3 Lazy AF Ways You Can Actually Get In Better Shape, According To Science

by Talia Koren

Some days, you literally just can't with the gym. Or sweating. Or moving.

But even on those lazy days, we still want to do something to take care of our bodies (that isn't sleeping, of course). Life gets so crazy, it's hard to find time to work out in the middle of our Netflix binge-watching schedules, let alone find the energy to throw on gym clothes and leave the house.

Skipping workouts can make you feel slightly guilty. But lucky for us, science says there are actually ways to improve your health without physically moving at all. I know, this is the BEST NEWS.

According to three separate studies reported by Daily Mail, you can kiss your workout guilt goodbye with these lazy ways to benefit your health.

1. Taking warm baths.

Between taking a hot bath or getting sweaty at the gym, which would you choose on a lazy Sunday? If it's the former, you're actually doing your body a world of good.

A study conducted in Finland last year found that men who went in the sauna two or three times a week had a lower risk of death by heart attack or stroke, compared to men who only went in once.

In the study, 10 participants had an hour-long bath at a temperature of 104 Fahrenheit one day. The next day, they cycled to get their body temperatures to match the heat of the bath. Researchers monitored their blood sugar after eating and calories burned during both the bath and cycling sessions.

Exercise is proven to lower blood sugar, but the study proved a bath is also effective to keep blood sugar levels down. That's great news for you, bath lovers.

In fact, the participants' blood sugar levels were 10 percent lower after bathing, compared to their blood sugar levels after exercise.

Bath bonus: You can burn around 125 calories in a bath, which is equivalent to the average amount of calories burned during a 30-minute walk.

2. Having someone stretch your limbs for you.

It's easy to skip stretching after a workout because all you want to do when you get home is jump in the shower or sit on your couch. When you're in a rush to get somewhere or do something post-workout, the last thing you care about doing is stretching.

But studies show that if you have someone stretch your limbs for you, it can help with those pesky blood sugar levels.

In diabetes research, 10 volunteers drank a sugary drink in the morning after a night of sleep and were told to sit still for 20 minutes. The next day, they did the same, but their muscles on the upper and lower parts of their bodies were stretched by an expert.

The stretches were held for 30 seconds and then repeated. Afterward, researchers monitored their blood sugar levels. As it turns out, they were 23 percent lower compared to the day before when the participants were just resting.

The researchers also said that you'd see the same results with normal exercise, but why would you work out if your blood sugar can benefit from passive stretching?

3. Literally just thinking about exercise.

OK, this one is more of a stretch. But did you know you can think your way to a stronger bod? Another study, as reported by Daily Mail, says if you just meditate on your muscles, you will use a higher percentage of their existing power.

So, no, thinking about doing crunches isn't going to get you six-pack abs, but it will make the muscles you already have a little stronger. Every little bit makes a difference, people!

The technique is called mental or motor imagery. In the study, seven participants were asked to push down on a machine with their legs that recorded the strength of their calves. For the next month after the test, they were told to imagine their muscles contracting for 15 minutes, five times a week while not moving at all.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Researchers found that the participants' strength had improved by around 8 percent after one month of mind exercise.

So, there you have it, folks. It IS possible to think your way to a stronger bod. And if you're too lazy to do that, you're probably just hopeless.

Citations: How you can get fit just by THINKING about exercise! (Daily Mail)