It’s a common misconception that consistent gym sessions or strict healthy eating habits are the only way to lose weight. For many, small daily habits that are not related to exercise or diet can also contribute to weight loss goals.
Here are 9 effortless yet effective things you can do in your free time to shed some pounds without the need for rigorous workouts or strict diets.
1. Find Your Active Passion
Find an active hobby that you enjoy. And if you enjoy it, it will now seem like exercising (even if you’re burning calories!)
Examples include learning to surf, playing soccer or basketball, climbing, hiking, hunting, skateboarding, or fishing.
A sedentary lifestyle is associated with weight gain over time, while active hobbies can help you burn more calories and maintain weight loss.
2. Foam Roll or Stretch Every Day
Flexibility is an important part of fitness and injury prevention that can simultaneously improve your post-workout muscle recovery and strengthen your mind-body connection.
Foam rolling and stretching can also help you burn incrementally more calories than just sitting on the couch.
Keep a foam roller in your living room so you can stretch and roll out your muscles while watching TV.
This way, you’ll get the best of both worlds.
3. Do Yoga 1x Per Week
Including yoga at least once per week, either taking a class, following a yoga dvd, or even following a yoga class on audio can help you decrease stress and increase weight loss.
Yoga is associated with increased mindfulness, which can help you make better food, exercise, and sleep decisions.
All you need is a 10-20 minute yoga flow to reap the benefits of this exercise form. Check out youtube for the numerous guides on yoga. Hit me up if you need me to recommend some really good yoga channels.
4. Try A Group Fitness Class
Are you competitive? Do you work out harder when other people are around?
Group fitness classes are a great way to get motivated, challenge yourself, and meet active people.
Try boxing or muay thai, TRX, brazilian jiu jitsu, salsa dancing, parkour, rock climbing, and fitness bootcamps.
In bigger cities, you could even try circus classes or train like an American Ninja Warrior.
Find a class you like and go to it every week.
5. Try An Outdoor Activity
There are a ton of benefits that come when you take your workout outdoors – stress reduction, improved mood, increased self-esteem, and greater exercise adherence.
If you live near water, try kayaking, stand-up paddle-board, surfing, or rowing.
In mountainous areas, try bouldering, rock climbing, or hiking. And in cities, join a recreational sports league.
6. Take At Least 1 Day of Rest Per Week
It’s during rest that you get stronger from your workouts. Rest is essential to improved performance and fat loss.
You might find that one rest day works for you, or that 3 rest days help you recover optimally and crush your workouts every time.
By “rest day” we don’t mean sitting down in front of the TV all day.
Instead, think of it as active recovery and make sure to move in some way, such as walking, swimming, stretching, or foam rolling.
7. Exercise During Commercial Breaks
When you watch TV, turn commercial breaks into exercise challenges. These short 90-second workout bouts can actually do some good for your workout goals.
See how many push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, or jump ropes you can do, or how long you can hold a front plank.
Another idea is to shoot for a certain number of reps per exercise, like 20 squats for example.
8. Do Yard Work Or Housework
This is about increasing your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), which is a fancy way of describing any activity other than sleeping, eating, and working out.
Mow the lawn, pull weeds, plant in your garden, mop or vacuum the floor, clean the kitchen, organize your bedroom.
Increasing your daily movement could have major benefits for your health and body composition. All the little things add up!
9. Don’t Make Excuses, Just Start Working Out
If you’re tired, don’t think too much about it. Put your headphones on and just start moving.
Do a dynamic warm-up to get yourself in the mindset, and start with easier exercise sets. You can keep your workout low-key if you’re tired or stressed, and you can go hard when you’re full of energy.
You never regret a workout, but you might regret skipping one.