The Lazy Teen’s Guide to Fitness

Exercise can be tough for the lazy teen, but we've got some sneaky tips. 

Tim Soter Photography

Does lifting the remote count as your daily exercise? Not exactly—but you won’t believe what does.

You’re lounging on a Saturday afternoon when you channel-surf your way to an ad for one of those super-serious exercise DVDs. This one claims it will get you “absolutely ripped” in just a month: It’s the most crazy, intense workout ever! Just 90 minutes a day! Yikes! “If that’s what it takes to be in shape, forget it,” you say. Then you grab the chips—and change the channel.

The good news is, exercise scientists now say that a solid seven minutes of super-strategic activity is enough to jump-start your fitness routine. So stash the junk food and put on your sneakers, then flip the page for the complete how-to!

3 Sneaky Tricks to Make Exercise Feel Easier

Try out these tips and you’ll push yourself hard—but hardly notice!

Trick #1: Work out after school.

Studies show that your internal clock and body temperature are best primed for exercise between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Not only are your muscles warm and flexible, but your strength is at its peak too!

Trick #2: Cue up the perfect playlist.

You already know that pumping the music you love can motivate you to get moving. But researchers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, have found that picking songs with the right tempo can help you more effortlessly achieve your target heart rate. For this workout, you need songs with about 140-170 beats per minute (bpm), but your playlist doesn’t have to be exact­—just go with the fastest and most upbeat songs in your library.

Trick #3: Visualize it first.

Take a minute to imagine yourself looking strong and confident as you breeze through your workout. It’s been proven that visualizing a great workout can help you stick with your exercise program and boost your strength and stamina. So spend a couple of minutes on the bus ride home zoning out and picturing those perfect squats and push-ups!


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