Whether you’re just getting started with your fitness regime or you’re looking to bust through a plateau, know this: working out doesn’t have to be grueling or complicated. In fact, it can be simple (and fun)! Forget spending hours in the gym or calorie counting with a restrictive fad diet — you can totally achieve your weight loss goals in a healthy, sustainable way! And one of the easiest ways to do that is by implementing simple workout tweaks that help keep you consistent with your routine and maximize your efforts in the gym (or living room). Ahead, we’re showing you how to take your fitness journey from confusing to simple. Use these tips to create a workout plan that supports your goals and helps you achieve long-lasting results.
Why Simple Workouts Work
Why overcomplicate things when simple workouts could get you faster results that are sustainable? Simple workouts and fitness routines help eliminate that intimidating barrier that makes working out feel like a chore or an unachievable feat.
After all, the most important part of your weight loss workout plan is consistency. If your routine is overly complicated, you are far more likely to throw in the towel. Think about it. The likelihood you’ll choose to exercise goes way up if you know what simple workout routine you’re going to do each day and have the confidence that you’ll be able to execute it. If you don’t feel confident performing your weight loss workout plan or you simply don’t have the time, you’ll find excuses to skip a day, or two, or twelve. Rule of thumb: keep it simple, keep it consistent.
Our Favorite Simple Workouts
The best part about simple workouts? You don’t need fancy exercises or equipment to reach your weight loss goals. Heck, you don’t even need a gym or a studio! You can hit play on the FitOn app, sweat it out from the comfort of your own home, and be one step closer toward your weight loss goals. These simple workouts (that can be performed anytime, anywhere) are staples in even some of the most conditioned athletes for a reason… they’re effective, easy to follow, and, yes, fun!
Strength training is a form of resistance training that focuses on building muscle. If you’re unfamiliar with strength training, you might associate this type of workout with bulky muscles, heavy weights, and grueling workouts. But, these exercise myths couldn’t be further from the truth. For starters, lifting weights won’t make you bulky. In fact, building muscle is one of the easiest ways to lose fat — it actually increases your metabolism! So not only will you burn more calories during your workout, but you’ll also burn more calories doing absolutely nothing afterward (thanks to something called EPOC).
There are also plenty of super simple lower and upper body strength workouts that will help you get that toned look you desire. Think squats, lunges, bent-over rows, push-ups, tricep dips, v-ups, Russian twists, and planks. The best part — most of these exercises don’t require any equipment! Yep, you can sculpt those muscles using your body weight. Of course, if you want to take your workout up a notch, grab a pair of dumbbells and get to it!
For a variety of strength training workouts, browse the strength category in the FitOn app.
Forget what you think you know about walking for weight loss. Contrary to popular belief, walking is one of the simplest ways to start your weight loss journey. Just because something seems easy doesn’t mean it’s not effective. And, because it’s a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints, walking is a form of movement that’s beneficial for a wide range of people. Plus, studies have shown that people are more likely to adhere to weight loss plans when they focus on walking as a part of their cardio workouts.
And you’ll be happy to know breaking up your walking throughout the day is just as effective as taking one long walk. Allowing yourself these mini 10-minute walking breaks — whether it’s walking your dog or taking your work call on the go — also helps chop up your busy day and get some fresh air, which makes everyone feel better.
Here’s what you need to know about walking for weight loss!
HIIT workouts can seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be. High-intensity interval training is simply harder work, followed by rest. And by amping up your intensity, you can significantly decrease your amount of exercise time while getting all the weight loss and fat loss benefits! And science agrees. When compared to continuous moderate-intensity exercise, a recent research study found that interval training resulted in a greater reduction of body fat percentage and a whopping 28.5% reduction in total absolute fat mass.
The best part is you can perform a HIIT workout virtually anywhere and you don’t need to do advanced exercises or keep track of complicated intervals. Pick a couple of simple exercises that get your heart rate up, like jump squats, running, swimming, rowing, dancing, mountain climbers, or walking on an incline. Then alternate between 30 to 60 seconds of all-out effort followed by 30 to 60 seconds of rest. Complete 5 to 10 rounds and call it a day (don’t forget to cool down and stretch!).
Putting forth a little more effort is worth it. An effective HIIT routine can give you a full-body workout that burns more fat in less time!
You don’t need to fold yourself into a pretzel or sweat it out in a room set to 100 degrees to get the benefits of yoga for weight loss. If that’s your thing, keep it up! But, getting back to basics and keeping it super simple can get you incredible results, too. Yoga not only helps you build muscle and improve core strength, but it also helps reduce stress.
The best part about yoga for weight loss? It’s not about doing 100 sun salutations or the amount of time spent on your mat — it’s about improving your mental state through mindfulness. A simple Vinyasa routine can help bring you into the present moment, lowering cortisol levels to elicit an anti-stress effect. And, when you learn how to be more mindful, the benefits will trickle into other areas of your life — think: sleep, hydration, and nutrition — further benefiting your weight loss goals.
RELATED: Yoga For Weight Loss: What You Need to Know
No-Equipment At-Home Workouts
Bad weather, or would rather get a walking workout done inside? Try this Walking Fitness class with Bree Koegel. By the end of the 17-minute class, you will have walked a whole mile in place!
What a rush! This bodyweight cardio Tabata workout will have you dripping in sweat.
LUCKY Stands for Lower, Upper, Core, Kinetic Yang; It is a circuit format that features a lower body, then upper body, then core move, and finishes with a Kinetic Yang move meaning a move meant to inspire ourselves with a positive motivational force.
A fun flow that will burn calories and increase your resilience and overall strength.
