From The Straits Times    |

Ways to keep fit easily


Have a habit of snacking at the office? Are you too busy or lazy to hit the gym, but still want to keep to your New Year Resolution of staying fit? It might seem difficult, however it’s not impossible.

There are simple, smart ways to be stay in shape without doing anything extraordinary.

So, forget all those excuses you were going to come up with three months later and get ready to meet a new you.

Here are 10 simple things you should weave into your everyday schedule to keep fit and to stick to your fitness resolution:

1. Ditch the escalators

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We all love escalators, don’t we? It’s a 30-second respite from the morning rush hour, where for just that short moment, we can relax comfortably and zone out as the escalators bring us up or down to our destination. Sadly, it’s time to tone down that love a bit.

Climbing stairs is one of the best routine exercises as it burns more calories than jogging (yes!) and it helps tone up muscles. Begin by taking the stairs instead of the escalators during your daily commute.

When you’ve gotten used to it, try taking the stairs in your office instead of the elevators.

Over time, you’ll be able to see small improvements to your fitness — trust us.


2. Say no to your favourite coffee


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Yes, it might seem like a harmless stimulant you have each day to lift up your spirits or to keep yourself awake, but having your much-loved coffee from that fancy coffee shop needs to be stopped.

That’s because chances are your coffee is a dessert in disguise and you might be consuming around 200 to 400 calories each morning (OMG!).

Have a cup of green tea instead. Not only is it sugar-free, it’s packed with antioxidants and boosts the metabolic rate.


3. Exercise – anytime, anywhere

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If you are extremely busy and have no time to go for a jog or join the gym, why not exercise at your workplace or home? It only takes a few minutes and the results can be fascinating. S

imple, no equipment exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups or planks are great workout staples that you can do at home within minutes.

At work, weave in a few stretches or a short walk post lunch to stay active.


4. No more shouting ‘Taxi!’ or booking them on apps

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Bid goodbye to all the taxis you take throughout the day. Walking small distances will not only help you become and remain fit but also save cost. Walk to the closest MRT station or try walking to the bus stops closest to your home or workplace. On weekends, why not try riding a bicycle? It is the ideal exercise for your heart and lungs. If you live near a park connector, those are great places for an easy bike ride.


5. Indulge in shopping

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Yay, shopping! Hold your horses, though; we aren’t talking about buying that really expensive bag you always wanted to buy – we’re referring to fitness shopping.

Buy a nice pair of running shoes or fancy gym wear, something you’ll be happy to use every day.

This way, you will be motivated to get up every morning and go for a walk, not only to remain fit but also to use your new gear. Long live retail therapy. Don’t forget to use a shopping credit card to get the most out of your fitness shopping.


6. Download an app

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There are loads of apps that help maintain a daily routine. Download one of them and you will have some accountability regarding your fitness activities.

Specific fitness apps also tell you how many calories you have burnt after a workout session and encourage you to outperform yourself every day. Now, who doesn’t love some motivation?


7. Find a fitness buddy

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Going to the gym alone = boring. Going to the gym with a friend = not so boring. Plus, you and your gym/workout buddy can set goals and encourage each other to achieve them.

Make it a friendly competition and reward each other for a job well done.

If none of your friends are interested in joining you on your fitness journey, why not join a gym and make a friend there?


8. Bye-bye beer

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The year-end and Chinese New Year must have been particularly joyous with multiple excuses to drink and be merry. However, it’s time for a detox.

Did you know alcohol is the second most calorie-rich nutrient after fat, packing about seven calories per gram?

Being fit does not only mean losing weight, it’s also about eating healthy and cleansing, making sure you don’t imbibe more calories than you lose. So take a break from it and you will see a difference yourself.


9. Set tiny goals

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You might want to lose heaps of weight and want to do it fast. However, it pays to be realistic. Set obtainable targets and make a plan to achieve them. Keeping your goals practical is not only encouraging (as you will achieve them) but it is also a more logical way to remain fit in the long run. After all, you don’t want to overexert yourself, be disappointed, and fall on your face (it’s possible, quite literally).


10. Treat yourself

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Treats – the best part of everything difficult. Once you achieve your goal, take a day off, enjoy and forget about your fitness worries. This will not only break the monotony but it will want to make you achieve the next goal too. Having some light at the end of the tunnel is always great. So have that ice-cream you’ve been craving for all week, or that fried chicken drumstick. Then it’s back to work.