January 4, 2019 by
If you’re one of the millions of people who’d like to be fitter and healthier, it can be hard to know where to start. There are lots of different ways to get in shape, and everyone’s goal is different. Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? Improve your cardio? Maybe you just want to tone up for a holiday or train for a long hike? Whatever your goals are, there are a few universal tips and tricks you can use to help you achieve them. Read on for our guide to getting in shape and staying that way!
Make Sure You Sleep Properly
It sounds counterproductive, but if you’re not sleeping enough, you should spend a few extra hours in bed rather than in the gym! This is because sleep deprivation can affect almost every part of your life, from your diet to your mood to your physical health.
When you’re tired, your body constantly craves a quick sugar rush to boost your energy levels. You’ll find it much harder to say no to that extra-large latte. Your brain also struggles to balance the hormones that tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full. If that wasn’t bad enough, your body also processes fat differently when you’re tired, so more of it is stored rather than used as energy. All of this creates the nightmare combination of junk food cravings, a lack of impulse control, and a body that’s more likely to turn food into fat!
When you combine this with your physical tiredness and low motivation, you’ll also find that you’ll find more excuses to skip the gym. Even when you do hit the weights, your workout will be less intense even if you try your best. If you’re sticking to your diet plan and regularly hitting the gym but still aren’t seeing the results you want, go back to the drawing board and make sure you’re getting a healthy amount of sleep. This is better for getting in shape than depriving yourself of sleep to go on a 4am run every day!
If you want some tips on getting a better sleep, just click here!
Be Athletic, Not Aesthetic
Don’t get too hung up on having washboard abs and sculpted shoulders – at least, not at first. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that getting the ideal physique is a gradual process, and it can take months or even years. As the months roll by, it’s very easy to get discouraged when you don’t notice a drastic change in your appearance. However, by focusing on athletic goals, you give yourself more attainable targets that you can easily hit in the short term. You can set a target that you want to run a certain distance in a set time, or that you want to lift a certain weight, and it’ll feel much more achievable. Half of the battle is keeping yourself motivated, and athletic goals are a much better way of doing that!
The second reason is that, generally, focusing on athletic performance is usually better for you! It’ll give you a better foundation to build on even if you don’t see it right away, which makes it much easier to tone up and sculpt your muscles later. As you focus on your athletic skills, you’ll also notice your body starts to change on its own, and you’ll be in a much better position to keep it up – especially if you complement your exercises with some ab toning belt sessions.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Anyone
If you have a friend who can run the 10k, don’t feel like you have to compete with them! Work out at your own pace and set your own goals – don’t work to anyone else’s. Everyone’s body is different, and the goals that work for you may be slightly different from the goals that worked for your friends. If you’re constantly putting your goals up against other people’s, or against the super-athletes you see on Instagram, you’re only ever likely to discourage yourself. To keep a positive mental attitude, focus on yourself and yourself alone. Reward yourself for your successes and try and learn from your failures. This will help you avoid injuries while keeping you motivated to stay in shape!
Don’t Hate, Change
If you really hate your fitness routine and it’s making you miserable, just change your routine! Getting in shape is hard work, but it shouldn’t feel like torture. There are countless ways to be more active, from walking to swimming to weightlifting to sports clubs, so you never have to be tied down to a single one.
You’re bound to have peaks and troughs, especially when you’re first starting out on your journey to get fit. However, if getting in shape is having a negative effect on your mind and body, don’t feel bad about taking some time out to re-assess things and come up with a new plan.
Get the Right Equipment for the Job
Most kinds of exercise need some kind of equipment, whether it’s comfortable swimwear or effective running shoes. However you choose to get in shape, do a bit of research and pick up a few things that’ll help you along the way.
This is especially important in high-impact exercises, such as jogging or weightlifting. As you work to increase your fitness, these activities will naturally put a lot of strain on your muscles and joints. This is a perfectly natural response to exercise, and it helps your muscles stay strong and your joints stay flexible. However, you never want that strain to be too much, so make sure you’re wearing proper gear and replace it regularly if you need to.