Don’t Sweat It: Healthy Living Hacks for Slackers
Like many people, I yearn for the perfect summer body. However, I consider myself the very epitome of laziness. I would much rather Netflix and chill with a bag of Doritos than hit the gym or work out complicated meal plans. Given that my budget is tight as well, I’m not likely to sign up for expensive fad diets or fresh meal boxes. Living healthy is important, but slacking is pretty attractive.
I have taken it upon myself to find ways to “hack” my way to a healthier lifestyle, using a few inexpensive apps, gadgets, tips and tricks.
Calorie Counting Apps
One of the easiest ways to keep track of what you are putting in your body is by using a calorie counting app such as MyFitnessPal or Lose It!. These apps let you log the food you eat, sometimes by simply scanning a label and tapping in the serving size. If you enter a little information about your current weight and where you want to be, they can even customize a plan for the number of calories and major nutrients your body needs to get there.
Many of them let you log exercise as well, which is counted in your calorie allowance for the day. If you think I counted that one squat I did when picking up my dog, you would be right.
The idea of going to the gym, a spinning class or hiring a trainer is about as appealing as the air conditioner breaking in July. I’ve found several apps that allow me to work out when I want, where I want, as much as I want. While I’m probably not going to be sporting a six pack or deadlifting 500 pounds by using an app like Lazy Monster or 7 Minute Workout, at least it gets me off the couch and moving.
I can handle a short wall-sit during my lunch break, a few squats in the morning or a little running in place before dinner. I was surprised that after a week or so using these apps daily, I had more energy and felt a lot better overall.
The best part? No gross gym equipment, hefty monthly fees or social anxiety in my quest to live healthier!
Smart Watches and Fitness Trackers
When I decided to finally start getting a little more exercise than just picking up my furry friend, I decided to invest in a smartwatch. Fitness trackers and smartwatches can get expensive, but many can be had for $40-$50. Link them up to your phone and your fitness app, and you can track all your movement throughout the day.
Taking a trip to the grocery store, cleaning your house, or chasing your dog down the street? It all gets logged with a fitness tracker. You can set reminders to exercise and see your progress in real time, which is a great instant gratification.
Turning my move goals into a game helped keep me motivated to move even more, except on lazy days, of course.
You are committed to healthy living – you’ve installed all the apps, you’ve got your fitness tracker and you are making better choices about food and activity. You probably have even lost a few pounds, but those food cravings are making you “hangry”. Treat yourself once a week to a “cheat meal”.
An indulgent meal that you don’t track and you don’t try to work off can be a great reward for staying on the straight and narrow all week. It might be a big milkshake or a plate of nachos, a thick steak or a slice of cake. No matter your guilty pleasure, give yourself a treat occasionally for a job well done.
Little rewards like a cheat meal are very important to prevent burn-out. I’ve found overly restrictive, complicated diet plans to be a recipe for disaster when trying to get healthy. However, a cheeseburger waiting for me at the end of the week keeps me going strong!
You should always check with your doctor before embarking on any diet or exercise plan to make sure you are doing things the right way.
Healthy living is an admirable goal – one we should all strive for. With a little creativity and a dash of technology, there are ways you can make a health and fitness plan that truly works for you.