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    "It Got Me Into The Best Shape Of My Life": People Are Sharing Their Honest And Practical Advice For Getting Consistent Exercise

    "My neighbor is a personal trainer, and his clients ask him all the time what’s the best piece of fitness equipment to get at home. He tells them to get a dog and walk it."

    In recent years, I've definitely noticed that I feel so much better when I can make it a priority to exercise regularly. But even though I know a good sweat sesh can help with everything from my anxiety to my sleep schedule, it's not always so easy to get myself to get up and do it.

    So when I came across a Reddit thread of people sharing the fitness tips that really work for them, I immediately started taking notes. Recently, u/neurobonkers asked people to share their game-changing fitness hacks, and I thought the responses were so varied, yet all honest and practical. Here's some of what people had to say:

    1. "The expression 'Not every workout has to be your best' really changed my view. On days when you are short on time or motivation, it’s so much easier to get yourself to go if you just accept that it’s going to be a mediocre workout."

    Person walking on treadmill in foreground, another exercising on bike in background

    2. "I have a show I only watch while I'm at the gym. So if I want to watch an episode of Supernatural, I have to go work out. And it is also an easy timer for me to make sure I work out for at least 40–45 minutes."


    "It also works for podcasts if you have favorites. I have five podcasts I love that they're all about an hour each, weekly episodes. I only listen to them when I'm walking, so I generally get at least four hours walking a week."


    3. "Intense workouts are good, but don't forget to take recovery days. They're so important and easy to forget."


    "Intense work requires intense rest."


    4. "When I first started, I did five minutes a day. Yes, five minutes probably doesn't do anything. But it helps build the habit. Now I work out almost every day. Even if I'm feeling like crap, I do at least five minutes, but most of the time, it's 30 minutes to an hour. It got me into the best shape of my entire life."

    Kitchen timer set to five minutes against a blue background

    5. "I made a deal with myself: I'm allowed to bail out of training/working out whenever I want, but it has to be from inside my car, with the sports bag in the trunk and the engine running. Making that decision from the comfort of your sofa after a hard day's work is way too easy, but once you're already on your way? It barely ever happens."


    6. "I get a sticker on my calendar for every day I work out. I'm an '80s kid, so stickers are life. I'm almost at one year of consistency and feel great! It's my 'stick to it' plan. LOL. Whatever works."


    7. "Keep everything simple and ready to go. The more prep work there is, the less likely you'll want to do shit. I keep a dumbbell in my room and just do curls and pushups of differing varieties. Whenever I want to do something, I just do it. No setup."

    Older woman exercising with dumbbell while seated in her living room

    8. "I hated going to the gym, and it took me forever to realize it was because I hated doing cardio. Ever since I started a routine focused on strength training, I want to be there all the time."


    "I'm completely the opposite of you, but I agree. In my case, I hate strength training and enjoy cardio (plus, no need to go to a gym, as I can do cardio anywhere). But the point is, find what you can stay motivated to do, and any workout is better than none. So-called fitness experts debate cardio vs. strength training, some combo of the two, etc., but I firmly believe that the best workout is the one that you will actually keep doing."


    9. "Paying a ridiculous amount for group fitness classes to ensure that my dumb ass works out."


    "We ran a running group, and at first our 5K program was free. We were lucky if 10% finished it. When we charged $20, over 80% finished.

    "It is amazing what money does to the mind."


    10. "My neighbor is a personal trainer, and his clients ask him all the time what’s the best piece of fitness equipment to get at home. He tells them to get a dog and walk it."

    Woman walking her dog in a park, both looking content

    11. "Having a piece of equipment in my home. I know it’s not possible for everyone, but I got a Peloton last year, and it’s been the first time I’ve stayed consistent with a workout routine. I’m on a 32-week streak and still going strong."


    12. "I was a lifelong couch potato, but I started working from home during the pandemic and started running with my dad. Now I can run a 5K during my lunch breaks. I sleep better, my digestion improved, and I had general improvement in my mental and physical health."


    13. "If it’s fun, you’ll keep coming back. This is why I joined a climbing gym."

    Woman in sportswear preparing to climb an indoor rock wall with various handholds

    14. "Doing it first thing. It was hard to find the motivation to get off my ass after work and cycle to an overcrowded gym. Now I get up three hours earlier than I used to, get out of bed without even thinking about it, and hop on my bike. The gym is empty. I get my day started by accomplishing something good for me, and in the afternoon, I even feel guilty about not going to the gym, until I remember I already did."


    15. "I used to try to wake up earlier to work out and failed miserably. I'm not a morning person. However, I can wake up 30 to 45 minutes earlier and start my work. So I created a 30- to 45-minute buffer to take a break from work sometime later that day, and I use it to work out. When you've been working nonstop for three to four hours, your body will crave the workout because it is a way to stop working. So now I work out nearly every weekday."


    16. "I've discovered that vigorously dancing around my living room pretending I'm in a music video burns just as many calories as a gym session. Plus, I get to practice my award-winning air guitar skills at the same time! Who needs a treadmill when you've got imaginary crowds cheering you on?"

    Family of four happily dancing together in a living room

    17. "My hack is I change into my gym clothes before I leave work. When I waited to change, I would get distracted by other tasks that needed to get done, such as throwing a load of laundry in when I changed, as I would see the hamper."


    18. "I work from home and have a home gym set up. Recently, I put a rule in place that I must complete three or four sets of 8 to 12 reps of an exercise before I can have a coffee. I pick one of the following compound exercises each day: pullups, dips, bench presses, barbell bent over rows, squats, or deadlifts."


    19. "As an almost 50-year-old woman, I do heavy-weight lifting. We were told our whole lives to do endless cardio and lift light weights so we wouldn’t 'bulk up.' Nothing has changed my body composition, fitness, and strength like REAL weight training. I wish I’d known 20 years ago what I know now."

    Woman prepares to lift a barbell at the gym

    20. "At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I started riding my bike everywhere. I previously relied on public transit and didn't want to risk being around so many people. I've continued commuting by bike everywhere since then, and it's helped a ton with consistency. It doesn't matter if I'm not in the mood; I still have to get home, and that means pedaling."


    21. "Try something new. I started at the gym and made big gains but became really bored with it. I tried out some circus aerial classes and got into bouldering. Not only do I get to work out while doing the things I love, but I’ve also been promoted to teaching beginners at my pole dance studio, so hopefully they find a new passion too."


    22. "Team sports with friends! I never thought this was something I’d be doing, but it’s been the easiest way to stay fit in my 30s. I don’t even see it as a workout now; it's just fun with friends. It’s been great for building relationships, too."

    Softball player in uniform catching a ball

    23. "I look at going to the gym as a spa date. After working out, I use the sauna, which I love."


    24. "My teen signed up for martial arts classes. My husband and I decided to join with her. The hack is that she loves it and nags us into going. Then I give it 100% because I can't let my kid show me up."


    25. And finally: "For me, it’s knowing my 'why.' Whenever I’m not motivated to work out, I think of my kids and how I want to be active and a part of their lives and be able to play with my grandkids. It always works to get me up and about, and then I always feel amazing afterward."

    An adult and child holding hands, joyfully running on grass

    Is there something that's helped you incorporate more movement into your daily life? Tell me about it in the comments!

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.