Thursday, July 4, 2013

Easy Exercise Ideas for Busy/Lazy People

Summer is on its way in FULL FORCE. Summer= SWIMSUIT~!

Anyone out there shuddering?

I'm going to start off by saying, there is NO SHORTCUT to a "good body". Anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something- without exception. When I say "good body" I do not simply mean a "thin" body. My definition of a good body is one that is full of energy, vibrancy, strength and health--- and consequently, it probably looks good to the naked eye.


1- Eat a whole foods diet low in fat: This means eating as close to nature as possible. The less your food has been touched by human (or robotic) hands- the better it is for you.

Vibrant colors in your meal= vibrant health!

Having a whole foods diet also means avoiding anything with chemical sweeteners, added hormones (real and synthetic), unnecessary additives (like coloring), etc.  These things truly mess with your own hormones and natural body systems. They cause strange disruptions in bodily processes and lead to weird bumpy fat gain and cellulite.

2- Exercise: That's right! Get off the couch and move your body! Did I lose you? No one wants to hear that they have to exercise to firm up, but it's true. But let me guess, you don't like exercising. Right?
Actually exercise.... and moving in general is against our own human evolution! That's right!

Mankind has only spent a few thousand years living in "civilization". Before that we roamed around and found food. Then we rested and sat on our bums. We needed to save up that precious energy in case we needed to GTFO because of a predator. The behaviors of eating as much as we could, and moving as little as possible has ensured our survival as a species. THIS is what you are fighting against when you feel less-than-motivated to exercise.

That doesn't mean that you are doomed though. Just adding a little something new to your daily routine can go a long way in the "end"... no pun intended.

Start off with re-thinking the way you view exercise.

Exercise doesn't have to mean going to the gym, running on a "dreadmill", etc. So stop thinking that when you hear "exercise". Exercise needs to be something that you can do easily and daily and for many, going from couch potato to 6 days a week at a gym leads to burnout. Here are a few things you can do everyday to help tone your body, increase your heart rate, and just get your mind into thinking about exercising and choosing healthier options in general.

8 Easy Ways to Get Your Body Moving Without Changing Your Routine Too Much

  • Take your bike to school or work. Even a few times a week is a great start! Fair-weather bike riding is a great starting point as well. You'll get hooked after you feel those endorphins pumping.

  • Take the stairs whenever possible. The stairs are always faster- at least in Asia where it can get pretty crowded.  My habit is to always take the stairs if my destination is 7 flights or less. I'll eventually work up to more, but I'm happy here for now. 
The people on the stairs will get to where they are going much faster
and burn some cals at the same time! WIN- WIN!
Check out this video! I recently saw this group of teenagers playing this game up the stairs of Shinsegae Department Store in Haeundae! They played "Rock, Scissors, Paper" to see who gets to move up to the next step. The one that gets to the top, wins! What a fun way to get in some exercise!


  • When you go grocery shopping use the basket. Don't let it drag you down, do some curls while walking around the store or waiting in line. Keep your elbow bent. This will help isolate your bicep muscle.
The photo on the left shows the way most people carry a shopping basket. They let the weight drag their whole body lopsided, and this will usually cause back pain. Try holding your basket like the photo on the right. Shoulders should be even, elbow bent and the bicep engaged. This will ensure you are truly working your muscle instead of compensating with your back. 

  • Go hiking or walking with your friends as a social activity. 
With our great friends Chris and Meghan at the top of Jirisan. Cheonhwangbong Peak 4,213 ft above sea level.
  • Stand on the bus and try not to hold on. I refer to this as "bus surfing" and it can be a great leg and ab workout! Be careful out there!
  • Don't sit down on your break time. I'm a teacher and I like to go into empty classrooms to read, find some quiet OR do a little ad-libbed exercises. 
Doing some dips between 2 desks. It'd be great if they were higher. But I'll take what I can get!
  • Cleaning house. Throw away your Swiffer and your tall broom. Get down on the floor and scrub! Your house gets cleaner and you get A FULL BODY WORKOUT! 
  • Don't sit when you can squat. Be an "opportunistic exerciser". Check out my gorgeous friend Meghan blow drying her hair. Who needs a chair when you can squat!? Look at those legs! What an inspiration!  

I like all of these things because they are all so easy to do in everyday life. AND you are multi-tasking and being efficient.. which happens to be one of my favorite things to do. Plus in this way, you exercise the way humans have done for millennia. Out of necessity.

It's been hard for me to get into exercising. Since I was young I was involved in some sport for almost the whole year! The exercise just came naturally, and it was a part of the fun. After high school, I just neglected it altogether. But in the last couple years, I've found joy in moving my body again.

Now I do yoga a couple times a week, I enjoy running and hiking for fun, and recently I've been really into lifting weights on my mountain (more to come on that in the next post) and doing exercise videos on Youtube. THIS one and THIS on are my favorites! I don't do all of these exercises everyday, all week. I just listen to my body and what it needs.

Whatever your exercise level or ability, don't let it stop you from trying. Everyone has to start somewhere!

Life is what you make of it. There is ALWAYS time to exercise in some extent. Even if you "can't make time", there are opportunities everyday to do more than you did yesterday.

See the opportunities and positives in all the mundane tasks of life.

Live your Life with more movement.

Live YOUR Life--

The Empowered Way


Leave me a comment and let me know some easy ways you get a little exercise in everyday!! I'd love to add some more ideas to my routine!!!

PS: Last year- I wrote a post about 1 important thing to cut out of your diet to get you ready for bikini weather. Check it out HERE!