Following Through With Your Resolution to Get in Shape
If you’re like about ⅓ of fellow resolution makers, your New Years plans include some sort of fitness goal that you’d like to take on for the coming year. Getting in shape is one of the best resolutions you can make for your overall health and happiness, and it’s totally doable in a year’s time if you go about it the right way.
Setting a Realistic Goal
When you’re setting your fitness goals for the New Year, it’s important to stick with realistic life changes, rather than setting a high mark that you’ll only be able to hit for a month or two before you burn out. Keep in mind that your fitness goals should be permanent, lifelong changes, not something you’re going to give up on after you lose a few pounds.
Start small, pace yourself, and work your way up over time as your fitness level improves. Include rest days as part of your workout routine so your body can recuperate and build muscle. You’re probably going to be sore from time to time as you teach your muscles to do new things, but stick with it and keep moving, even if all you can manage is to go for a short walk at first.
Make Your Program Enjoyable
Remember when you were a little kid and you could play tag or hide-and-seek for hours without taking a break? Somewhere between that phase in life, and adulthood, most people forget that getting out and moving is fun! If you hate your workout routine and just want to get it over with, then you are not doing the right things.
Getting going is going to be hard at first, especially if you’re really out of shape, but you should be having a good time once you warm up. Choose some type of exercise that you enjoy, and you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to get those workouts in. If you’re not the gym type, go swimming, ride your bike, take a hike, join a sports team, anything to get moving. Even jogging on the treadmill while you catch up on your favorite Prime Time events is perfect, as long as you get that heart rate up.
A Well-Rounded Diet
For most people, just exercising without making any dietary changes is not going to cut it when getting in shape. I’d say that for me, eating right is at least 80% of the equation when maintaining my weight, and I exercise to keep myself feeling good, both physically and mentally. Learning to cook healthy foods at home, snacking smart throughout the day, and watching what you’re putting into your body when you eat out are lifestyle changes that you’ll need to make if you really want to get in shape.
Diets that encourage you to stick to only one type of food, or that force you to deny yourself the foods you really love are just setting you up for failure. All of the real health and fitness experts will tell you that a well rounded diet of healthy fats, whole grains, lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies, and the occasional delicious splurge are what your body needs to be healthy and happy.
Get In Shape With A Well-Rounded Exercise Routine
Just like eating only one type of food isn't good for your body, only doing one type of exercise won’t yield the best results either. A total body workout is needed for overall fitness. You need to be getting in your cardio for your heart and lungs, and your weight bearing exercises for your bones and muscles.
If you’re a swimmer, put in 30 minutes on the elliptical a couple of times a week to keep up with weight bearing exercise. If you like to ride your bike, a couple of sessions of weight training per week will work the large muscle groups that aren't targeted by the bike. If you’re a walker or a runner, or you enjoy aerobics, you’re exercise is naturally well-rounded, but shaking things up a bit with something new every once in a while will keep you interested and engaged.
For Best Results
The more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn, even when it’s at rest. Working the major muscle groups of the body, such as the thighs, abdomen, back, chest, etc, will yield the best workout results over time. In terms of nutrition, you’ll want to strike the right balance between less and more.
Countless studies have shown that real nutrition troubles begin when you let yourself get too hungry, and start making poor choices. Eating smaller portions more often throughout the day will keep you feeling satisfied, and keep you on track for reaching your goals. Instead of 3 large meals per day, try 3 small meals, and 3 nutritious snacks. Drink plenty of water in between to keep your metabolism on high alert.
Get Some Support
While it is possible to reach your fitness goals on your own, it’s a lot easier if you have some support in your corner. I know that the best thing I can do to ensure my success at reaching my goals is to enlist the help of a workout partner. This holds me accountable for showing up for my workout each time, and helps me to look forward to the event since I get to hang out with my friend.
Getting your family on board is a big one too, since it’s a lot easier to eat right and stay active if you’re all doing in together. If you feel like you could use an extra boost, meet with a dietitian and/or trainer to discuss what kinds of changes you need to make, and to get motivated to take action. Remember that making a lifestyle change to become a healthier you will take some time and effort, but it will be totally worth it when you’re ringing in the New Year next year as a healthier person. It is time to get in shape!This great article on how to get in shape was written and shared by a guest author. We feel that this is much needed information and will be a benefit to you our readers...Lets do it, lets get in shape.