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8 Easy Ways to Stay Thin

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    Cross it off.

    Bring your cell phone on your walk and use the 10 minutes to get something done from your to-do list. Schedule a doctor's appointment, call a friend, or navigate through a customer service maze. You'll gain a sense of accomplishment, feel more relaxed, and be less likely to open the fridge.

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    Head to the local mall.

    Instead of casually window-shopping, walk briskly, pumping your arms at a 90-degree angle to get your heart rate up. Walk from one end of the mall to the other and back.

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    Move on up.

    Climb a set of stairs for two minutes, followed by 30 seconds holding a "wall sit": Lean your back against the wall and then slide down into a seated position where your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible. Repeat three times.

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    Pack your bags.

    Always have your walking gear together in one place so you don't waste time tracking down your sneaks or a sweatshirt when you've got 10 minutes to spare. Include a resistance band in your bag of gear and stop to do lat pulls halfway through your walk: With your arms shoulder-width apart hold the band taut above your head and then slowly extend each arm out another 6 inches. Repeat 15 times.

  • Treat yourself.

    If you usually have a 3 p.m. vending-machine craving, take a walk to the nearest drugstore (or drive and park your car in the far corner of the parking lot) and splurge on a calorie-free pick-me-up, like a nail polish or a new magazine.

  • Find an evening activity.

    After dinner start an active routine with your family: a 10-minute get-moving DVD game like Dance Dance Revolution or a brisk stroll around the neighborhood. No time? March in place from the opening credits to the first commercial break of your favorite show. Squeeze in your stomach (as if you were trying to fit into a slightly-too-small pair of pants) as you march to strengthen your core.

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    Call a buddy.

    Make a date to walk together three days a week. Take turns playing follow-the-leader; try things like side-stepping for one minute, which will target your inner- and outer-thigh muscles.

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    Walk to the beat.

    Create a playlist or choose a favorite CD that you listen to only when you work out. Vary your pace by changing music genres throughout your walking workout. For example, pair a fast Madonna dance song with something slow, like a Norah Jones track.

    Originally published in the November 2007 issue of Family Circle magazine.

    All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

    Check out our walking playlists here

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