What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
Right now, I currently hold a very inactive gym membership (seriously, I don’t even think they bill me anymore). I’ll have my random gym bunny moments where I stick to a steady workout plan for a month followed by a dry spell — usually sparked by bad weather, moodiness, or some other temporary situation — that nonsensically throws me off-track.
To be honest, I'd rather lie in bed with a bottle of wine and watch a Real Housewives marathon than jog on the treadmill, but I'm starting to realize how necessary exercise is for my body. At 27, I fully understand why people nickname their body parts “good” and “bad.” I currently have way too many baddies on me and I got to get right, quick.
Since I have commitment issues with the gym, I tried joining workout classes. I’ve done Zumba, boot camp, pole dancing classes, and (duh) I’ve ‘cycled. I prefer working out in a group, rather than making solo expeditions to the gym, because I can make new friends, there’s music, and it’s just really fun. However, it’s tough to find a good class package that won’t break the bank. I usually grab a $40 5-class package from a flash deal site and then continue on with my regular sedentary life after the last class.
In order for me to stay consistent with any goal, I have to actually enjoy the process enough so that it becomes natural for me. I don’t ever want to feel like I’m forcing myself to stay active. Most importantly, I have to accept myself for who I am. I am a lazy girl — a lazy girl who likes long naps on a beach, Fresh Prince reruns, and taking life-altering BuzzFeed quizzes. No, I won’t change my ways, not all at once at least. I will ease on into this “exercise” thing but on my own terms.
If you’re tired of being a couch potato, but still enjoy your couch (and potatoes), you can follow my lead, because I totally get you. We won't feel that burst of energy to hit the gym every day, but that won’t stop us from getting fit, now will it? Let’s show the world that lazy girls workout too! (Just, like, not hardcore or whatever.)
Take the stairs
This is a classic lazy girl workout. When I really want to lose my breath and tone my legs, I do a light jog up the subway steps. Sure, to fellow passengers, it will look like I’m having a panic attack, but it’s really great cardio. So skip the elevator, bypass the escalator, or even visit that friend who lives on the top floor of that pre-war apartment building.
Take the long route
Sometimes, when I’m feeling especially ambitious, I’ll get off a subway stop or two early and walk to my destination. If it’s a bus situation, I’ll actually just skip the ride and take a nice stroll. I like this workout because it doesn’t require equipment and you’re already in motion anyway, so it’s easier to make the extra effort.
Making a bike your only means of transportation can really kick your ass into gear. Working out no longer is a choice; it becomes mandatory. You gotta get to where you are going somehow, right?
Reps during commercial breaks
This is my favorite way of staying active on my most shiftless days. Let’s say it’s a Thursday night. Obviously Shonda Rhimes owns your soul for 2-3 hours. Every time Scandal goes to commercial, do two sets of 20 reps of an exercise. My personal favorite? Squats.
Before you go to sleep, lay down a yoga mat at your bedside for some nighttime stretching and a mini yoga session in the A.M. With the chance to get a little fitness in literally the first thing in the morning, you'll have no excuse not to fit some exercise into your day.
Dance your ass off
Moving your body to the blessed vocals of Queen Bey feels effortless. Like I said before, I love a dance class but when I’m not enrolled in one, I like to break a sweat on an actual dance floor. A night out with friends can be the perfect opportunity to get some cardio. Of course, you can always play some Juvenile in your bedroom and just back that ass up.
Watch TV (at the gym)
If you actually do make it into the gym, then damn girl good for you! But even at the gym, it can be hard to stick around for more than 20 minutes, especially when it’s crowded. On days that I’m reluctant to workout, I just hop on an elliptical or treadmill, plug in my headphones, and watch whatever Bravo program they have airing on the TV screen (Pro tip: IGNORE THE FOOD NETWORK CHANNEL). I get some entertainment and burn a lot of calories without ever thinking about the time.
I’m really trying to go full-force with this “no excuse” workout mode. I’m no fitness expert and I’ve yo-yoed with my weight for as long as I can remember. But, I’m finding that checking the scale isn’t as important as checking my health, and making sure the body feels good. From what I hear, a body that feels good, looks good, so that is my main focus. I may not be ripped by March but I’ll definitely feel more alive!
What are you favorite ways to feel the burn without, you know, fearing the burn? Do you do already do any of these quick and easy exercises?