How Do I Get Really Fit?
Getting really fit often seems daunting. Many of us want to get in better shape, but we don't know where to start. The truth is, getting fit doesn't have to be complicated. With some simple changes to your routine and dedication to regular exercise, you can transform your body and overall health faster than you think.
- Define Your Fitness Goals
- Adopt an Active Lifestyle
- Focus on Nutrition
- Start Strength Training
- Mix Up Your Cardio
- Allow Time for Recovery
- Track Your Progress
- Get Supportive Accountability
- Stay Patient and Persistent
- A Brief Mention of CBD and Fitness
- Frequently Asked Questions on Getting Fit
- How long will it take me to get fit?
- What is the best form of exercise to get fit?
- How often should I exercise to become more fit?
- What should I eat to become more fit?
- How can I stay motivated on my fitness journey?
- What if I can’t do certain exercises due to injury or limitations?
Define Your Fitness Goals
The first step to getting really fit is defining exactly what you want to achieve. Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? Simply have more energy? Get specific about your goals so you can tailor your fitness plan accordingly.
Setting SMART goals can help. That means making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For example, "I want to lose 20 pounds in the next 3 months" is a more defined goal than simply "I want to lose weight."
Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish will help you stay focused and motivated on your fitness journey. It also allows you to track your progress along the way.
Adopt an Active Lifestyle
Getting fit isn't just about your time at the gym. It's a lifestyle that incorporates movement and activity into your everyday routines. Look for ways to increase your general activity level:
- Take the stairs whenever possible
- Park farther away and walk to your destination
- Go for a walk during lunch or after dinner
- Do bodyweight exercises like squats or lunges while watching TV
Small bursts of activity throughout your day can make a big difference. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, along with two days of full body strength training. Building an active lifestyle is key to getting and staying fit long-term.
Focus on Nutrition
You can't out-exercise a poor diet. Nutrition is absolutely essential for getting fit and losing weight if needed. Make sure your diet supports your fitness goals with lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies.
Some dietary strategies that can enhance fitness include:
- Eat more protein - it helps build muscle and keeps you full
- Reduce processed carbs and sugars - they promote fat storage
- Stay hydrated - drink water instead of high-calorie beverages
- Meal prep - plan and prep healthy meals and snacks for the week
Focus on whole, minimally processed foods as much as possible. Portion control is also important for weight management. Pay attention to serving sizes and don't overeat. Good nutrition provides the fuel for your workouts and promotes lean muscle growth.
Start Strength Training
Cardio exercise is great, but strength training is truly key for getting fit. Building muscle increases your metabolism, burns calories, and shapes a toned physique. Aim to do full body strength workouts 2-3 times per week. Squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, and core exercises are all excellent compound movements to include.
You don't need fancy equipment either. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, lunges, and planks are very effective. You can also use dumbbells, resistance bands, or household items like jugs of water for added resistance. The key is progressively challenging your muscles through a full range of motion.
As your strength improves, increase weight and reps. If you're new to strength training, don't overdo it. Allow rest days for your muscles to recover and repair. Done consistently, strength training builds the lean, toned physique most of us want.
Mix Up Your Cardio
While strength training is crucial, cardiovascular exercise provides many valuable health and fitness benefits. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio weekly. Choose activities you actually enjoy so it doesn't feel like a chore:
- Running, jogging, or walking
- Cycling or spinning classes
- Swimming, water aerobics
- HIIT workouts
- Sports like tennis, basketball, soccer
Varying your cardio keeps your workouts interesting and challenges your body in new ways. HIIT in particular - short bursts of high intensity exercise - is extremely effective for getting fit fast. Mix up your cardio routines and keep your body guessing.
Allow Time for Recovery
Rest and recovery are just as important as your gym sessions when trying to get fit. Muscles grow and strengthen during downtime after workouts, not just during training. Make sure to build recovery into your routine:
- Take at least 1-2 rest days between strength training for the same muscle groups
- Ease up on cardio periodically and replace with light activity like walking
- Prioritize sleep - aim for 7-9 hours per night to promote muscle growth and repair
- Consider recovery practices like massage, foam rolling, and Epsom salt baths
Listen to your body. If you're constantly sore or fatigued, your body is telling you it needs more rest. Taking time to recover will get you fitter and healthier in the long run.
Track Your Progress
It's hard to know if you're truly getting "fit" without tracking your progress. Monitoring certain metrics lets you pinpoint what's working and where you still need improvement:
- Weight and body measurements - track your weight, waist circumference, and body fat percentage
- Strength gains - record reps/sets/weight lifted for key exercises
- Cardio performance - time yourself on runs, bike rides, etc and aim to beat your records
- Before/after photos - visual progress is often more telling than numbers on a scale
You don't need to measure and record every workout detail. But checking in on your key metrics every 4-6 weeks will give you a clear picture of your fitness progression. Make adjustments to your plan if you've hit a plateau. Tracking progress is essential for staying motivated on your fitness journey.
