How to Get Back into Shape: 6 Tips To Get You Started
How much exercise do you *actually* need to get in shape?
Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day?
And how much is too much?
Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day?
Okay, let’s go over the amount of exercise that is ideal. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape.
Starting with the minimum.
This is especially important if you have not worked out for a few months or are just beginning an exercise program.
WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF EXERCISE?
Of course, you’re going to have to start from where you are right now. If you’re not already exercising regularly, there is no need to go overboard. In fact, trying too much too soon may derail your motivation, cause an injury, and become a reason you throw in the towel.
So, let’s say you’re not that active (yet). What if I were to recommend “ten to twenty minutes every other day, 3 days a week, and at a level, you think you can do?” How does that sound as a starting point?
Pretty doable, right?
If you’re not training for a competition or event, you can absolutely begin to get into great shape starting with this plan. Just remember, DON’T compare your current self to your fittest self.
Resist the urge to dwell on how fit you were before you took an exercise break. Comparisons to a former version of yourself, other people, or worse, other people’s social media selves — are never helpful as long-term motivators toward real wellness.
Reviewing old workout sheets to see how fast you ran or how much weight you lifted when you were in top form may be tempting, but this habit can hinder your progress.
Getting back in shape is a process. Track your workouts from where you’re starting now, then see how much you can improve from there.
HOW TO DESIGN YOUR EXERCISE PLAN
Now, there isn’t one answer for everyone. The main rule is, to begin with where you are. Take note of your fitness level and goals and slowly increase and improve. There is no quick fix that will give you lasting long-term results.
Always consider what is reasonably sustainable for you based on the following:
● What is your long-term fitness goal?
● What else is going on in your life (i.e., how much time do you really have)?
● What is your current level of fitness?
But don’t stop there!
As you create a sustainable exercise habit, it will start getting easier. So, don’t forget to make it a bit more challenging as you go. Every week do something to push yourself a bit farther than you were before. If you’re strength training, do another repetition or grab the next heavier weight. If you’re doing cardio, go a bit longer, farther, and/or faster.
A great motivational tool is to log your workouts. A simple notepad or workbook (or app) will do! Just enter your reps, sets, and/or times each time you workout. This will not only help you to keep motivated to continue, but it will also help you see where you can squeeze in that extra challenge as you progress.
After 4-6 weeks, you evaluate your progress. Keep going as you are, ramp it up, or change it completely. Eventually, you will find yourself getting stronger and fitter!
DON’T FORGET YOUR NUTRITION
While exercise is very good for your health, wellness, and longevity, it’s not the only thing to consider. What you eat will have a big, or bigger, impact on your shape.
Some of my favorite super-simple tips that give you the biggest “bang for your buck” are:
Eat more veggies
Swap the soda for fruit-infused water or sparkling water
Don’t forget to eat your veggies, reduce your serving sizes (especially treats) and s
Reduce the serving size of your main meals (try using a 9-inch plate)
Eat slower and savor it more by chewing each bite of food more thoroughly
Carry around healthy (unsweetened, fiber-rich) snacks like nuts, fruit, and berries
6 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED
You don’t need to exercise like crazy to get into shape. I promise! But you do need to do the following:
1. Talk with your doctor before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
2. Start from where you are, and don’t go overboard.
3. If you’re a beginner, that means 10 - 20 minutes every other day at an easy level.
4. Log your workout progress to track improvements and keep motivated.
5. Slowly increase the difficulty weekly as you get stronger and fitter.
6. Eat your veggies, reduce your serving sizes (especially treats), and stay hydrated.
Do you need help with creating a personalized fitness plan?