Are you one of those people who wants to lose-weight, but struggles to keep up with the consistency of working out? It’s a common dilemma that a lot of us face, with too busy, too tired or too lazy being the overriding voice of reason.
The harsh reality is you have to move it to lose it, but you also don’t have to run yourself into the ground to do so, either. We chatted to Isowhey sports ambassador and owner of BattleFit Australia, Andrew Pap (pictured below) to find out more realistic ways to approach weight-loss, and all of which require minimal effort!
Be realistic in your planning
First things first, if you’re not used to going to the gym 5-6 days a week or eating impeccably healthy, cut yourself some slack and ease your way into it. “When you make the resolution it’s easy to get carried away, throwing yourself at the gym every day and over restricting yourself from sugar/carbs/fats or whatever ‘fad diet’ seems to be in fashion at that moment,” says Andrew.
Going too hard too soon is usually when failure strikes. It’s also when we’re most likely to get overwhelmed and quit. Instead, “be realistic in your planning, understand that you’re easing your way back into this lifestyle and are not accustom the work load that you will soon experience.”
Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
Incorporate ‘easy sessions’ into your workout routine
It’s all too easy to think that being tired or exhausted warrants the excuse to do nothing, but any exercise is better than no exercise. And while it’s important to take a “holistic approach” to training and nutrition, there are still exercises you can do that require minimal effort and which still burn calories.
“If you are feeling tired or exhausted, try doing an active recovery activity such as yoga, walking, swimming or a stretching session. After doing a session like this, you may find that you get a burst of energy and can then go onto do something that is a little more strenuous,” encourages Andrew.
Shorten your workouts
After a long day at the office or running around on your feet, sometimes the last thing you want to do is slog it out at the gym for an hour. This is not an excuse to skip on your workout, however! Stop thinking big and start thinking small. A half hour workout is more than enough time to work up a sweat and burn calories, and is relatively easy to motivate yourself to do.
“I would recommend simple body weight ‘tabata’ style circuits,” says Andrew. “For tabata, you will do an activity, such as rowing, running or cycling at a high speed for 20 seconds, and then a lower speed for 10 seconds and repeat for at least 8 sets if not more.
“This style of training is great as it incorporates the entire body including upper body, core and legs in every session. You’ll be able to enjoy a quick high intensity workout that’ll give you the ‘pick me up’ that you need for the day!”
If you just can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, despite setting four alarms (all of which you’ve clearly snoozed), Andrew says it is okay to have a sleep-in, but advises that you revise your reason for being exhausted. And no, the bed being too warm and cosy doesn’t count! “If you’re waking up exhausted, then either you’re over training, sleeping too little or possibly lacking in your nutrition,” he insists.
“I would suggest sleeping and making sure that you’re well rested for your next session. If you continue to push through those signs of exhaustion you can potentially begin to show signs of chronic fatigue. Too much stress on your adrenal glands could have you sidelined for years!”
Find a spare 10 minutes
Surprisingly, you can achieve a lot in ten minutes, and it’s not a difficult amount of time to free up in your day. So if you really are too busy or too lazy to get in a half hour workout, make a commitment to move for ten minutes and give it all you’ve got. Just think: It’s ten minutes!
“If you are doing a very short session, I would suggest keeping your heart rate high the entire time by incorporating multi-joint movements such as burpees, squats, moving lunges, bear crawls and star jumps,” insists Andrew. “Look at doing an AMRAP session (As Many Rounds As Possible) in ten minutes.”
Here is one of Andrew’s suggested AMRAP workouts:
- 5 burpees
- 10 mountain climbers
- 10m bear crawls forward/reverse
- 10 lunges
- 5 jump squats
Commit, but don’t over commit
For some, working out 5-6 times a week is unrealistic. It’s certainly something you can work up to, but the goal here is consistency. To start out, Andrew recommends doing three hard sessions per week and two active recovery sessions, such as walking, yoga or stretching. Once you’ve become accustom to this routine, “bump it up to 4/5 hard sessions, 2/3 active recovery and at least one day completely rested.” Regardless, Andrew recommends moving at least four times a week to see results.
Keep it fun
Time and time again we’re advised to participate in forms of exercise that we enjoy, and for Andrew, this is partly how he keeps in shape. “I make sure that I am doing what I love. Exercising should not be a chore.”
He explains: “I like to train in many different codes of fitness as I love to try new things. It keeps me entertained and it allows me to learn new techniques and have new ideas that I can then incorporate into my own workouts.”
Not sure where to start? The sports ambassador insists there are many creative and fun ways to keep active, including joining an individual or team sport, pursuing hobbies, gym, boot camps, surfing or rowing. “You should be able to find something that you enjoy doing.”
Shift your focus
Ever heard of the saying “what you resist, persists?” If you continue to focus on the number on the scale or the centimetres around your waistline, the desired results are likely to evade you. Instead, try a more positive approach, such as Andrews: “What I like is to set performance goals rather than goals that are based on weight or measurements.
“I feel that if you become a stronger, faster, fitter version of yourself then you should start not only looking and feeling better, but also being stronger and healthier too. I really like to have events to look forward too as well as it encourages me to stay disciplined and on track.”
Feature Image via Shutterstock