How to Get Fit

Being ‘fit’ simply means that you have the ability to perform a specific task. The level of fitness you attain is largely determined by how much effort you put into achieving that goal and what you need to be fit for. Many are driven to become fit for aesthetic benefit; with social pressures and learned behaviors on what’s considered attractive, this is no surprise. No matter what your initial motivation is, it’s important to remember that fitness is essential to good health. Understanding the benefits will ensure your fitness journey is a success.

Why Get Fit?

Ask yourself this: What is your reason for wanting to get fit? This is important to identify before you begin and to reevaluate during the process (as your goals may change over time). Understanding why not only helps determine the how, but it keeps you motivated during your journey. Remember, being “fit” is individual to you — beyond health, everyone has different fitness motivations. Here are some reasons why fitness could be beneficial for you:

  • To improve or be able to participate in a sport.
  • Have the energy to play with your children
  • Perform daily chores more efficiently or without pain or discomfort.
  • Feel better about your physical appearance.
  • Increase energy and mental focus to perform better at work or school.
  • To not let a lack of fitness stand in your way of taking a vacation or exploring places on foot.

Exercise and proper nutrition aren’t optional if you want your body to function the way it is designed to. Exercising for your health requires a minimum commitment of thirty minutes of moderate-intensity activity every day. Here are a few of the countless health benefits that you can reap by becoming fit:

Benefits of Exercise

Mental focus
Muscular definition
Lean tissue
Metabolic rate
Immune system defense
Appetite for healthy foods
Bone density
Improved posture
Risk of heart attack
Risk of osteoporosis
Instances of depression
Levels of stress
Blood pressure
Resting heart rate
LDL cholesterol
Menstrual discomfort
Instances of back problems and pain
Joint discomfort

Commit to Being Fit

Now that you know why you want to get fit, it’s time to put together a plan of action. The road to feeling better starts with the commitment to move more and to fuel your body with nutritious foods. There is no shortcut or pill that will deliver ideal results, and without the willingness to choose a fitter lifestyle, any shortcuts you take won’t be sustained. The secret is to accept and educate yourself on healthier choices, and relish in the fact that these choices will produce a happier you.

Move More

Being active can no longer be something you just think about — it has to be part of your daily life. Before you worry about the intensity, frequency, and duration of your workouts, begin by simply moving your body for at least thirty minutes every single day. There are dozens of activities you can participate in that accomplish the goal of moving more. Find something that’s fun and makes you feel good, so that you stick with it. Establish a baseline of fitness first, and then determine whether adding other activities would benefit your goals.

Gyms and fitness programs only exist because we as a society have stopped moving. Modern day conveniences and technologies have eliminated the amount of physical labor required for survival. There are, however, many small things you can do to increase your activity that don’t involve a gym or an organized exercise routine:

  • Walk instead of drive. If you have to drive, park farther away from your destination.
  • Use the stairs in place of escalators and elevators.
  • Go outside and play (even if you don’t have kids).
  • Always walk or stand when you talk on the phone.
  • Organize your home and/or office so you have to stand up to retrieve things you need.
  • Make spontaneous moments of activity a priority — do some jumping jacks, push-ups, or even have an impromptu dance party!

Food Is Fuel

Nutrition plays a large factor in overall fitness. Your body requires energy to move more and perform at its best. Understand that although food can and should be enjoyed, its vital function is to be used as fuel. The types of fuel that serve our bodies the best are: complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Eating smaller, more frequent meals has been shown to help increase metabolism, regulate blood sugar, and maintain energy levels. Start by eating 4 to 6 small meals per day. Once you have established that habit, you can begin focusing on the quality of food or percentages of macronutrients.

Explore Different Activities

Now that you’ve started moving and your body is properly fueled, it’s time to start exploring. Being fit comes in many different packages. Look at fitness as an adventure, and prompt yourself to try new activities. You are never too old or too young to be active. And the more activities you try, the more likely you are to find something you enjoy. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Rock climbing
  • Aerial fitness
  • Hiking
  • Rollerblading
  • