Getting in shape is not just about the abs or muscles; instead, it is about adopting a healthy lifestyle that allows you to live your best life. So if your thinking that hitting the gym is the ultimate solution, think again!
Whatever reason you have for getting in shape, remember that it’s all about your dedication and devotion to the cause. Don’t shy away from a challenge and most of all, always believe in yourself.
Following is our recommended list if you want to get in shape.
Find Your Motivation
First and foremost, you need to define your goals and stay determined to achieve them. Whether its muscle building or weight loss, anything is possible with the right attitude. Importantly, remember that getting in shape takes time. Overworking yourself over a short period and feeling sore afterwards without achieving the desired results can have a major blow on your motivation level.
If you decide to join a gym, try exploring a few options before settling on a membership. Maybe even partner up with a workout buddy to give you a reason to show up consistently. Having a friendly face can enhance your comfort levels and even motivate you to stick to your routine rather than skipping workout sessions.
In case you seem confused, intimidated or overwhelmed, hire a trainer to help you streamline your workout routine. This might be a little extra on the pocket but it will definitely allow you to feel focused on your workout because you will know exactly what to do. A trainer can customize your training routine, give you the right guidance and lend you valuable advice whenever you feel you need the extra support.
Lastly, a great way to motivate yourself is to get the right workout clothes. Activewear will make you feel confident, and encourage you to perform your best. Always avoid wearing anything that could chafe your skin. Ensure your clothes have the right fit so that your muscles are supported and your movements are flexible. Ideally, opt for compression sportswear or activewear that are breathable and have sweat-wicking ability, such as Dri-fit, Coolmax or Supplex.
These measures will enhance the productivity of your workout session by giving you all the motivation you need.
Ensure A Balanced Diet
Having a balanced nutrition is as important as the hours you put into getting in shape. This means that you need to have the three essential macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, protein and fats, and ensure that you have a pre-workout and post-workout meal in order to maximize your workout performance and help you recover after.
Whether its fat loss, weight loss or building muscle mass, you need to maintain a calorie count. If its fat loss, you need to calculate your maintenance calories. If you are aiming to bulk up, increase your protein intake and opt for protein powder supplements. Building muscle also means stocking up on healthy fats.
Needless to add, you need to steer away from excessive junk food and binge eating. Don’t skip meals, and ensure that you divide your daily calorie intake into several small meals throughout the day. Also, choose fresh, healthy and organic food over the processed stuff you get at the supermarket.
For carbs, try including complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates such as sugary drinks. This is because complex carbs allow for a steady release of energy, maintain blood glucose and are ideal for weight management.
Some suggestions for food that should be part of your diet if you plan to stay in shape:
- Carbs: Vegetables, fruits such as bananas and apples, whole-grain bread, brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa, oats, greek and fruit yoghurt, raisins.
- Proteins: Lean meat, grilled chicken, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, legumes, eggs, dairy products, flax/sunflower/pumpkin seeds.
- Healthy fats: Avocados, nuts, olives, olive oil, chia seeds, tofu.
Have A Regimented Routine
A routine is important to stay consistent and committed to your goal. In order to motivate yourself, we recommend starting slow and scaling-up rather than jumping right in. One great way to get you to look forward to getting in shape is to start jogging or running in the morning or walking after dinner. This will help motivate you to achieve your long term goal.
A workout routine should be tailored to your goals and your individual needs. If you are aiming to build muscle, you have to focus on building strength in your muscles. This means weight training exercises, compound movements like squats and deadlifts and balancing your body parts training. You should carefully assess how many sets and reps you can handle, and train for a maximum of five days a week.
If you want to shape up to lose fat, we recommended building some muscle before cutting your diet. However, if you have excessive fat, it’s best to start with a cutting diet and then moving onto building some muscle for a trimmed, defined body.
For those wanting to tone their bodies, it is suggested that you vary your workout routine to include exercises for your arms, legs, chest, and shoulders. Consider mixing endurance and resistance training exercises that help with your cardiovascular health alongside getting you in shape. This will help in building lean muscle mass and burning fat at a faster rate. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great option for those wishing to practice healthy cardio exercises. Remember to cool down for at least 5 minutes following a cardio session.
Before beginning a workout session, remember to stretch so that you warm up and avoid the risk of muscle injury. Also, focus on your core exercises to build strength and stamina.
Shape Up At Home
In case you are pressed for time or are running low on cash, you can always get fit at home. All you need to do is follow some basic exercise routines, stay consistent and have a balanced diet for the desired effects to kick in.
Remember to always start with a warmup routine and proceed with a few aerobic exercises. You can do squats to help strengthen your body and proceed with some yoga poses such as a downward-facing dog. Just try working on areas that you want to build up but always remember to mix up resistance training with cardio to allow the entire body to workout as well.
If you are a beginner, we recommend starting with a 30-45 minutes workout to help you ease into the routine. You can gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workout after you feel your body can take the pressure.
Purchase a few dumbells and weights and start practising moderate forms of weight training to build muscles. Apart from that, you can easily find great videos online that help you with carrying out different exercises such as burpees, lunges, planks, pushups, and others. Whether its strength circuit training or cardio circuit training, be sure to define your goal and stick to it.
It is hard getting in shape if you don’t believe in yourself. There are a lot of ways to change it. You can find a mentor, coach or read a self-development blog.
A few suggestions to help you get into shape would be to cut down on harmful substances such as excessive alcohol consumption or smoking. Secondly, focus on improving your sleep patterns in order to help with your quality of life. And always remember to be committed to achieving your goal of getting in shape by never giving up.