Simple Tips to Support Weight Loss
#1 Adopt An “I Got This” Mindset
Your mindset is the most important part of your weight-loss equation. Feeling confident that you can reach your goals, power through that last rep, and crush your workout are the top indicators that you’ll adhere to your plan. Think of the concept “fake it til you make it” — even if you feel like you can’t, tell yourself ‘I got this.” Positive affirmations help you affirm your ability to crush your goals — your words truly can become your reality!
To support your weight loss goals, try repeating phrases like:
- I am becoming healthier and stronger every day
- My exercise routine makes me feel mentally and physically good
- I am strong enough to push past my limits and crush this workout
As you continue to exercise, you’ll start to notice shifts in your mindset that will keep you going. You’ll feel happier, more focused, and energized, and who doesn’t want that?
#2 Show Your Body Some Love (Outside Of The Gym)
Speak to yourself and your body like you would speak to a friend. You wouldn’t pick apart every flaw and imperfection or every extra pound, would you? So, why should it be any different for yourself? According to research, body shaming and negative self-talk increase cortisol, our stress hormone, further increasing the likelihood of weight gain and fat storage. So, rather than getting down on yourself, show your body some love – according to research, it can support your weight loss goals. We’re all human. Embrace your imperfections – they are beautiful and make you unique!
#3 Add Variety
Your body is programmed to find the path of least resistance. So, if you’re doing the same walking routine every day, eventually, you’ll start noticing a weight loss plateau because you’ll actually start burning fewer calories. Adding in other simple workouts, like strength training, will help mitigate disheartening weight loss plateaus. Plus, research shows a balanced workout regime — that includes both cardio and resistance training — is more beneficial for weight loss and fat loss than cardio alone.
#4 Be Consistent by Making Things Fun
Did we mention how important consistency is? Right, let us tell you one more time. Find workouts you enjoy so you’ll actually do them. If you dread going on a run, you’re far more likely to not do it. So try mixing things up with some HIIT classes, hiking, or dancing. Another way to keep it exciting? Enlist a buddy! You’ll throw some friendly competition into the mix. Plus, you’ll have an accountability partner.
As you progress in your weight loss journey, the enjoyment of exercise will only increase, so stick with it!
#5 Don’t Overtrain
More is not more when it comes to your weight loss workouts. While too much rest can stall your results, not enough can cause hormonal imbalances and even lead to weight gain. Your body uses energy to repair muscles and burn fat. If you don’t give it that time, you may see slower results and can put yourself at risk of injury. Listen to your body and schedule in those rest days, where you focus on stretching, foam rolling, and doing some light cardio to keep your blood moving.
RELATED: What is Overtraining Syndrome + Why it May Stall Results
Your body will never reward you for starving yourself. In fact, eating too few calories could cause weight gain! Your body needs nourishment, and you’ll see quicker weight loss results if you know how to give it what it needs.
Focus on pairing complex carbohydrates with lean proteins after your workouts. We love post-workout meals like:
- Oatmeal with protein powder, fruit, and all-natural nut butter.
- Grilled chicken breast with quinoa and your favorite veggies.
- Salmon on top of a big bed of spinach with strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil.
- Canned tuna drained and mixed with smashed avocado, mustard, and onion on top of whole-grain crackers.
- Low-sugar Greek yogurt with banana slices, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips.
RELATED: The Best Post-Workout Snacks
#7 Start With Shorter Workouts
Going from no exercise to an hour a day may be too much of a jump. And unless you love lengthy workouts, hour-long workouts are not necessary for weight loss results. Remember: it’s more than okay to start small and work your way up. If you haven’t been exercising, anything is better than nothing. In fact, even short workouts can be an effective way to start your weight loss workout plan. Ease yourself into your new lifestyle with two 10-minute workouts per day — in the morning and afternoon or evening. Then combine them together for one 20-minute workout. See how you feel from there! Maybe you stick to short-duration HIIT workouts, or maybe slow and steady exercise is more your thing.
#8 Join a Challenge
If you struggle with keeping yourself accountable (let’s be real, who doesn’t?), some friendly competition can help. Studies have also shown that when you know a buddy is relying on you to show up, you’re far less likely to bail on your workout plans. So, grab a friend or family member and sign up for a FitOn challenge together. Working out with friends is way more fun!
#9 Measure Your Progress Beyond The Scale
Getting hyper-focused on the scale can be a detriment to your weight loss success. Some weeks you may lose more weight than expected, and others, you may lose less or even none. Luckily, losing pounds isn’t the only way to determine your progress. You’ll also want to pay attention to the way your clothes fit, energy levels, quality of sleep, mood, and productivity. All of these are indicators that what you’re doing is working!
RELATED: Why Dropping The “Perfect Diet” Mindset Is Beneficial For Your Health
#10 Stay Hydrated
This weight loss tip may seem simple, but don’t undermine its effectiveness! Replenishing fluid loss not only prevents post-workout dehydration but amping up your water intake could also support your weight loss goals. According to research, simply increasing fluid intake by 500ml can promote water-induced thermogenesis resulting in a 30% increase in metabolic rate!
Your Worth is Not Measured in Pounds
Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your health journey. However, no matter where your weight currently stands, you are worthy of taking care of yourself. Believing this deeply is the first step to showing up for yourself consistently and reaching your goals. Feeling good about yourself doesn’t have to be determined by the number on the scale. Starting to build a trusting relationship with yourself is the most important part of building confidence and self-worth. This begins when you start doing the things you promised yourself you would — like working out, getting more sleep, and eating more nutrient-dense foods. Simple weight loss workouts will keep you on track, feeling good about yourself, and, therefore, get you those results you are working hard for. You got this!