calorie burn, check out our guide.
7. Ditch the scale. I’m dead serious – get rid of the scale. Weighing yourself isn’t helping you lose weight. If anything, it’s killing your motivation and giving you a false sense of where you stand. Scales don’t tell us anything about our lean muscle mass, bone density, etc. As you workout, you’re going to be packing on muscle, which weighs more than fat, so forget what the scale says. Instead, try focusing on your measurements which are a far better judge.
8. Sleep more. Our bodies repair themselves while we sleep. So rather than staying up late watching terribly television, get yourself to bed at a decent hour. Do this enough nights in a row and you’ll notice you have more energy AND your workouts suddenly become more effective. How’s that for a double-whammy?
9. Get a virtual fitness partner. Pacer training is the format of training that we employ here at Share It Fitness. Studies have shown that actively training with another person (even if they are on a screen in front of you!) will push you to work harder, longer, and better than if you were doing things on your own. We’ve created hundreds of video workouts employing this pacer training format, so find some that are right for you and get moving!
10. Workout music for those with musical taste. If the top 40 makes you want to gag, you’ve got to check out indiesouprunner which has tons of workout worthy playlists full of uptempo indie beats.
11. Count backwards. How do you currently count your reps? If you’re like most people, you’re counting 1…2…3…..stop that. Start counting DOWN; 10…9…8…and so on. This will actually make it more likely that you get through tough sets, rather than stalling out before you’ve completed all of your assigned repetitions.
12. Use full range of motion. Most of us only (at best) 80% efficient on our lifts. That means we’re leaving 20% of our “gains” on the table. Instead of rocking, swaying, and doing half motions when you lift, really focus on doing a full lift, with 100% proper form. By maximizing each and every repetition you’re going to increase your gains by 20%, 30%, or more.
When it comes to fitness and achieving your goals, every little bit counts. Too many people are looking for the one silver bullet that’s going to instantly drop their weight, tone them up, and get them into the kind of shape they dream about being in. But what you’ve got to understand is, there is no silver bullet. The most fit and healthy people among as are the ones who have learned to implement these type of fitness hacks into their lifestyles. The accumulation of lots of little healthy habits and tips that reinforce your goals is ultimately what’s going to change your body and health.
So really engrain these 12 fitness hacks into your mindset and start implementing them today. None are hard, but all are effective in helping you make that total body transformation and inch you ever closer to the body and health you deserve.
Have any fitness hacks of your own? I’d love to hear about them, just leave a comment below!