Getting in shape can be challenging, especially when you consider other factors in your life such as work, family life, and other commitments.It takes a lot of effort to develop a proper healthy lifestyle. But if you really want to harvest the benefits from a healthy lifestyle, there is no better time to start than now.
And while you may be eager to shed those extra pounds, determining how to start is always the hardest part. So, to give you a little boost to take the first step, I have listed a few Do’s and Don’ts of getting in shape that can serve as a guide as you embark on this rewarding journey.
DO’S of Getting in Shape
- Set your goals. Fitness goals don’t have to be grand; they have to be specific and realistic to keep you motivated. You can start with an easy goal like a five-minute exercise a day and work your way to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on. Keep it simple and achievable. You are more than likely to stick to it and see improvements along the way.
- Have a check-up appointment with your physician. There is no age limit in getting in shape, but health factors can restrict the activities you engage in. Chronic conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure can affect your performance and impede your progress. So prior to engaging in a workout routine, consult first with your physician to ensure that your body can withstand vigorous physical activities.
- Assess your fitness level. There is no one size fits all when it comes to workout routines. That is why it is necessary to have your fitness level assessed by a certified fitness trainer before engaging in any form of exercise. A fitness trainer can design a workout routine appropriate for your fitness level and specific goals.
- Warm-ups and stretching. Warming up and stretching* will condition your body before and after a work out. This will help your body become flexible and more coordinated to perform any physical activity.
- Workout regularly. Depending on the level of difficulty of your workout routine, make sure you can find a convenient time that will allow you to workout regularly. Small exercises such as cardio can be done daily and will enable you to form a habit and establish consistency.
- Bring a water bottle. An hour of exercise will cause you to lose several litters of fluid and may lead to dehydration. Keep yourself hydrated to replenish fluids and electrolytes that are lost during your workout. However, you must avoid the following:
- Caffeinated sports drinks because it promotes fluid loss.
- Excessive drinking of water that may result in a condition called hyponatremia* which may lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
- Diversify your workout routines. A good workout challenges your fitness level. But doing the same exercise daily causes your body to adapt and your fitness level to plateau. It is important to maintain a diverse exercise pattern that covers the elements of fitness*: aerobic exercise, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and stretching. A balance of these elements keeps your body engaged while allowing certain muscle groups to recover.
- Focus on a sustainable food diet. Fad diets are advertised as a fast way to lose weight. But in many cases, you end up gaining back lost weight the moment you stop following the diet. It is best and recommended that you include a balanced diet to your fitness regimen so you can gradually lose weight without compromising your health.
- Keep an Open Mind. Despite a balanced diet and a healthy regimen, factors such as heredity and age can affect your chances to truly achieving the body you’ve always desired. Non-invasive plastic surgery such as CoolSculpting can effectively remove fat without cutting into the skin.
- Have a training/fitness buddy. Aside from being added fun, having a fitness partner has several benefits such as:
- Helps you achieve your goals
- Keeps your form in check
- Provides healthy competition
- Gives motivation and support
- Helps you stay committed to your workout
DON’TS of Getting in Shape
- Skip breakfast. If you workout in the morning, it is best to have breakfast an hour before working out. Eating breakfast helps improve your performance and allows you to exercise for longer periods with higher intensity.
- Be sleep-deprived. An adequate amount of sleep* gives your body time to recover from the rigors of exercise. It aids in the release of hormones that promote muscle growth and regeneration and prevents unwanted fat storage.
- Obsess on losing weight. More than focusing on shedding off the extra pounds, you should prioritize being fit. Fitness not only makes you lose significant weight, but it also improves your mental well-being, energy level, and protects you from various conditions that can affect your health.
- Overwhelm yourself. Getting in shape does not happen overnight. Avoid cramming a week’s worth of exercise in an hour of working out. It is best that you start with the most basic routine and work your way to moderate and higher intensity workouts.
- Compare your progress to others. The healthiest competition is with yourself! When you avoid comparing yourself to others, you will be able to focus more on reaching your fitness goals and recognize your own achievements.
- Focus on perfection. Instead, concentrate on your daily improvements. Your progress will keep you motivated to continue with your healthy habits.
- Forget to reward yourself. Giving yourself small rewards for achieving short-term fitness goals can be a good thing. It keeps you motivated and makes you look forward to your next workout!
When it comes to fitness and weight loss, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all deal. Whether it’s genetics or simple circumstance, everybody is built differently with physical limitations that make it difficult to achieve certain goals. More than anything, this article is a beginner’s guide to anyone who wants to take the first step to become fit, active, and above all, healthy.
Ultimately, what you do depends on your needs. You know yourself. And with the right attitude, simple discipline, and an open mind, anything is possible.