American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

While there is no magic pill or formula that will help you stay fit and healthy, there are some tricks of the trade that can make it a whole lot easier. Here are 8 fitness hacks from some of the top health and fitness experts in the country.

1. Commit to 10 minutes…that’s it! Then, either change it up and go jump on another piece of cardio or call it a day. Giving yourself permission to “switch it” after 10 minutes is guaranteed to make it feel a million times easier. Chances are, after 10 minutes, you’re in for the long haul. 

-Shannon Fable, Director of Exercise Programming for Anytime Fitness 

2. Make the treadmill your playground. Instead of just walking on the treadmill, throw on your favorite dance or pop song and perform shuffles, crossovers and side gallops at a safe speed. You can even walk backwards if you feel comfortable doing so. This will help time go by faster and will make your cardio workout more exciting.

-Andrea Metcalf, ACE Health Coach and healthy lifestyle expert 

3. Download your favorite TV show on your iPad. Most shows are about 42 minutes without commercials, which is the perfect amount of time to zone out and burn some calories on the treadmill, elliptical or stepper. 

-Shannon Fable, Director of Exercise Programming for Anytime Fitness 

4. Come prepared with a plan and a killer playlist. I enjoy my workouts so much more when I head to the gym with a specific plan of what exercises I'm doing and what the overall focus of my exercise session will be. I also create a playlist that syncs up with that plan. For example, on a day I'm doing cardio, I might come with a specific plan to do a 20-minute high-intensity interval-training workout on the stepmill—I’ll know exactly how I'll vary each bout of "work" with each bout of "active recovery" and I'll create a playlist that pairs well with this type of workout. I’ll typically choose songs that have a stronger beat and faster pace. On days when I'm lifting, I might come with a total-body plan consisting of the nine specific exercises I'm doing, in what order and for how many sets and reps. Again, I'll create a playlist that gets me pumped up for this type of workout, which typically consists of a mix of both rock and rap songs.

-Jessica Matthews, ACE pro, fitness expert, writer and educator 

5. Recruit a friend to go to a class with you. Making plans to meet up with someone increases the chances that you’ll actually make it happen. Plus, working out with friends is a sure-fire way to up the fun factor!  

-Shannon Fable, Director of Exercise Programming for Anytime Fitness 

6. Get the adrenaline flowing. Being in an aroused state generally means you have elevated levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine (commonly called adrenaline), which are used to provide energy for physical activity. It also refers to the enhanced neuromuscular system activity that prepares muscles for challenging work. There are a number of ways to achieve this. Performing a full-body dynamic warm-up, using ergogenic aids like coffee, or listening to certain types of music (heavy metal or rap) can increase excitability in an individual. Personally, I like drinking 12 ounces of coffee before a workout.

-Pete McCall, ACE Certified Personal Trainer 

7. Buy a new pair of crazy leggings. Black is out and prints are in—the bolder, the better. Nothing gets me motivated more than a new pair of tights. Well, maybe a new pair of shoes, but either will do. 

-Shannon Fable, Director of Exercise Programming for Anytime Fitness  

8. Reflect on a time when you had fun doing physical activity. The next time you’re starting a workout and aren’t feeling 100 percent dialed in or you find your motivation wavering a bit, think back to the last time in your life you were doing something physical that was so fun you got lost in the experience.  Whatever that is, capture some of that same physical experience by trying a similar exercise or activity.

-Jonathan Ross, ACE Personal Trainer, fitness expert, author and speaker

CPR/AED Smart Certification App

Get CPR Certified Anywhere,
Anytime in Just 90 Minutes or Less