Working out in bed + 3 other exercises for non-exercisers

Image: Pitch Perfect

I really dislike exercising. Morning sessions even more so. Waking up before the sun does to sneak in a quick workout that’s supposed to leave me more alert during the day doesn’t even make sense. Do you know what would keep me more energised during the day? An extra hour and a half of sleep.

But I digress. This isn’t a rant about how exercise is evil and we should all just eat hot chips and die happy. It’s actually a helpful guide for those of you like-minded exercise haters on how you can easily fit in even the smallest workout without feeling like you’re committing yourself to life of Lululemon running pants and Lorna Jane crop tops. Because, you know, it’s healthy to exercise.

1. Stay in bed

Seriously. Wake up a half an hour earlier than you usually would and don’t get out. And you can thank a wonderful man named Sanford Bennett and his book Old Age: Its Causes and Prevention for that. He came up with 30 exercises you can do while lying in bed, under your covers even, that will help strengthen your muscles, reduce body fat, and leave you altogether healthier.

For example, here’s how you can strengthen your lower abdominal muscles:

Lying on your back, bend one knee upwards and inwards (so into your chest). As you do this, draw up the hip of that side. Then drop that leg back to its position and do the same with the other leg. You can start with only three repetitions on each side, but will ultimately do more as your body strengthens.

You can read the whole book here.

2. Get into skipping

Yep, skipping’s not just for schoolgirls in plaits and Rocky-esque boxers in training. Here’s why you should try it: not only does it help you burn calories like a champ, but it also works both your upper and lower body, meaning that you’re giving yourself a complete body workout.

Done correctly, you can actually burn anywhere between 100 to 200 calories in 10-minute skipping session (depending on the intensity), so do the maths around how beneficial a 30-minute session can be. Also, J Law does it.


If you want to up the ante and make your arms work a bit harder, use a skipping rope with weighted handles (like this one from Kmart).

3. Have more sex

Oh you thought doing the horizontal no-pants-dance was just for procreating and, um, having a little fun? Well, now you can consider your sexy time as workout time.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Québec at Montréal, men, on average, burned about 105 calories and women burned roughly 78 calories in a 25-minute sex session. The study’s author, Anthony Karelis, said the participants had burned enough calories and expended enough energy for their time between the sheets to be considered moderate intensity exercise – basically the equivalent of taking a brisk walk.

4. Try some HIIT

Okay, so this one is a bit more exercisey than the others, but you don’t have to do it for very long. So how does it work? High-intensity interval training is based on the idea that you perform an exercise for a short time at the fastest pace possible, followed by a brief rest period, and then either repeat the exercise or move onto a different one. Not only is this a more efficient way to exercise it also helps improve heart health, burns more fat, and best of all, doesn’t always require equipment.

Try sprinting for 30 seconds, then slowly jogging for 30 seconds and repeating until 10 minutes is up, or even running on the spot with your knees high for 20 seconds, then resting for 10. Basically, you just need to ensure that you’re completing a short, intense burst of exercise and following it up with a very brief rest period.

Apps like the Tabata Timer and 7 Minute Workout are brilliant ways to help facilitate a high-intensity workout.

What’s your best lazy-exercise technique?