Everyone has a trouble zone, or a certain area of their body that want to change, fix, shrink or enhance. While “spot reducing” is impossible, focusing more energy on that particular area over time will of course head great results. You can’t drop the rest of your workout routine in favor of focusing all your energy on your saddlebags, abs, etc., a little extra effort is going to be needed. You can devote extra minutes in the gym to working out your trouble zone, but this may take time away from the rest of your body, or have you resenting that spot.
You gotta learn to love you trouble zone and give it a little more attention because you are excited to see it change, not because you want to beat it into submission. If you make a habit of working that spot in ways that take very little effort, but on a consistent basis, you will soon have to find a new trouble spot to focus on.
Now when I say habit, I really mean it. Think about it: External cues prompt you to do things every day that you barely think about. A red light turns green, you hit the gas. Turn on the computer, you check your Facebook. Those are habits. You didn’t always have them, but you developed them over time and now they are second nature. Most experts say that a habit takes about 3 weeks of solid effort to develop, and after that, you barely have to think about it.
You can go to the gym and crank 50+ squats, but a squat is a squat no matter when you do it. Take a second to think about what do you do every day, multiple times a day. This can become your external cue to hit your trouble zone. For everyone, these things are a little different but everyone has their own.
Let me show you what I mean:
Do calf raises while on the phone. Just like you fingers have learned to text at lightening speed, you calves will jump to attention over time.
Do ten squats every time you go to bathroom, or hover in a squat position each time you go for a great thigh and bun burn. It’s not as gross as it sounds, it’s actually more hygienic to touch as few surfaces as possible. How many times do you go to the bathroom a day? Boom, 50+ squats a day or minutes upon minutes of static wall holds.
Tighten your transverse abs every time you are waiting at a red light. Not sure how? Melissa Paris has the technique down.
Pace instead of stand still. Waiting in line, while standing at the stove cooking, brushing your teeth, any time, just pace even if it’s super subtle. More movement is always better and can add up to hundreds of extra calories burned.
Here are some ways our readers remember to sneak fitness into their day:
Dawn from VanillaSugarBlog.com (Warning: don’t click on an empty stomach) uses memories of horrible back pain as her trigger: “Squats and spine stretches every 2 hours. I never ever want to go back to that again; so you could say it’s automatic trigger.”
Chris Ryan Van Ackeren: “While going down a set of stairs I’ll do knee raises or while going up a set of stairs I’ll do kickbacks for my butt. Only when alone of course, I’m not the minister of funny walks or anything crazy like that.”
Changing too many things at once lessens your chance of it actually turning into a habit so pick one thing to work on and just make an effort to remember. Soon, you will remember more often, it will turn into a habit, and you won’t be able to call it a trouble zone anymore.
April 12th, 2012