To all my fellow lazy women: What sounds more magical than munching crisp, salty potato chips and getting great exercise at the same time? Literally nothing. That's why I've put together a series of unique (and safe) workouts tailored specifically for your sloth-moving, snack-loving self. You don't even have to leave the house or change out of your pajamas. Halfway through your third time watching Game of Thrones? Not a problem. You can actually do any of these while watching your favorite TV show. If you're like me, the gym or regular workouts just bore you. In my limited free time, I care more about food and lazy activities, not difficult body exertions. The thought of lifting a weight or running for more than two seconds sounds hard. Not anymore. There's another way to do it. Like, workouts using food.
Now you'll have something fitness related to show your friends that's easier than flexing in mirrors at the gym or advertising protein powder milkshakes for Instagram pictures. Check out these fab positions you can set up right at home to make delicious snacks into sweet rewards.
For the exercises below, I chose one of my favorite snacks: potato chips. Feel free to switch it up a bit with different snacks or candies if you prefer something other than chips, just make sure you're careful to drink loads of water (especially if you go savory) and avoid any foods that may be choking hazards (let's not go with jawbreakers). It doesn't have to be food, either, the premise here is just to reward yourself for your efforts.
As full-time nurse and part-time fitness instructor Shane O'Dwyer asserts, "In exercise, a system of reward can help people who don't necessarily enjoy training for its own sake establish a regular habit. Each time you reward yourself, your brain makes associations between that activity and the payoff that comes with it. Unconsciously, your body comes to anticipate this cause and effect relationship between exercise and pleasure and is more likely to want to repeat this pattern. This is an especially effective system if working out is already negatively associated in your life. Just remember not to overindulge."
Do a few of these workouts every day and soon enough your friends will be doing them with you, contributing their own snacks while you all have a Netflix marathon. It's really only a matter of time until Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson knocks on your door asking for advice – not only for your workout routines, but also your killer cheat day skills.
1. Plate Pushups
Give your arms and chest a nice burn with these potato chip pushups. Simply get in pushup position, place the chip-loaded plate directly beneath your face and slowly lower yourself down as you would any normal pushup. The only difference? This time you get a face full of deliciousness.
Pushup. Munch. Repeat. My advice is to be at least moderately well-behaved; you should only grab one chip with each pushup you do. That way you can control how many you do all together. And, with this trick, you'll start to forget about the pain in your muscles because the most painful part of the whole exercise is telling yourself repeatedly not to eat everything all at once.
2. Salty Squats
Place the chip-loaded plate on a high-up island table or counter in your kitchen. Next, face the table with your hands behind your head to stifle those urges to reach for the chips. With each squat, lean forward just enough to snag a chip off the plate with your lips. Why is it worth it? Why keep squatting up and down... who cares? You do. The snacks are irresistible.
3. Scrumptious Situps
Really challenge your balance with this one. Lie on your back in a traditional sit-up position, carefully place a potato chip on each knee. With each complete sit-up, snag a chip, then replace and repeat. This works your stomach muscles because, on top of the sit-ups, your belly is begging for the next reward.
If you'd like a little something extra, keep the chip-loaded plate a little bit of a stretch from your body. Then, after two sit-ups have left your knees bare, reach over that little bit extra to grab two more. It's a great combo.
4. Mouth-Watering Arm Extensions
This one is the most difficult. It's exactly like the old cartoon of the bunny running on the treadmill with a carrot hanging at the end. Do this one walking around your house for five minutes and you'll feel as if you've run a marathon.
Hold a chip in each hand, extend your arms forward, and just keep them there in the air. Gravity will do its magic and, eventually, you'll have to relax. But hold on as long as you can — and when it gets too hard, go ahead and reward yourself with those chips.
Because this reward takes that much longer to reap, feel free to replace your chips with a food that's heavier and even more exciting to munch on when you can't keep your arms up anymore.
5. Tasty Toes
Disclaimer: You might want to wash your feet before attempting this one.
Combine a little yoga and flexibility with potato chips. Sit cross-legged and place a chip between each toe. Rock onto your back and stretch your foot toward your face to crunch those leg muscles. Munch a chip each time your toes reach your face. Then stretch your leg back out to elongate. Do this with both legs. Repeat.
So there you have some beginner exercises with a tasty twist. Now you can see it isn't hard to come up with some of these on your own, especially since you've learned the magic of using food as an exercise incentive.
Sure, using snacks in your exercise routine isn't exactly traditional, but it can be fun and healthy. And that's especially true when the flip side of your evening in was just munching on those potato chips with no complementary exercise at all.
You don't need the gym. You don't need those expensive workout pants that make your butt look amazing (your butt is already amazing, girl) because there won't be anyone random in your house watching you work out. You've got the comfort of your home and a new, creative fitness method.
You're a secret mastermind. You're a different breed. You're a lazy girl.
Welcome to No Sweat: an exhausted girl's guide to squeezing in fitness. This content package is for the woman who wants to find an exercise routine that doesn't feel like a chore. No Sweat isn't about changing the shape of your body; it's about feeling stronger, happier, and more energetic. Because working out doesn't mean you have to break a sweat.