Shhhh These are Top-Secret Fitness Tips
We’ve all heard the typical health advice for getting in shape: drink more water, get enough sleep, cut out soda…etc. We are constantly being bombarded with these fitness tips. Are there other fitness tips out there that are just as effective but not widely known – more “off-beat”?
Fitness Tips from the Pros
The week we reached out to fitness experts everywhere to hear their top-secret “off-beat” fitness tips that are sure to get results. We gave these experts the freedom to provide whatever fitness tips they wanted, just as long as they were about getting healthy at home – you know our typical DIY Style!
We were flooded with so many awesome answers that we had to break this article up into several, highly actionable parts.
We don’t want to blow your head up with too much information, right?
Get this: these are just the first 15 expert responses and their fitness tips! Go ahead and dive in and start implementing a few of these secret “offbeat” fitness tips into your daily routine!
1. Use Mindful Movement to make everything you do a workout – Even bending down to pick something up by making it a squat is repetition towards your goal.
Mindful movement means choosing the correct series of movements to perform your everyday tasks. e.g. reaching a shelf with your shoulder instead of your traps, walking up the stairs by putting your whole foot on the step, and pushing through your heel to use your glutes instead of momentum.
2. Hold your abs in with everything you do – Your center of force comes from in front of your second sacral vertebrae which is the level of your low abs near your pelvis.
By holding in your abs before you move, your body will want to choose the correct muscles to perform your movement instead of always choosing your low back or neck, whether it’s getting out of a chair or walking through the mall.
– Vivian Eisenstadt MAPT, CPT, MASP, CEO, Chief Physical Therapist at Vivie Therapy
1. Pinch yourself – Pinch yourself hard when you see unhealthy food that you really want to eat. You’ll slowly condition yourself to associate that food with pain and you won’t want it anymore.
2. Office exercise – If you work in an office, pull your chair out and turn it the other way.
Rest your back against the chair and do a modified wall sit while you work [of course, not a rolling chair].
– Dimitri Sonck is formerly a world-class competition-winning bodybuilder, previously a personal trainer and Dynamic Fitness Solutions representative.
1. Pre-plan and cook your meals for days at a time – Portion your meals into plastic containers and take them with you where ever you go. The fitness experts all know this is key to getting into and staying in amazing shape.
Bonus tip – use a large crockpot to cook 3-4 days of meals all at once.
2. Use liquid Stevia as a sugar substitute – Unlike other sugar substitutes, liquid Stevia in the pure form is virtually calorie-free.
If you’re an avid coffee drinker and love your sugar substitute, you would be amazed how a few calories here and there adds up, stalling your weight loss efforts. Liquid Stevia in the pure form is the answer.
– Kristin Shaffer is the founder of FAB-University.com a website dedicated to providing healthy solutions for super busy women to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
1. Get Some Sleep – Did you know that sleep can help you lose weight? Sleep is your body’s way to repair damaged cells and regulate hormones in the endocrine system (which regulates the thyroid and thereby your metabolism). Getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep can allow your body to lose that extra weight faster.
2. Get an Accountability Buddy – Give your friend $100 and tell your friend to give it back to you if you were able to go to the gym at least three times a week in a month. The odds are highly likely you will get that $100 at the end month.
In a study by led by the Univ. of California, showed that those who had self-funded commitment contract were more likely to stay consistent with an exercise program rather than those who were enrolled in an incentive program.
– Denise Lee is a personal trainer, America’s favorite medical exercise specialist, active contributor on ideafit.com, co-host of the Dominate Fitness Podcast, and owner and operator of Pinpoint Training Services, in Alexandria, VA.
1. Snack drawer – Keep one of the pull-out drawers in your fridge stocked with go-to snacks, such as plastic bags of vegetables, cups of hummus, and low-calorie dressing. It’ll make smart snacking easy.
2. Be prepped – If you are financially able to do this, sign up for a fruit and/or vegetable delivery service.
Once a month you will receive a basket full of some new surprises. You’ll look forward to it and enjoy the new product added to your diet and palate.
-Jennifer Purdie NASM CPT, ACE Fitness specialist, and Southern California running coach. Follow at @jenpurdie
1. Starvation (aka small calorie deficit) will make you insane – The first thing I suggest is simple and requires no knowledge; you don’t have to read a book you don’t want to read:
Throw out all your food that has ‘ingredients’. Start there. Replace it with food that’s food. And if you don’t like to eat kiwis or apples or broccoli, blend them and drink them.
2. Do what I call ‘weird shit’ – Do things your kids would roll your eyes at you for doing in public. I just shot a video of a workout I do exclusively with pallets (not Pilates, pallets…those wooden things so popular they break Pinterest sometimes).
Less extreme: The thing that makes routine possible for me is breaking it. So take your walk, but take it on the path less traveled in the park or woods. Keep your mind alert and stimulated by different things. Use park benches for your PT. Walk, do a set, walk to the next one.
– Mark Clement is co-host of the MyFixitUpLife show and a DIY and lifestyle expert as well as an elite Spartan racer and lifelong athlete.
1. Breakfast fuel-up – For breakfast have coffee with unsalted butter and coconut oil, don’t eat anything else. This originates from the Sherpas who have Yak butter tea.
Science proves when you’re waking up your body is in a fasting (fat burning) state. If you just give it fat with a caffeine kick it will keep burning fat until you provide carbs.
2. When you strength train, use at least 3 joints – Not the smokable kind.
So doing squats that use your hips, ankles, and knees is much better to exercise than leg extensions that just use your knee joint.
– Patrick Sweeney is a professional adventure athlete
1. Backload your food – Most people prefer to eat at night than in the earlier hours, so work with it instead of fighting it. You have little chance of long-term success if you force-feed yourself in the morning then have to white-knuckle through the evening.
