Whether you’ve taken a long break from the gym or have never really been that into fitness, it’s never too late to start getting back into shape. Some people do it for aesthetic reasons, but the top reason is that movement is one of the best forms of self-care. Getting your body in shape makes you feel better, and there are some tips to help make that journey.
1.Stay honest and accountable
Staying accountable and being honest with yourself is the first step. Be honest about what works best for you. Are you naturally a morning person who prefers to work out in the AM? Or do you prefer playing sports or doing an activity like swimming to a more structured workout in a gym environment? This honesty extends to your diet as well – rather than trying to fully cut out guilty pleasures, allow yourself treats in small portions but try to establish generally healthy habits.
2. Be realistic
Although it might be tempting to find shortcuts to lose 20 pounds in a matter of days, slow and steady wins the race, and being unrealistic can also be downright dangerous. Don’t set an insane weight loss goal or attempt to go cold turkey from certain entire food groups. Moderation is key, and there’s actually some proof that overly obsessing over a diet can backfire. Instead, set attainable goals. This can be committing to a certain amount of physical activity per week or having a smaller dessert portion than normal. You can always set a meeting with a personal trainer or nutritionist for more guidance regarding your goals.
3. Find the perfect workout that you enjoy
If you hate jogging, don’t go for a run! There are infinite workout options for you to try, from at-home videos to Pilates classes. Finding an exercise that you love is one of the most important steps in this process. Some people love a studio workout environment and getting sweaty from weights or cardio machines, while others prefer biking, swimming, or outdoor activities and sports. Everybody is stimulated differently, and if you find something that you enjoy getting your heart rate up, the results will come up faster.
4. Prioritize it and find your motivator
Take it seriously — you would never miss a doctor’s appointment or an important conference at work, so don’t miss a workout! It’s also ways easy to find excuses, but sticking to a routine and schedule will help it become a more normal part of your lifestyle. Additionally, finding the right motivator is essential. Some people thrive in a boot camp experience or with workout buddies to help push and encourage them. Others work out better when they get in the zone and are by themselves with headphones on. Having a goal like running a marathon can also help you stay motivated.
5. Eating habits are major
If you only put processed foods in your body, it won’t feel great. It also doesn’t make effective fuel for your workout, so finding foods that are healthy but still fulfilling are a major part of getting in shape. Limit vices, but don’t feel the need to cut them out entirely. Reduction is still a big deal. For instance, if you’re a daily soda drinker, try to only drink one can a week, or only drink it on certain days of the week. Another great way to improve eating habits is to learn how to cook some of your favorite foods or at least, a healthy version of them. Cooking can foster nutritious eating in a better way than fad diets and juice cleanses can.
6. Work out at home
If getting in shape sounds daunting to you, doing a few simple moves from the comfort and privacy of your own home can make a huge difference. Even without weights or resistance bands, there are plenty of at-home workouts you can try, like squats, jumping jacks, and tricep dips done on a chair. You can do this while watching TV or listening to music – it’ll raise your heart rate, and you only have to do it for 20 minutes daily to experience the benefits. Hate the idea of a home workout? Doing intense housework and laundry also counts as a blood-pumping way to burn calories and get your heart rate up.
7. Watch free videos on YouTube
There are tons of free workout videos by YouTube fitness pros like FitbyMik. Whether your activity of choice is HIIT, TRX, Pilates, yoga, or strength training, you can find a zero-coast coach by watching these videos on YouTube. The time will fly by, and it’ll take the guesswork out of structuring your own workout since an experienced professional has already put in that work for you. Sites like NEOU fitness and Daily Burn are subscription-based services that offer similar resources.