Keeping fit is crucial for your well-being, mood, health, and even longevity. Most people know this, but it’s easy to let other commitments take priority and allow fitness to fall by the wayside. However, there’s always hope; no one’s ever too old to get fit. For anyone of any age who wants to lose weight and gain fitness, here are six tips to get you started.
1. Get motivated
Fitness starts in the mind. The right attitude can make all the difference between whether you succeed, give up, or even begin at all. You need to start by looking at fitness as a lifestyle, not as a quick-fix, or something you can suddenly drop once you reach your goal. Committing for the long haul is the only way to get the results you crave.
2. Set small goals
Your ultimate goal may be to lose thirty pounds in six months or to run three miles in thirty minutes — which is great. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy until you get there. Setting smaller goals will help you monitor your progress, which in turn will motivate you to carry on.
3. Use fitness trackers
You can’t just slap a fitness tracker on your wrist and hope to get fit. You still have to put in the work. When used correctly, a fitness tracker is a useful tool that helps you set goals, create challenges, and even log what you eat. If you swim, get a Fitbit for swimming to track your statistics, such as calories burned, stroke count, and achievements. Swimming is one of the best full-body cardio exercises for weight loss as it tones and strengthens all the major muscle groups.
4. Enlist a friend
Finding a friend in the same boat as you will keep you accountable and help motivate you to keep going on your fitness journey. Ideally, you want someone who’s at the same fitness as level as you and has actually made a commitment to exercise regularly. You’re much less likely to find an excuse to miss a workout and may even find yourself training for longer with someone there to encourage you.
5. Mix it up
Regular exercise of any kind will help you get fit and lose weight, but you may become bored if you stick to the same all the time. Even worse, your body will get used to performing the same exercise, which in turn leads to frustrating plateaus in weight loss. Don’t be afraid to mix things up from time to time whether it’s taking a dance class or improving your flexibility with yoga.
6. Eat healthy
Have you ever heard the adage “abs are made in the kitchen”?. Well, it’s true. Diet plays an important role in your fitness journey. You need to fuel your body with the energy it needs to crush your fitness goals. So, what does the “right” diet look like? It’s simple enough: stick to nutritious, energy-laden whole foods and avoid anything processed. Eat whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and beans. Always remember to keep hydrated throughout the day by drinking enough water.
And if you fall off track?
Get right back on again. Make a note of what happened and what you can do next time to prevent it from happening in the future. Maybe you overate because you skipped breakfast, or maybe you’ve been going to bed late and sleeping in when you should be in the gym. Don’t beat yourself up and throw in the towel. Learn from any mistakes you make and keep going. Your hard work will pay off in the end.