Headspace Hub, Life, Wellbeing

How To Get Fit Without Feeling Like You’re Exercising

Ever just wanted to just laze around all weekend with Netflix your only company? No? Just me? Well either way, while we should all indulge in the occasional treat, keeping a half decent active, fit, lifestyle is also damn important.

We’re well into the new year, and don’t worry, that half-half commitment you promised yourself at the gym doesn’t have to be a failed cause. We do so much in our everyday lives that it’s pretty easy to understand why us millennials can often find it hard to stick to our various fitness routines.

And according to Alex Parker, a Professor with the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living at Victoria University, there’s definitely no coincidence between a lack of fitness and depression.

“The less active someone is, the more likely, particularly with mood or depression, the more likely they are going to have depression symptoms,” she said.

“And being more active is protective against developing depression.”

So, with this is in mind, we’ve got a bunch of tips for ya’ll that’ll help you get fit without even feeling like you’re actually exuding any effort (win, win.)

Get Off One Stop Early

The regular no brainer this. If you’re commuting to work, parties, events etc jump off one or two stops earlier than your regular exit. Make it a 15-20 minute walk instead of a five-minute cruise. Do this both directions and you’ll smash out an easy, and subtle, 30-45 minutes of cardio everyday.

You don’t have to walk a marathon, just little additions that will make a small difference on the day, but a big difference in the long term.

Hikes For Days

Woman looking out at a mountain landscape on a scenic hike

If you’re planning to catch up with a few mates, instead of a calorie-fuelled lunch, pack a bag and hit the mountains. No matter where you are, you’re bound to have a decent, hike-worthy area nearby. Take a few fruits, treats and you can easily turn it into a whole day thing.

You’ll have views for days, you’ll get fit in no time, and the shit talk will still undoubtedly flow. Good times all round and your body will be better for it.

Become A Vollie

Volunteering isn’t only a feel good work outlet, but one that often has you on your feet for long parts of days. From charity work, door knocking and community building to volunteering a festivals and music events, you’re going to be doing a lot of moving. And look at it this way, the more you do, the more you help others, the more exercise you technically do.

Oh and if you do sign up as a vollie for a festival, you’ll likely get a ticket to the event too. So you’re technically getting paid to exercise (in a way). Yeah, where’s that sign up form at?

Invest In Wearable Tech

Person checks stats on the screen of their apple watch

In a world of increasing tech, get all Black Mirror on your modern life and invest in some wearable fun. From Garmin Trackers and Smartwatches to Fitbits and apps that track basically everything you do, the world is your automated oyster. Even if it’s a pedometer you can download for free on your smartphone, seeing that step tracker will become a psychological thing and you’ll be doing everything you can to hit 10,000 steps a day.

Try apps like C25KFitocracy and Human, which will all help you monitor your daily routines and help you carve out some better fitness goals based on your everyday habits.

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Have (A Lot Of) Breaks

Set break times in your calendar or daily routine and treat them like meetings. Whether it’s a 15 minute coffee run, a quick walk or even just spending time outside the lecture room, office or home. Try to actually walk to a café as opposed to someone always getting it for you, read a chapter or two of your latest book under a tree in the sun. Heck, even just stand up and stretch consistently, the cat videos aren’t going anywhere.

Meditation is also a great way to spend a quick break, and if you’ve never done it before, jump onto 1 Giant Mind to get a super easy and simple intro into it that’ll have you hooked.

Please Stand Up

The data is out there that proves we actually do sit down way too much everyday. So whether it’s getting one of those (aesthetically awful) standing desks at work, standing on the train in between stops or simply having little five to ten minute walking breaks here or there, it’ll do wonders.

Actually Eat Properly

A breakfast with fruits, orange juice and bread with cream on a wooden table

While a double Netflix and food binge is a favourite for everyone no doubt, at least making a subtle effort at healthy eating is actually exercise in itself for those organs you’ve heard all about inside ‘ya body. One I thing I do is try to stick to water on weeknights and have at least one serving of greens each day (it’s a start, don’t hate.) But seriously you’d be amazed at how good you feel just on a half decent diet.

You don’t need to go crazy with it, just be smart. Depending on how much exercise you do, reflect that in your diet. It’s okay to go carb heavy if you do a lot of cardio for example. But don’t smash schnittys and steaks everyday if you’re trying to keep fit.

Buddy Up

Goodness knows most things are better with company, so gather some of your nearest pals and convince them to join you on one of the above. Maybe a group of you can volunteer at a festival together, you and a mate could get off at the train stop before the office or start using an app together.

Whatever it is, you should both be able to motivate each other when you pick something to focus on. And there is definitely nothing worse than flaking on a close friend, so use that inner motivation.

If you’re feeling a bit down about your lifestyle, that’s totally chill and normal. Start small, set solid little goals, track your progress and you’ll be feeling mighty fit in no time at all. But if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, chat to a mate about it, check out headspace’s fitness fact sheet for a tonne of tips. Small steps are key and it’s completely okay to get some advice or helping hands!

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Hannah is a girl boss. Word writer. Cultural warrior. Lover of tacos. And generally all things that promote fab vibes.

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