3 Low-stress Fitness Secrets for Transforming Your Body

Image via Pexels

The very word “fitness” often seems to have the power to inspire terror, disgust, hatred, and/or guilt in people within seconds of it being uttered.

Well-meaning personal trainers and health activists across the land have sat around scratching their heads while trying to concoct the perfect strategy for getting more people into shape, while every year January sees thousands of New Years Resolutioners signing up to spin classes, only for most to drop out by February.

Fortunately, there are ways of getting fit that don’t involve building up to marathon-effort runs, or going on daily 2-hour circuits of every resistance training machine in the local gym.

Here are a few unconventional fitness tips which might just help you to take the stress out of your training and see positive results.

Do the same resistance exercises daily

Conventional wisdom on resistance training says that you should do a large number of exercises, preferably using an array of different bits of equipment — everything from dumbbells, to pec-dec machines, to bodyweight crunches.

Conventional wisdom also dictates that in order to see results, you should push yourself hard, to the point of failure and exhaustion, with your exercises, and take a rest day after each resistance training day.

This approach is probably more to blame than any other for people’s bad relationships with fitness culture, as its direct consequence is exhausting, often long workouts, followed by days of pain, and reluctance to hit the gym again.

Russian-born strength and conditioning coach, Pavel Tsatsouline, proposes an alternative approach.

He advises doing just two exercises, for two sets each, never doing them to failure, and doing them each and every day without fail. The exercises he recommends are, for bodyweight training, variants of the pushup and bodyweight squat. For barbell training, the deadlift and military press.

This approach, drawn from the research of Soviet-era scientists, will have you increasing your strength, with rapid-fire workouts, while never feeling sore the next day.

Don’t jog, only sprint and walk

Jogging is one of the most popular forms of exercise out there for overall cardiovascular conditioning. It also tends to be one of the most strenuous, with many people struggling immensely to convince themselves to run laps around the block on a regular basis.

In recent times, HIIT — or “High Intensity Interval Training” — has drawn plenty of attention as a way of getting equivalent effects to jogging, in much less, and in a short burst of maximum effort.

It seems that sprinting for a few minutes is at least as effective as jogging for an hour, for everything from fat loss to heart health.

Walking is also a great alternative to jogging, boasting many of the same overall benefits, with only a fraction of the strain. While marathon runners are often injured by their intense labours, hikers can hit the trails every day without being worse off.

Set something ridiculously easy as your fitness goal

Sometimes, fitness really comes down to installing the right habits into our daily routines. Bursts of willpower are great, but aren’t a consistent and reliable way of getting things done, and it’s possible to get in shape without having to keep an online Dr app on your phone just in case.

One trick for helping fitness habits to stick, is to set some fitness goal that’s ridiculously easy to achieve. A classic example is, “every day I will put my running shoes on”.

The key here is in building a fitness trigger into your unconscious mind. Even if you don’t run every day, you’ll start laying the foundations for your new habit. And often when you’ve put your shoes on, that run will seem less daunting than before.


Leave a Reply