The sooner you can get yourself in tip-top shape, the better. Maybe you’ll be attending a wedding in a few months that you want to look great for, or perhaps you play a summer sport that will start soon and you want get in shape fast.
It is easy to delay starting your exercise plan, especially if you are busy with work and family commitments. However, finding excuses for not eating healthy or not being active on certain days will make it difficult to sustain good health.
Being fit improves mood, concentration, energy, and sleep, while reducing stress and the risk of disease. You’ll have more success in all areas (work, relationships, learning, etc.) when you commit to an exercise plan. Here are some strategies for getting in shape fast:
Increase Your Knowledge
It can be difficult to know what food to eat or what exercises to do get in shape. You’ll save yourself a lot of time by researching nutrition and workouts before starting a fitness program. For example, learning about the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) will help you choose which foods to eat and in what amounts.
You don’t want to consume tubs of protein powder only to learn months later that you should be able to meet your daily protein requirement from your diet alone and that excess protein in the diet gets stored as fat in the body.
Doing research will help you learn that fat is good for your body (unsaturated fats, found in fish, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds, are considered healthy fats). You’ll also understand what your body needs to maximize results from your workouts, such as focusing on carbohydrates before exercise for fuel and consuming carbs and protein after exercise.
Learning about workouts is just as important. For example, it will help you avoid the mistake of focusing only on cardio or only on strength training as a way to burn calories. A mix of cardio (such as running, swimming, and cycling) and strength training (such as bodyweight exercises, weight training, and training with resistance bands) is important for maintaining good health.
Before performing exercises such as squats, pushups, and planking, you should learn the correct form by reading workout books, watching exercise videos, or booking a session with a personal trainer. This will help prevent injury and increase the effectiveness of your workouts.
Find the Right Way for You
A mistake when starting a fitness program is to be swept up by a certain way of eating or exercising without considering various alternatives. For example, you might watch a documentary or read a book on how a certain diet is beneficial for your health and the environment.
The arguments offered in support of the diet may seem compelling, but keep in mind there are numerous documentaries and books that promote other diets that are also backed by good arguments. If you want to get in shape fast, take the time to explore various paths to healthy living. Once you find the diet and the exercise plan that works for you, you can confidently dive into your new diet and workout plan at full steam.
Try out different foods and different ways of eating. If you feel lethargic after eating meat and dairy products, try plant-based sources of protein such as tofu, beans, and lentils. If you don’t like the taste of barley and millet, try other whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice.
Vegans and vegetarians need to ensure they are getting enough Vitamin B12, since it’s only found naturally in animal products. Followers of a low-carb diet such as the keto diet should incorporate healthy fats rather than let the saturated fat pile up with high volumes of meat and dairy. Whichever diet you choose, you’ll reap the most benefits by eating homecooked meals. Use herbs and spices for flavor, and make it a goal to try a few new recipes each month.
You have numerous options for exercise. Outdoor activities such as paddle boarding and cross-country skiing are full-body workouts that are beneficial for your mental and physical health, and they can be done individually or enjoyed with friends.
Many people enjoy the competition and teamwork that sports provide. Others prefer training in the gym. Taking part in a group class such as a yoga class or a group tennis class is a great way to get instruction and connect with others.
Don’t discount a certain way of exercising until you’ve tried it. For example, you may have the notion that a kickboxing gym isn’t for you since you’ve never punched or kicked into a bag before. However, these gyms are for all levels of athletes and trainers are there to teach you the proper form. Kickboxing gyms also incorporate strength training (using weights and bodyweight exercises) and cardio (skipping rope), so you might find it to be a good fit for you after trying it.
Your workout plan should have a purpose. Aimlessly wandering around the gym doing different exercises without a specific plan won’t be beneficial. A proper workout could look like this: light pedaling on an exercise bike for warm-up, squats and lunges for lower body training, crunches and planks for core training, pushups and bicep curls for upper body training, and hard pedaling on an exercise bike for cardio.
Compound exercises, which target multiple muscles groups, are a great way to get fit fast. These include squat to press with dumbbells, side plank row on a cable machine, and kettlebell swings. High-intensity internal training (HIIT), which involves short and intense bursts of energy followed by short rest periods, is another time-efficient way to exercise.
To get fit fast, you need to adopt strategies for staying motivated and energized. You can challenge yourself by trying to add 20 seconds to a plank hold each week. Working out with friends, sharing your experiences on social media, and joining fitness support groups are all ways to keep motivated. Logging your daily food intake and exercises on an app such a MyFitnessPal is great way to stay on track with your goals.