9 Fitness Hacks (Daily Tips for a Healthy & Toned Body)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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As a certified fitness coach, I’m always surprised by how many people put in the effort to go to the gym regularly but never bother to make positive fitness adjustments in their daily lives.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle to get more toned, there are some simple things you can do every day and every week to get you to your goals faster.

So, our team got together with five other personal trainers and two dietitians to come up with a list of fitness hacks that you can introduce right now.

Quick Summary

  • Some fitness hacks to get a healthy and toned body involve starting an interval workout routine, adjusting your daily commute, and walking your dog more often.
  • Introducing fitness hacks can be as simple as walking more regularly throughout the day or planning for more regular bodyweight exercises at home.
  • A National Institute of Health study suggests a six-month behavioral weight loss intervention resulted in positive changes in diet and exercise habits, leading to favorable changes in weight and other health outcomes among young adults.
  • In my opinion, adding short 5-minute bursts of activity can accelerate weight loss within weeks when combined with high-quality supplements to complement your workouts.

9 Fitness Hacks

Using resistance band to stretch legs

Here is a to-do list that you should keep somewhere convenient to take your weekly routine beyond just exercise and introduce more fitness hacks.

1. Start Doing an Interval Workout Routine

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, one of the benefits of high-intensity interval training is combining strength training like bicep curls and squats with cardio exercises to get a fully rounded workout [1].

Whether you go to the same gym or just hold each other accountable by having a quick phone conversation on the designated workout days, it’s a great way to stop talking yourself out of a workout.

“HIIT may provide the same health benefits as regular exercise in less time by helping increase calorie burn and reduce body fat, heart rate, and blood pressure.”

- Danielle Hildreth, RN, CPT

2. Adjust Your Daily Commute

Smiling woman in a bus

For many individuals, the daily routine typically includes waking up, sitting in a car, and driving to work. Even in urban settings where public transport is common, people often aim to disembark as close to work as possible.

Here's my take as a fitness trainer: Instead of hopping into your car, consider exploring public transport. Opt for a stop a bit farther away, and disembark one stop before your destination. This small adjustment adds a touch more daily walking, contributing to a boost in energy expenditure.

3. Walk Your Dog More Often

This is a healthy habit that benefits both you and your dog. While I'm not a dog trainer, I've observed that increasing your dog's exercise can lead to improved health and reduced hyperactivity.

Adding 10 or 15 minutes to your regular walks or incorporating an extra short walk can boost your step count, and turning one into a light jog provides a quick 15-minute cardio workout.

4. Avoid Elevators

Clicking the elevator button

In any building with an elevator, there's consistently a line for it. A straightforward health hack is to skip the elevator, exit a few floors early, and climb a few flights of stairs.

It's surprising how few people take the stairs, and when you encounter someone, they usually share the same fitness goal. This simple exercise can easily transform into a quick cardio session before reaching your workplace.

5. Schedule Workouts For Certain Days And Times

Develop a detailed workout plan and commit to it. Identify less busy days, block out time on your calendar—whether in the morning, lunch, or evening.

You can even incorporate exercise while watching TV by attaching your tablet to a treadmill or using commercial breaks. With commercials constituting about a quarter of TV-watching time, this simple change can make a sedentary lifestyle more active.

6. Track Your Fitness Progress

Woman tracking her workout progress

Many individuals set fitness goals but fail to monitor their progress. Instead, utilize various apps and smart wearable devices like an Oura ring or an Apple Watch to track your fitness.

These tools enable you to monitor steps, workouts, body temperature, and sleep patterns effortlessly, providing essential information for tracking your fitness without the need for additional time and effort to take notes.

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7. Reward Yourself With New Workout Clothes

It's common to find people packing old, worn-out clothes in their gym bags. Regardless of your fashion preferences or budget, having decent gym clothes is essential.

Set up personal rewards, like treating yourself to new runners after consistently going to the gym three days a week for a month. After two months, reward yourself with a stylish new T-shirt, matching shorts, and runners for added motivation.

8. Get Your Whole Family Fit

Helping family with working out

Involving your partner and children in a fitness routine significantly boosts success rates. Even if your goals differ, you become intrinsic motivation for each other, leading to more intense training, according to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity [2].

Don't underestimate external motivations—they're valuable. Witnessing your family adopt a balanced lifestyle is a delightful outcome.

9. Learn Cooking New Healthy Meals

While most tips focus on staying active, it's crucial to remember that 70% of weight loss and fitness is tied to what you eat. Experiment weekly with nutritious, freshly prepared meals for a diverse menu.

Over six months, you'll discover at least a dozen delicious meals, making healthy eating enjoyable. Cooking at home, as suggested by Collins Nwokolo from the You Must Get Healthy blog, provides control over ingredients and portion sizes, promoting balanced meals.

In my experience, experimenting with new cooking techniques and recipes has been a game-changer. It's not just about eating; it's a journey that broadens your palate and truly enhances the joy of embracing a healthy diet.

Learn more: Body Toning Workout Plans


References:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/high-intensity-interval-training/
  2. https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5868-7-7
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