1. Workouts can be easy or short, but not both at once.
First things first. Decide what kind of lazy girl you are: Do you want to minimize your time in the gym or avoid working up a sweat? Short, intense workouts and long, slow cardio are both great fat burners. The same can’t be said for 10 minutes on the cross-trainer watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Soz.
2. You don’t have to break a sweat.
The small isometric moves in barre and Pilates classes will seriously tax your muscles without disturbing your blow-dry. Bonus: If you don’t need to take a shower, you can get changed and outta the gym in double-quick time.
3. The best workouts kill two birds with one stone.
A challenging yoga style (such as Vinyasa flow) will make you stronger as well as saner. Those chaturangas the teacher keeps dropping in? They’re tricep press-ups in disguise. Sneaky.
4. Make exercise part of your social life, and you won’t even notice you’re working out.
Join a netball team, take up swing dancing, whatever. From catching up with your teammates to sprinting for a goal, find the right sport and it’ll never feel like a chore.
5. Always have a goal. Preferably one that scares you a bit.
You’ll be too worried about how you’ll manage to cross the finish line on that 10K to swerve any training runs.
Run or cycle home from work and you get a free workout and lots of fresh air AND it probably won’t take much longer than public transport.
7. Make a regular appointment with the gym. RSVP compulsory.
Commit to a certain class every week and put it in your work calendar, or make a standing gym date with a friend. It’ll only take a few weeks of Monday morning Pilates for it to feel weirder NOT going. Oh, and if your friend’s on their way to meet you, you’ll be way less likely to bunk off.
8. Give yourself a gold star.
Reward yourself for meeting targets so you’ve got something to look forward to when you hit that weight goal or PB. How ‘bout some slick new gym kit?
9. Walk, walk, walk.
It’s a triple threat: You burn calories (around 100 per mile) and you’ll see new parts of your hometown along the way. Invest in a cool backpack and some supportive flat shoes and you’re good to go.
10. Pay someone to kick your arse.
Wimp out when the going gets tough? Book yourself a block of sessions in a tough group class (think Barry’s Bootcamp, Body Pump, and British Military Fitness) or enlist a personal trainer.
11. Don’t get up. No, really.
You can tone your butt without getting off it. I know. It’s amazing. Glute bridges, a core circuit… The living room floor’s your oyster.
12. You can work out while watching TV.
It’s time to swap drinking games for workout games — and there’s one for pretty much any show you can think of, from Made in Chelsea to X Factor (which at its current running time of over two hours is basically running a marathon).
13. Make the most of spare moments.
You can skip the gym altogether if you spread your workout through the day. Do a wall sit while you wait for the kettle to boil, or squats while you wait for the shower to heat up.
14. Get up get up and get down.
Know this one thing about me: I will not stop talking about Peripheral Heart Action (PHA). Swapping between upper and lower body exercise supercharges your workout. It gives you a stronger, longer metabolism boost and forces your heart to work harder, which adds a cardio element to weights workouts. And you don’t need to spend a second longer in the gym!
15. Eat right, spend less time working out.
The foods on your plate should fuel your body and fill you up without piling on empty calories. Cut the junk food and you don’t need to spend as much time slogging away in the gym (if you don’t enjoy it). Protein builds muscle, fat makes you feel full (we’re talking avocado here, not bacon), and you can eat a WORLD of leafy green veg for very few calories.
16. Lay out your gym kit before going to bed.
This really works. Don’t give yourself a chance to talk yourself out of that 7am class. Extreme version for the terminally lazy: sleeping in your kit. (Lycra is SLIPPERY.)
17. Work out at lunchtime.
So you like a lie-in. And a quick drink (or five) with your mates after work. A quick lunchtime run near your office or one of Fitness First’s 30-minute Freestyle Group classes (which you don’t even need to book) fit into an hour’s lunch break perfectly. You’ll only spend it eating a soggy sandwich and, erm, reading BuzzFeed otherwise.
18. Use a fitness tracker.
Could be a Fitbit, Jawbone UP, whatever. The main thing is that your chirpy electronic pal will give you the nudge to make healthier decisions, like walking more or drinking less, without you having to think too hard about it.
19. And have a good night’s rest.
People who don’t clock up at least six hours of proper sleep a night have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which contributes to stubborn belly fat. So you might just get yourself a six-pack while you’re snoozing.