Are you looking for ways to step it up around the house, burn some extra calories and put more health and fitness back into your daily routine? We’ve got some tricks that’ll help sneak exercise into your daily activities, plus give you a confidence boost so you'll feel positive and successful about your health and fitness.
Success breeds success, so let’s hop to it!
Build confidence and give your booty a boost in the bathroom
Talking negatively to yourself can be extremely detrimental to your self-esteem and self-confidence. That’s why pumping yourself up and becoming your own biggest fan is important when you’re committing to health and fitness goals. When you feel good about yourself and feel like you’re doing something positive, you’ll be more inclined to create a habitual way of life that includes healthy choices.
And, what better way to start than first thing in the morning when you’re in the bathroom? Write down positive affirmations on sticky notes, and then place them on your bathroom mirror. Write things like, “I am FIERCE!” or “I am strong!” on individual sticky notes. Repeat these out loud to yourself every morning. Putting these affirmations in the positive present tense tricks your subconscious into believing you’re already at your goal. By becoming happier with yourself, and your life in general, you’re actually helping yourself to live longer. Research shows you’ll live an extra 7.5-10 years when you’re happier!
Next, it’s time to brush your teeth and trick yourself into some exercise! Come up onto your tiptoes and do some calf raises. This exercise will work your calves, lower legs and help stabilize the ankle joints.
After your shower, as you’re drying your hair, you can also trick yourself into doing some lower body work! Burn some calories as you come into a lunge position. Lower down, then back up, repeating on the same leg until your hair is about halfway dry. Then, switch legs, and put the opposite foot forward to lunge on the other side. You’ll be performing a stationary lunge as you move up and down, and you’ll burn 40 calories per five minutes of hair drying!
Get lean while doing laundry
See it, believe it, achieve it! In your laundry room on a clothing line, hang your favorite pair of skinny jeans or a dress that you really want to fit into once you reach your health and fitness goals. Look at it every time you go into the laundry room. By envisioning how you’ll look and feel, you’ll become more emotionally connected to your goal. Research shows that those who create a vision board related to their goals are twice as confident that they’ll achieve them than those who don’t visualize their goals in some way. Therefore, if you simply hang an article of clothing that you can visualize yourself wearing, you’ll be much more confident in your ability to actually reach your goal!
Next, before you empty your full laundry basket of clothes into the washer, stop and do 10 overhead presses. Hold on to the basket with both hands and then press up over your head. Make sure you can look up and see the laundry basket in front of you (so don’t bring it behind your head — just in front of your forehead and up), and then bring the basket back down. This works your upper arms, shoulders and even your chest. You can do this same exercise after you take clothes out of the dryer and put them back into the basket.
Before pouring laundry detergent into the washer, use the detergent container as a weight! Get a good grip with your right hand, and curl up 10 times to work your bicep. Then, pour the detergent into the washer, put the cap back on and do 10 bicep curls with the other arm to even it out. You’ll be multitasking and tricking yourself into getting in a set of strength training while doing laundry.
Capitalize in the kitchen
Have you ever written out your weekly workout and eating plan on a calendar? This preplanning will help you to be more successful in your follow-through. Just like a doctor’s appointment or a work meeting that you see on your calendar, you’ll be reminded multiple times about your workouts and food choices before actually making them. Use a large dry erase board calendar on your fridge, and write out what you plan to eat and what workouts (and times!) you plan to do these things. You’ll be tricking your mind to focus on this calendar just like you do for your work or family calendar, therefore leading to more exercise and healthier food choices!
Trick yourself into exercising in the kitchen by doing squats while emptying the dishwasher. Squat down five times for every dish you unload! If you do five squats per dish, and unload 10 dishes, that adds up to 50 squats total, and you’ll burn an extra 150 calories if this takes you about 10 minutes.
And if you make a morning smoothie, you can really step it up while your drink is blending. Do pushups against the counter while you’re waiting instead of just standing still. Place your hands on the countertop a little bit wider than your shoulders. Then, walk your feet out away from the counter, keeping them hips-width distance apart. The farther your feet are away from the counter, the more difficult the pushup will be. Keep your feet flat, or, for more of a challenge, come up onto your tiptoes. With your hands placed on the counter, and your shoulders over your wrists, press down and bend your elbows out to the side, and then come back up to the starting position. Repeat this for 30 seconds or however long it takes for your smoothie to blend.
Become leaner upon leaving your house
As you’re putting your shoes on to get ready to leave the house, trick yourself into exercising by doing five standing toe taps with a butt squeeze at the top. After putting on your shoes, keep your legs straight with your arms reaching down as if you’d just tied your shoes. Bending over at the waist, pull your abs in, and slowly roll up. Stand up tall and squeeze your glutes at the top. Then, fold forward at your waist and walk your hands down your legs, and touch your toes. Slowly roll back up again, squeezing your legs and glutes. Repeat this five times to work the hamstrings, calves and glutes.
On your way out the door, grab two large water bottles to use as weights and pump your arms as your walk. This will help you burn calories by adding more weight to your walk. (As a bonus, you’ll be able to drink them at the end of your walk, which helps with fat loss!)
Speaking of adding more weight to your walk, you can also try putting on a pair of ankle weights before leaving the house. Research shows that by adding 1- to 3-pound ankle weights, you’re going to burn about 10 percent more calories walking than if you weren’t using weights.
While all of these exercises will help you to burn more calories throughout the day and strengthen your muscles, they’ll also get your head in the right space to feel positive about your self-care routine. By integrating these mental and physical positive habits into your life, you’ll be constantly signaling to yourself that you’re important, you’re worth it, and exercise doesn’t have to be a burden or a chore! In fact, in some cases it can even be the exciting part of a household chore!