Most health professionals recommend sticking to a healthy diet and working out as the best ways to lose weight. However, you don’t necessarily have to become a gym junkie to get your daily dose of physical activity. Besides, gym memberships can be expensive, so if you’re on a budget joining your local fitness club might be out of the question.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can lose weight and tone up your body at the same time without having to stretch your budget to pay for a gym membership. Here are some ways to stay on track with your fitness goals and maintain a healthy weight at the same time.
If you don’t have time for a full workout during your busy schedule, think about finding a few minutes each day to do some squats. Do a few during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show or sneak a few in while you’re on the phone to a friend. The benefit of squats is that they work out your hips, glutes, quads and hamstrings. If your technique is correct, you’ll also be strengthening your core muscles at the same time.
Walking is perhaps the easiest way to boost your fitness levels, tone up your body and burn calories at the same time. Find ways to increase the number of steps you walk each day by doing simple things around your normal daily routine. Park the car a little further away from the mall and walk across the parking lot. Stroll up and down the mall for a while before heading into the store. Walk a few laps around your backyard. If you don’t have a big yard, pace around the dining room table a few times. It might not seem like much, but you’ll be adding to your daily tally of physical activity and every little bit counts.
If you’re the type of person who prefers working out with an instructor or trainer providing direction for what exercises to do next, why not take advantage of YouTube? There’s no need to pay hefty fees to join group fitness classes when there are plenty of great videos available for whatever style of workout you want. Download your favorite yoga class onto your computer or stream a high-energy Zumba class right to your TV so you get the workout you want whenever it suits you.
#4: Incidental Exercise
Incidental exercise is any type of physical activity you do throughout your day that isn’t part of a planned workout. There are plenty of incidental exercises that can burn calories and help tone up your body at the same time. For example, washing your car with a bucket and sponge can help tone your arms, stomach, abs and thighs, as well as strengthen your core. Simple household chores, such as sweeping or mopping the floor can be great for working out your abdominal muscles and lower back. Pulling weeds out of the garden beds also burns calories and gets you out in the sunshine for some added vitamin D.
#5: Track Your Efforts
One of the biggest problems most people face when trying to lose weight is underestimating how many calories they really consume and how many they burn in each day. When you believe you’re eating a low-fat, calorie-controlled diet but you can’t seem to shift those excess pounds it can be disheartening.
Rather than lose your motivation, take the time to really track your efforts. Use a food diary to highlight where any hidden calories might be sneaking into your daily food intake. You might be focused on eating calorie-controlled foods, but are you also accounting for the liquids you drink throughout the day? Sweetened coffee, high-sugar soda drinks, fruit juices or energy drinks could be adding hidden calories you aren’t considering in your plans.
Likewise, use a good online calories burned calculator to keep track of how your daily physical activities are contributing towards your weight loss efforts. An online calories burned calculator can tell you how much energy you use while doing simple things, such as walking, doing a Pilates workout, scrubbing the bathroom, or hanging laundry.
The key to losing weight and toning your body is to find simple things you can do throughout each day that all contribute towards your overall efforts. Be accountable for your efforts and take advantage of online tools, such as calories burned calculators and food diaries to help you understand what could be sabotaging your efforts. When you combine all of those things together, you should find it much easier to achieve your weight loss goals.