Get Supportive Accountability
Getting fit alone can be a challenge. Having supportive accountability makes it much easier to stay on track with your goals. Some options:
- Find a gym buddy - work out with a friend or partner to motivate each other
- Hire a personal trainer - get expert guidance designing and executing your fitness plan
- Join a fitness class - studio classes provide group energy and accountability
- Try online coaching - get customized programs and check-ins from trained professionals
- Use a health tracking app - apps like MyFitnessPal provide food logging, workout routines, progress tracking and community forums
Having someone else invested in your success provides both motivation and expertise. Surround yourself with people who want to see you achieve your greatest health and fitness.
Stay Patient and Persistent
Getting really fit takes time and consistency. You won't transform your body overnight. But if you stick with your plan week after week, the results will come.
Make your workouts non-negotiable items on your calendar as much as possible. When motivation lags, focus on all the benefits you’re getting – improved health, confidence, energy and strength. Don't beat yourself up for the occasional slip up or bad day. Just get back on track as quickly as possible.
Fitness is a lifelong journey. Ups and downs are inevitable. But if you stay patient and persistent, you can achieve the strong, healthy body you want.
Getting fit doesn't have to be complicated. With clearly defined goals, consistent exercise, proper nutrition, and patience through the process, you can get really fit and take your health to the next level. What are you waiting for? It's time to become the best version of yourself!
A Brief Mention of CBD and Fitness
While not necessary for getting fit, some people find that CBD (cannabidiol) helps with exercise recovery and reducing post-workout pain and inflammation. CBD comes from the cannabis plant but contains minimal THC, so it does not cause a "high."
More research is still needed, but CBD is generally considered safe and non-addictive. It can be consumed as CBD oil tinctures, cbd capsules, edibles, topicals and more. If interested, talk to your doctor to see if CBD may be helpful for supporting your fitness goals.
Frequently Asked Questions on Getting Fit
Getting in shape and living a fit, healthy lifestyle is a common goal, but it can be tough to figure out where to start. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about getting fit:
How long will it take me to get fit?
The time it takes to get fit depends greatly on your starting point and intensity of your exercise program. If you are currently very out of shape, it may take a few months of consistent exercise and healthy eating to get reasonably fit. Getting in peak physical condition could take 6 months to a year. Fitness is a lifelong journey, so focus on small gains consistently over time.
What is the best form of exercise to get fit?
For overall fitness, a combination of strength training and cardio is ideal. Aim for 2-4 days a week of strength training to build muscle. Get your heart rate up with 150 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio per week. Mix up your cardio with activities like running, biking, swimming, and HIIT workouts.
Consistency with both strength and cardio exercise is key. Your workouts should challenge you to see results.
How often should I exercise to become more fit?
Most fitness experts recommend exercising 4-5 days per week for good results. This includes 2-3 days of full-body strength training mixed with 2-3 days of cardio like running or biking. Taking 1-2 rest days allows your muscles time to recover. You can also add in active recovery like walking, stretching, and foam rolling on some of your rest days.
What should I eat to become more fit?
A nutritious, protein-rich diet supports fitness goals. Focus on lean proteins like chicken, fish, eggs, and nuts. Get complex carbs from sources like beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, oats, and brown rice. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables which provide essential vitamins and minerals. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Limit processed foods, sugars, saturated fats, alcohol, and salt.
How can I stay motivated on my fitness journey?
Motivation ebbs and flows. When it’s lagging, focus on your reasons for getting fit like improving health, boosting energy, feeling more confident, and managing weight. Set motivating goals. Track your progress. Surround yourself with people who support your goals. Consider rewards like a massage or new workout gear as you hit certain milestones. Remind yourself on tough days that even 10 minutes is better than nothing!
What if I can’t do certain exercises due to injury or limitations?
There are workout modifications for nearly every exercise. Can’t squat or lunge due to knee issues? Try leg presses or leg extensions. Have lower back problems? Work your back muscles without strain by doing lat pulldowns. If an issue prohibits you from weight training, focus on cardio exercises you can do safely like swimming and cycling. Consider working with a personal trainer or physical therapist to design a program that works around your unique limitations. Fitness is achievable for nearly everyone with the right modifications. Don’t give up!
The key is consistently challenging yourself with exercise, fueling your body properly, and making fitness a lifelong habit. Stay patient through the process, track your progress, and focus on small gains over time. You’ll be amazed by the fitness transformation you can achieve!
Getting fit requires dedication and lifestyle changes. Define your specific goals like weight loss or muscle gain so you can track progress. Adopt an active lifestyle by increasing daily movement with stairs, walking, and bodyweight exercises. Nutrition is key - eat more protein, reduce processed carbs and sugars, and meal prep. Lift weights 2-3x a week to build metabolism-boosting muscle. Aim for 150 mins of cardio like running, biking, and swimming weekly. Allow proper rest for muscles to recover and grow. Track metrics like weight, measurements, strength gains, and cardio performance every 4-6 weeks. Find workout buddies, trainers, or apps to provide motivation and accountability. Getting fit takes patience and persistence through ups and downs. With smart goal-setting, disciplined workouts, proper fueling, and a support system, you can transform your body and health faster than you think. Make fitness a lifelong journey.