Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

If you are looking to get into shape, there are many factors to take into consideration and there is no set time for how long it might take. It will depend on your current weight, fitness levels, and how much you are able to train. 

The fact is, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get in shape, it’s the fact that you have the motivation to make the change that’s important and you need to stick with it in a way that suits your own body’s needs. 

The other factor to consider is what you mean by getting into shape as that will be different for every person. For one it might be losing weight, for another, it might be training to run a marathon, so it’s your own personal fitness goals that are important. 

The key thing that will help you to get into shape is changing up your lifestyle in a number of ways and then completing those changes consistently. You need to look at your diet, exercise, and overall activity levels and keep going with the changes you make.

 

Your Diet

The best weight to lose weight healthily and to keep it off in a sustainable way is to change your diet in a sensible way so you are avoiding processed foods and sugars, and increasing how much fruit, vegetables, and lean protein you are eating. 

Avoid fad diets that promise rapid weight loss and promote missing out on entire food groups as while you may lose weight faster at the beginning, you will soon get fed up and are likely to go back to your bad habits when the “diet” is over. 

It’s not about following a new extreme eating routine for a certain time frame. For sustainable weight loss and to maintain that weight loss, you need to permanently change your eating habits to be healthier and it won’t happen overnight. You need patience and determination.

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Your Physical Activity

While changing your eating habits will help you to lose weight it won’t help you get fitter, for that you need to add in physical activity, and you need to do it continuously over time for it to make any difference. 

A bit like a fad diet, you can’t hope to simply do a few weeks of exercise and suddenly be super fit overnight. You need to increase your activity and keep up the work on a regular basis. Generally working out for half an hour, three times a week, is the minimum needed to stay in shape. 

There are several elements that will impact your physical fitness: 

Your body fat percentage – How much fat your body is made of, compared with all the other components, will have an impact on your overall fitness and wellbeing, as well as energy levels and health conditions. 

Your range of movement – How flexible you are and how mobile your joints are will have an impact on your ability to work out without experiencing pain and stiffness in your joints. The more mobility you have the easier it will be to exercise. As you get fitter, your flexibility will increase. 

Your endurance levels – How long you can hold up a weight for or run on the spot before you have to stop is an indication of your endurance levels. The more you can do repetitive weight training moves, or the longer you can workout without needing a rest, the more endurance you have. As you get fitter, your endurance will increase. 

Your strength levels – If you want to focus on increasing your strength you need to incorporate strength training into your workout. Just doing cardio won’t help to improve your muscle strength so you need to incorporate a combination of the two to really get in shape. 

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Your cardio levels – To improve your overall fitness rate you need to focus on exercises that boost your heart rate as these will help with important elements including blood pressure and other important health benefits.

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So, in summary, if you can change your diet and increase your overall exercise levels, you will see improvements in your body composition and fitness, but it will take around four to eight weeks before you see the changes in action, and then you need to keep it going. 

Here are some more tips for getting into shape: 

  • Always make sure you warm-up and cool down before and after every exercise routine to prevent injury
  • If you have any medical issues speak to your doctor before starting on a new exercise routine
  • Make sure your training routine includes time to allow your body to rest and recover
  • Increase the intensity of your workouts as you get fitter, to help keep your workouts on track 
  • Work to keep yourself motivated even if you can’t see the changes as quickly as you want to, they will come but you have to keep going
  • Don’t be tempted to overtrain as you are more likely to injure yourself rather than increase your fitness. 
  • Celebrate the successes as there is nothing quite like realizing that your body just did something you couldn’t do a few weeks ago
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day, don’t let it derail your whole effort, you need to keep going and get back on track
  • Tell your friends your goals and what you are hoping to achieve so they can help to support and motivate you when you are struggling
  • Keep track of your measurements and numbers so that you can see how you are doing and understand the progress your fitness journey is achieving even if you can’t see it in the mirror yet

If you want to get into shape, you just need to remember that you are doing it for yourself and keep on track with your motivation, stay consistent with your dietary changes and your physical activity and you will soon reap the benefits. 

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