Getting in shape and maintaining a high level of fitness not only allows you to look and feel better in your clothes, it’s also crucial for keeping you healthy, strong, and well in the long term.
If you’re not used to fitness and exercise, however, knowing how to get started can be overwhelming and downright intimidating.
Getting started with fitness will look different for everyone, but with just a few short steps, you can soon be on your way to a whole new you. Read on and we’ll help set you on the path to fitness and wellness.
Why Get In Shape?
Before we get started, let's remind you of some of the huge number of benefits improving your fitness offers, including:
* Reduce stress - Being active and moving your body every day reduces your levels of stress, keeping you happier and reducing your risk of illness.
* Improving cognition - Regular exercise also benefits your brain and can improve concentration, focus, and memory.
* Improve sleep - Research has proven that regular exercise also helps improve the quality of your sleep, which has numerous benefits for your health and wellbeing.
* Improving heart health - Staying in good shape keeps your heart strong and healthy, reducing your risk of heart disease and other illnesses.
Let's Get Started....
1. Define Your Why
One of the most important elements of getting in shape is defining your motivation, your why. Ask yourself, 'Why do you want to improve your fitness?'. This is one of the most crucial steps in your journey, so be totally honest. If it's to fit into a tiny little skin tight dress that will fit you like a second skin to show your ex what they're missing or to make a hater green with envy then don't be shy, own your truth.
Your why will be what keeps you going when you are battling through that last rep, running the last few feet, or hitting the gym after a long day at work.
Your motivation is personal. It may be fitting into a perfect dress, being able to compete in a challenge or race, or simply having more energy to run around after your kids. Having this in mind will keep you going when things are tough, you're tired and when you feel like quitting.
It’s a good idea to have some visual representation of your goal placed somewhere prominent as a reminder of why you started this journey.
2. Focus on Long-term. Choose Your Activity
If you're not a gym bunny, that's OK, getting in shape doesn’t have to include spending punishing long hours at the gym especially if the mere thought of it fills you with sheer dread. The key to a long-term lifestyle change is to find an activity you enjoy doing. This will help your workouts feel less like work, and more like fun.
It can take some time to unlock your preferred activity, so be prepared to try plenty of new things. From running outdoors alone or with like-minded friends to swimming, rock climbing or salsa dancing, the ideal form of exercise is out there - you just need to step outside of your comfort zone and be open to trying new activities until you discover it.
3. Track Your Progress
The scales are not always the most helpful thing when you’re trying to get into shape as muscles weighs more than fat, tracking your progress in other ways can be very more useful and encouraging.
You could record how far you run each session, how many reps you do, or your heart rate and cool-down period, or the looseness of your clothes as you begin to lose inches. Over time, you will start to see real gains and improvements, and these will be all the motivation you'll need to keep going.
Getting in shape should be approached as a long-term lifestyle change, rather than a short-term aesthetic goal as this means that you’ll be far more likely to stay on track and see the real benefits. By identifying your why, finding a workout regime that works for you, and tracking your progress, you’ll soon discover that you have more energy, better sleep, and more vitality in your daily life.