As a bonus, you may decrease your risk of diabetes.
2. Worry about quantity, not quality – Your chances of dying of obesity are a million times greater than dying from not eating enough kale.
Do what you need to do to not carry extra body fat, even if it means eating jelly beans every night in the setting of a calorie deficit. It’s also more fun.
– Dr. Charlie Seltzer MD, Board Certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine, Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Certified as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist by the American College of Sports Medicine and Yahoo Health Advisory Board’s Expert in Weight Loss/Obesity
1. Grab a snack before dinner – Remember when Mom said “no snacks before dinner?” She meant well, but she wasn’t totally right. A well-chosen snack before a meal can be a great weight-loss asset.
A piece of fruit or a small salad (hold the dressing, please) can stave off starvation and keep you from over-indulging when the main course comes.
2. Club soda with a twist, please – Opt for a club soda at your next cocktail party. Seltzer is calorie-free, hydrating, and filling!
The carbonation provides a sensation of fullness that may help curb cravings for the high-cal finger foods that are often passed around.
– Dayna M. Kurtz LMSW, CPTFitness & Counseling at FitnessThatFitsYou.com
1. Posture is key – Avoid sitting with legs crossed since this will unbalance your pelvis and may cause sciatic pain AND has a negative impact on abdominal recruitment.
2. Eat slowly – Chew each bite 10 times to ensure less calorie grab.
– Joan Breibart & Meredith Luce RD, MS, LN
1. One tip that people don’t often think of is meditating to lose weight – But to be in your best shape you have to be in a positive state of mind.
Often low energy levels keep people from achieving their physical goals, but effective meditation will create that initial burst of energy needed to make a physical change for your fitness.
2. Stress relief – Another obvious but important tip is to remember to breathe and to find ways to combat stress, which can come from unexpected sources like too much exercise. Your breath should be bigger than your physical body.
Stress is the enemy of weight loss it can cause increased fat storage in the areas you want it the least- the abdomen.
– Beth Shaw is the author of the wellness guide YogaLean and founder and President of YogaFit© Inc.
1. Improve your range of motion – Almost everyone can benefit from better range of motion for their neck.
Try this. Test your range of motion by looking left and right without force, just to see what your current range of motion is. Now, keeping your head still, start looking right and left – only with your eyeballs!
Your head will not move. Keep looking left and right for 30 seconds to one minute. Then test the range of motion of your neck. AMAZING!
2. Getting stressed out? Do what gorillas do and pound your chest! (Loud screeching is not necessary.) Gorillas pound their chests when they are stressed to help activate their thymus gland, which releases hormones to help them calm down. Give it a try.
The next time you are feeling your anxiety level climbing, make a soft fist and thump your breast bone, covering the whole thing. Thump for a minute or two. Take a deep breath and relax.
– Jennifer Malott Kotylo is the creator of the video series, “Improve Your Riding Through Movement.” She is certified in Core Dynamics Pilates, Equilates, and the Balimo Method
1. Cheat it up – Have a high carb refeed or ‘Cheat’ day every 1-2 weeks (depending on how lean you are) to reset your leptin and metabolism levels.
2. More protein – Keep protein intake high for three reasons:
a) Protein keeps you fuller for longer – a high-protein breakfast can keep you full until lunchtime and is a great way to start the day.
b) Studies have found that when you are in a calorie deficit you are at a much greater risk of losing muscle.
They compared 35% total protein intake versus lower intakes and found the group consuming more protein retained much more muscle.
c) Protein is highly thermogenic. This is the caloric cost of digesting different food. You burn 20-35% of the calories you consume just to digest protein. Compare this to Carbs (5-15%) and fat (0-5%)
– The Bradzter is an ISSA Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, NZIHF Certificate of Personal Training Level 4, and Online Nutritionist fed up with all the people resorting to ‘clean eating’ and other crazy restrictive diets.
1. Biking balance – When taking a cycling class, take note of which leg you push off with first. It’s usually the right leg for most people. Focus on beginning your pedal stroke with the left leg instead. This will help promote muscular balance in the lower body.
2. Do you know Yoga and Pilates move by heart? – Try to do the class with your eyes closed. Start out with 30 seconds and work your way up to five minutes intervals.
Taking away one of your senses helps you use your core muscles more, especially during balance moves.
3. More burn – Love the sweat from your choreographed dance class but want more of a burn? Do ten push-ups or hold a plank for 15 seconds between each song. The instructor won’t mind as long as you are not front and center in the class.
– Robin M. Gillespie is a NASM CPT and social media expert from Philadelphia
1. Step away from the scale – Set goals around fitness and food behaviors. What do you want to do? How often do you want to do it? Celebrate the victory every time you do your behaviors.
You’ll be surprised how fast this builds momentum.
2. Goals are key – Set a reasonable goal in an activity that you’ve never tried (or bonus points if it’s something you tried and were terrible at.) Maybe it’s a 5k walk/run/roll, or mud run, a martial art, or dancing.
Set your goal for a few months from now and get training.
There are lots of fitness benefits to working our bodies in new ways and plenty of mental strength to gain from being a beginner at something and working hard at an activity that doesn’t come easily to us.
– Ragen Chastain is an internationally recognized thought leader in the fields of self-esteem, body image, Health of Every Size, and corporate wellness. She is a ballroom dance champion, marathoner, has held certifications from AFAA and ACE, and is currently training for her first IRONMAN Triathlon.
There you go folks, some amazing fitness tips that can help you change your life and get in shape!
Pick 2-3 of these fitness tips and start to make it a habit today!
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