Getting in Shape

8 Ways to Simplify Getting in Shape

1. Go to sleep-10 or 11 pm should be your standard, cut the Netflix and social media at around 9:30 and give yourself some time to clear your mind for the next day. The brightness from using your phone or watching TV will keep your mind active, try and read a chapter of a good book, or until the book puts you to sleep.

2. Portions-Avoid restaurants at all cost, unless it’s a reward for how great your new fitness plan has been going. Restaurants include sugary drinks, extra bread, extra butter, dessert, and you might as well throw in a nutritionless salad while you’re at it. Of course, there are some restaurants that serve adequate healthy options, and if so, help yourself, but that’s not usually the case.

3. Be active daily-whether you’re walking to get the mail, going to the mall to look at a few stores (and maybe leaving with those Lulu’s as a 4 day fitness reward, hey, little steps people). Anything that is not sitting on the couch is a win when you’re getting in shape. Pokémon Go is more than acceptable, just be sure to only look down when you get that notification. Don’t look at activity as a burden, think of it as a way to brighten your day, and hopefully meet some new people along the way.

4. Play a sport or join a weekly class-camaraderie around fitness is a great way to hold yourself accountable. I’ve skipped countless reps working out by myself, but if I have a partner or a team behind me, I am 100% more likely to complete my entire workout. As long as you look at fitness as an enjoyable experience, you’ll look forward to the gym much more than you used to.

5. Eat for fuel, BUT don’t stress when you want to reward yourself-you don’t need to count your macros to the gram to lose weight. If I am about to eat anything, I ask the question, “Does this provide benefit to my body?” Chocolate cake, not so much. But Greek yogurt, a healthy omelet, a fruit cup, all will help my muscles heal, or provide sustainable energy throughout my day, and a workout. There is a time and place for the cake, and if you eat well for a few days or meals consecutively, go ahead and have the cake.

6. Research-don’t go in blind-there are plenty of free resources, Instagram, podcasts, YouTube, bodybuilding.com-I’ve never read a book on fitness (I’ll get to it) but I’ve learned through hundreds of videos, articles, and podcasts on how to live a healthy life. If you’re a social person, don’t be afraid to walk up to that fit guy or girl and ask how they went about developing their workout plan, or what keeps them motivated in the gym. Anytime I’ve been asked that, I’m more than willing to talk for a few minutes about what got me to where I am (just don’t ruin the flow of their entire workout)

7. Commit to a guaranteed 6 weeks, at least 3–4 days a week-remember; you are literally transforming your body. Adding muscle or losing fat takes time. This is not changing a shirt; people that have worked out for years have not reached the body they want. Of course, you don’t have to look like Arnold, but keep in mind that it’s a process. At the 6 week mark, the cardio will get easier, the weights will get lighter, and if you’ve been killing it, your clothes will fit better, or you might even need to buy some new ones.

8. Have fun, if it’s not fun, try something else-there are hundreds of different ways to workout, from boxing, to dancing, to basketball, to walking, and so on. If you don’t like to lift, you don’t have to, if you don’t like the sports your friends like, go ahead and join a local club for something you might be interested in. There is somebody interested in everything, and if you are hesitant and think that you are the only one, do some research in your area. If you can’t find a group, start one, maybe the town Quidditch scene is waiting on that one person to step up and start the Facebook group.

— — Thanks for reading! I haven’t decided on a post frequency yet, but I plan on focusing on how to make working out and getting in shape more approachable for anyone who has any doubts about starting their journey.

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