Desperate to get in shape? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s said that about half of Brits tried to lose weight in the last year, while more than nine million people are members of gyms or other fitness facilities.
It can be a daunting process when you’re first starting out – and getting over that first hurdle is crucial if you’re going to work towards your ideal body shape and fitness level.
6 tips to boost your chances of getting in shape
What do you actually want to achieve? Set yourself big targets – maybe an ideal weight or a piece of clothing you’d like to fit into (or back into) – but also set smaller goals that you can tick off each week or month as you work towards your overall goal.
That should help to keep you motivated and break the task down into manageable chunks. Your goals don’t have to be weight related – keep body measurements as these might be a better gauge of your success than the scales.
Ask friends and family to help
Worried you’ll lose faith? It’s important to have a support network of friends and family to help you. Tell them what you’re up to and get them to egg you on to go to the gym when you’re wavering or to step in to prevent you ordering a takeaway, for example.
Turning the gym into a social event, by going along with a friend, can make the experience more enjoyable.
Drink lots of water
Do you regularly feel hungry? Don’t be tempted to reach for the snacks straight away. Sometimes your body just needs a glass of water because you’re feeling a little dehydrated and it’s easy to confuse the two feelings.
We could all do with drinking a little more water and this could a simple but effective change to make as you strive to get in shape.
You need two key things in order to stay in shape: An active lifestyle and the right diet. If either ingredient is missing, you’ll fail.
When it comes to your diet, you need to strive for a balance of all of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, which means cutting out foods that are overly fatty or stuffed full of unnatural sugars.
Look for a diet plan that you feel comfortable with and do your best to stick to it. You might want to top up your diet with the smart use of supplements.
If so, make sure you read up properly on the different types available (with guides such as this) so that you know what will work for you and how to use them effectively.
Sitting down is bad
An active lifestyle doesn’t begin and end at the gym. If you’re in a desk job and find yourself sitting down for most of the day then you need to develop some good habits.
Make sure you get up from your chair on a regular basis. Go for a walk or run in your lunch break. You could even consider some desk exercises (see some examples here) or walking or cycling to walk and leaving the car at home. It’ll all help.
Finally, you need an exercise routine that works for you. Don’t try to do anything too complicated right away. Start simple and build up a routine of exercises that are challenging enough (without pushing yourself past your limits).
If you’re stuck for ideas, check out this guide from Muscle & Fitness.