Are you trying to work out and eat right but aren’t seeing the kind of results you really want? Are you grinding through several workouts per week but still struggling to get your dream body? Are you telling yourself “I want to be in the best shape of my life” — but nothing seems to get you there?
Maybe you’re just a little overweight and need a little boost to shed the pounds.
Maybe you recently started a new desk job and all that sitting is starting to show in your hips.
Or maybe you’re in great shape, but just not quite where you want to be yet. I get it — I also tend to be a perfectionist. And regardless of your current situation, there are always ways your health and fitness can be improved.
In this article you’ll learn a few helpful tips and strategies on how to get in the best shape of your life.
How to Be in the Best Shape Possible
You may have a deadline in mind for your health goal. Maybe the time frame is a month and you are wondering if it’s possible to do / want to learn how to get in shape in one month.
It is possible to get in better shape in a month, but it’s going to take some persistent effort. Keep in mind that you may not achieve the “perfect” body (what does that even mean?) in that amount of time. But by reading these tips you’ll learn how to get in perfect shape for your body.
1. Eat Healthier
This is number one because it’s the most important element to getting in shape. Eating healthier may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook it or simply don’t put enough effort to maintain it.
To reiterate: If you don’t maintain a healthy diet, you will never get in great shape.
But this is good news! It provides you with an excellent starting point and outlines a clear path to getting in the best shape of your life. Making changes to your diet is the most effective way to get in better shape. Making even small changes can lead to big results.
I don’t like to severely restrict the kinds of meals and foods I eat. I believe this lowers our overall enjoyment of life, which can hurt our mental health. Instead I follow the simple philosophy of making better food choices.
So enjoy your pizza. But make it yourself and swap out the enriched flour crust for 100% whole wheat, the normal mozzarella cheese for the fat free or low-fat variety, and the pepperoni for chicken breast pieces. It’s still pizza, and still delicious, but it’s way healthier for you.
Making smart food choices like this will allow you to get in much better shape with much less effort.
2. Be Consistent
If you’re already exercising consistently and keeping your diet under control, then go ahead to the next step, but I’m willing to bet that most people are not doing one or both of these.
Any health expert will tell you that when it comes to diet and exercise, consistency is key.
Why is consistency so important for getting in great shape?
Because getting in better shape takes time. There’s no way around this. There are no magic fat loss pills (even fat burners like these can’t perform miracles — you’ll always need a solid diet and quality exercise).
Simply put: Being healthy is a long-term goal.
Only by following a healthy diet plan and working out regularly, maintaining these activities day after day for months (and then years), can you get the best body you can possibly achieve.
How to begin?
I totally understand the feeling of being overwhelmed with huge long-term goals. I’ve found that the best way to follow long-term goals on a consistent basis is to break them down into smaller, more manageable goals.
To make the long-term goal of eating healthier more manageable, break it down into smaller pieces so that you have a small goal of making better food choices today, and then do the same tomorrow, and then the next day.
3. Vary your Workouts
Although exercising consistently is crucial for better health, that doesn’t mean you should do the same exercises or workouts consistently. It’s important to switch up your workouts.
Change can be good, especially when it comes to physical fitness. Maybe on your quest to better health you’ve been running three miles every day for several months. This is an admirable achievement, and I’m sure you noticed a huge difference in physical functioning in the month or two after you started.
While running every day is certainly better than doing nothing (or binge-watching a show on Netflix), I’m guessing you’ve probably noticed diminishing returns since the first couple of months. If this is the case, you’ve probably hit something called an exercise plateau.
An exercise plateau is when your body seemingly stops making improvement in some activity that you’ve been doing repeatedly over an extended period of time, as in our “running every day” example above.
The best way to overcome a plateau is by varying your workouts. To continue with our example, if you run every day, start swimming every other day instead of running. Doing so will likely lead to improvement in both activities. Or implement a weight lifting regimen. Or, if you run at a steady pace whenever you run, you could start doing intervals every once in a while.
Changing up your workouts like this will keep your body guessing and won’t let it get acclimated to the exercises, leading to continual improvement and the resulting benefits.
4. Do Yoga
Pretty much everybody has heard about yoga, but not many people actually do it. And of those who try it, even fewer stick with it.
When I first tried doing yoga, I was in good shape. I was already working out consistently and doing different kinds of workouts. But unquestionably, continuing to do yoga got me in the best shape of my life.
Because yoga works your body and mind. It works your muscles and cardiovascular systems while also reducing stress and its associated hormones, which are known to increase fat storage.
If you are already in good shape, then I highly recommend you give yoga a try. Stick with it for a month, maybe two, and you will see benefits — one of which may be the best fitness level you’ve ever achieved.
Surround Yourself with Supportive People
Last but certainly not least, this tip will help you through the tough times. There are bound to be occasions in which you don’t feel motivated enough to follow the other tips in this guide to achieve your best body. Some people, especially those who don’t have the same health goals as you, will try to lead you astray during these times of weakness.
For example, when out to eat with a friend to relax after a long day, your stressed, tired, and hungry mind may crave something sweet. You’ve already compromised with your sweet tooth by agreeing to make yourself a healthy dessert when you get home, but your friend urges you to order a Mucho Choco-palooza cake slice, which the menu states is 800 calories. A supportive friend will bring it up once, notice the hesitation on your face as you consider it, then accept your response and drop it when you decline. On the other hand, a non-supportive friend will try to “pressure” you into it, fully knowing your health goals and understanding your tired state of mind.
Supportive people help to build you back up during the difficult times, when you’re feeling unmotivated. These occasional feeling are natural and happen to everybody. But surrounding yourself with supportive people will make the process of getting in top shape so much easier.
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