Are you tired of a sedentary lifestyle? Let’s face it; there’s nothing fun about coming home from long day at work and deciding to spend your precious time off by watching TV and indulging in junk food you picked on your way home. Plus, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with overweight and obesity as well as increased risk of multiple diseases. Most people want to be active and get into shape but are convinced that’s not possible. Here’s the truth; regardless of your current level of activity and fitness status, it’s always possible to get into shape and be more physically active. It’s all about how you begin working on new, healthy habits. The purpose of this article is to show you five easy tips that will help you get into the best shape of your life.
- Exercise every day
One of the most common fitness concerns is how many times to exercise during the week. You’ll never find one specific answer to that question mostly because scientists, experts, and different fitness trainers have their own version of the perfect amount of workouts per week. Ideally, you should exercise every day. Before you start thinking “well, that’s a bit too much,” you should bear in mind it’s not about exhausting yourself. It's a matter of logic! When you just start working on the shape and your fitness levels, it’s easier for you to make this lifestyle a habit if you do it on a daily basis than just two to three times per week. When you do something every day, it’s easier to stick to it, and you won’t give up. Below, you can see other reasons you should exercise every day:
- Exercise releases feel-good chemicals that make you happier and more relaxed
- Your sex life will improve
- Girls and women will notice their PMS symptoms are more tolerable
- Cognitive function and memory will improve
- You’ll lose weight
- Heart health improves
- Energy boost
- You’ll be more creative
- Train, but don’t overtrain
When trying to make exercise an integral part of your lifestyle to get into shape, it’s important to understand that longer periods of exercise and overtraining are counterproductive. To reach the goals at a faster rate, most people make a similar mistake by exercising for more than an hour. Although it might seem logical to you that the longer you exercise, the better shape, that’s not entirely correct. In fact, overtraining changes the chemical state in the organism destroys muscle and increases the rise of fat content. The Journal of Novel Physiotherapies published a study which showed that overtraining leads to problems with adrenal glands that is responsible for the production of different hormones. It’s also important to mention that overtraining spikes the production of stress hormone cortisol and has an adverse impact on your overall performance. Ideally, you should exercise for 30 minutes to 60 minutes maximum.
- Don’t forget about the diet
Yes, exercise is essential if you want to get into shape, lose weight, and so on. But, it has to be accompanied by a healthy diet. You can’t jog (or do some other form of activity) on a daily basis and order a pizza or French fries. In a study published in the Current Biology, suggests there is a sweet spot when it comes to physical activity. Too little is unhealthy but too much of it isn’t good either (see the previous point). The research also showed that moderate amount of activity yields the best benefits. That said, exercise alone isn’t enough, it has to be paired with other aspects of healthy lifestyle, primarily nutrition. The journal Obesity published results of the study which showed that a combination of healthy diet and exercise is more beneficial than either of these alone.
There is no reason to follow a strict diet plan, in fact, most diet fads today are too restrictive and make people gain even more weight eventually. You just have to make sure you eat a well-balanced diet that comprises of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and other nutrient-dense foods. Limit consumption of unhealthy food items as well as intake of alcohol. Do you like meat? There’s no reason to ditch it. Instead, make meat the side dish, not the main course.
- Have a plan B
When trying to form a habit and include fitness in your lifestyle to get into shape, you usually work around your homework schedule and build a perfect routine. The problem is, every now and then there’s some sort of holiday and you get a few days off, let’s not forget your vacation too. This can make people lazy and since there’s no work during those few days, they neglect exercise as well. You wake up in the morning and decide to work out later, then meet your friends, see a movie, spend some time with family and before you know it’s nighttime and you promise yourself you will exercise in the morning and the vicious circle continues. Most people struggle with this, and it’s needless to mention that most fitness tips and articles don’t take the time to consider what happens when the routine changes, thus affecting the workout. Ideally, you should have a backup plan or plan B that you’ll follow on these occasions. Write down your plan B including the time of exercise (morning or night) and post it on a visible place, set up the reminder on your smartphone and treat it like a regular meeting you have to attend. That way, your habit of exercising will be intact, and you’ll get into shape sooner.
- Start slow
Another common mistake that prevents people from getting into shape is starting the workout with the highest intensity. When jogging, starting fast will make you get tired sooner, and you won’t be able to finish without stopping to some rest. The same goes with other types of exercises, if you begin your daily workout with the maximum speed or strength, you’ll only end up tired and unable to continue. This doesn’t only affect your performance that day, but it also poses as an obstacle to getting into shape.
When it comes to fitness, proper execution and technique are in most cases more important than the speed. You should start slow or small, depending on the exercise, and build your way up. Whenever you get comfortable with a certain distance or some specific number of reps, feel free to increase. Also, bear in mind that intensity matters as well. Switching the intensity from low to high or pace from slow to fast and slow again will, in fact, help you burn more fat without exhausting yourself.
Getting into shape requires more than deciding to do some type of physical activity. You have to train every day at least 30 minutes in order not to risk overtraining and have a plan B for holidays and vacations. Remember, the technique is important and never start exercising at the highest intensity. Do it moderately and start small in a bid to make fitness an integral part of your life. Only by forming the habit in a healthy way will you find it easy to get into shape and maintain it.
Vivian Michaels is a 34-year-old guy from the USA, who has been a Fitness coach from last 12 years. He is also a content writer at Glozine and write articles related to Fitness, Health, and Technology. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, and Stumbleupon.