22 ways to have fun getting fit

Simple moves to help you sneak healthy habits into your busy week

Los Angeles TimesJanuary 28, 2013 


3BFEATURE.NE.052206.JRR -- RALEIGH, NC -- 5/22/06 -- __David Lowman (cq) of Raleigh and his dog, Max (cq), take an afternoon stroll around Shelley Lake. They are silhouetted against the afternoon sky as they head up a small hill on their way back to the parking lot. __STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN ROTTET


1. Jump on the boutique gym bandwagon. Try a funky, fun fitness haven, where the low-impact, calorie-torching workout happens in a room full of cutting-edge elliptical machines. The classes fly by.

2. Exercise while doing household chores. Put in a load of laundry before you press “play” on a fitness DVD, and pause partway through to make the washer-to-dryer transfer. Or plan dinner around a casserole that bakes while you work out in the living room.

3. Give up extreme thinking. Don’t give up chocolate for 2013. How about: Give up bingeing on chocolate in 2013.

4. Got a tablet? Download a movie and prop it on a treadmill at the gym. The average movie should get you through four 30-minute walks.

5. Stop trying to be Julia Child come dinner time. Store-bought rotisserie chicken + bagged salad equals dinner. A corn tortilla quesadilla + bagged salad equals dinner.

6. Use social media. Find fitness fanatics to follow and draft off their enthusiasm to bolster your resolve. Use Twitter to announce your goals and ask followers to hold you accountable.

7. Find more ways to move at work. Instead of a stuffy meeting room, chat with a colleague during a brief walk.

8. Home workout DVDs can get expensive. Band together with like-minded friends or co-workers to invest in a few DVDs. Swap them every month to keep things interesting.

9. No time to work out? How about a 10-minute walk – five minutes in one direction, then turn around – in the morning, at noon and when you get home at night?

10. Register to walk a half marathon. You can download free training programs online.

11. Put $5 in a jar every time you work out or every time you bring a healthful lunch to work. If you work out three times a week and take lunch two times a week, you’ll be sitting on more than $1,000 by the holidays.

12. Read fitness magazines that will inspire you with new workouts (and not depress you with ridiculously skinny models).

13. Scour the Web for fitness blogs written by people like you, and bookmark them. The next time you feel like skipping a workout, tap into that community for motivation.

14. Parents: When you find yourself reaching for a doughnut, think of your kids. Do you want to saddle them with a morbidly obese, type 2 diabetic mom or dad? Step away from the doughnut.

15. If you have a salad bar at work, use it. Bring a protein from home – grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, tuna – and drop it onto some salad bar greens.

16. Have healthful snacks, such as almonds or beef jerky, in your desk drawer. In your glove compartment. In your purse. In your gym bag.

17. I like to download books, especially thrillers and mysteries. But I have a rule: I cannot listen unless I am walking the dog. I’m so eager to find out what happens next that, more often than not, the dog gets a three-mile walk.

18. Most Americans eat 250 to 300 grams of carbohydrates a day, the equivalent of 1,000 to 1,200 calories. The national Institute of Medicine recommends 130 grams. Look for small, easy ways to cut carbs. Eat the burger with half the bun. Scoop up hummus with cucumber slices.

19. Get mad at all the ads that bombard you with enticements to eat and drink yourself silly. Come up with a mantra to silently repeat to yourself when you see them: “I am not a billy goat. I don’t eat trash.”

20. What’s your favorite music? That’s what you should be working out to. Turn down the volume on the fitness DVD and work out to your own score.

21. If you don’t like running and weights, don’t do them. A perfectly good fitness regimen can revolve around yoga.

22. Would you like someone to scare you into eating fewer carbs? Read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis.

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