Some of us don’t wake up feeling like a model in a Puma commercial. Despite our best intentions and the promises we make to our mirror selves in shopping malls’ fitting rooms, we turn off our alarm clocks, burrow deeper into our blankets, and sink into an extra hour of sweet slumber. Big thighs are the velvet Louboutin heels of the season, we tell ourselves.

Being lazy  isn’t really a problem until we find ourselves on the wrong side of twenty-five. Suddenly our knees start squeaking for attention. Our heart pumps like a teenager watching a bare-bodied Daniel Craig  for the first time, when we run up a flight of stairs. We can’t swim a full lap without gasping for breath, in a hotel pool roughly the size of a big bathtub.

That’s when it hits us, working out is not so much about willing our muffin top to shrink as it is about staying alive. Even that  realization doesn’t jolt us out of our bed and take us straight to a Joggers Park.

For those of us who hate to exercise, there’s only one way out— tricking our brain to believe it’s not a workout.

Take it from someone who has only successfully touched her toes twice in her entire lifetime.

Here are some of my cheat codes that you may want to try:

Do leg raises in bed while watching your favorite shows: Watch reruns of Mindy, Seinfeld, SNL, or whatever is your latest addiction, to keep your mind off the exertion. It helps not to keep count. You do not suffer from crippling self-pity when you hit your 30th leg raise. You don’t know so you keep going till you feel the burn on the side of your thigh. You can even try reading a comic book.

Dance while you wait for food : Try little dance bursts while you wait for the pizza to arrive, the toaster to pop, the electric kettle to whistle, and the microwave to work its magic on last night’s leftovers. Groove in your moose printed shorts and pretend like you’re Jenny from the block.

Find a workout pal: Most people recommend a yoga partner or a Zumba buddy. I recommend an  evening walk friend. Find someone you don’t mind meeting every evening. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Trade juicy bits of gossip. Talk about salad recipes featuring kale, quinoa, and other vegetables in vogue. Make vacation plans you don’t intend to follow through. Check out sweaty neighborhood hotties.You won’t know when you completed your quota of 7000 steps.

Explore something new every day: Tai Chi Basics, Salsa for Dummies, Quick Burn Saddlebags with Casey Yeoh, you get the drift. The chances of you getting bored and skipping that 30-minute exercise session are infinitely less when you learn something new every day.

Take your dog for a walk: If you don’t have one, volunteer to take someone else’s dog for a walk. It is therapeutic. If you have a cat, play cops and robbers around the house. If you have a turtle, get a dog.

By Ahana Chaudhuri

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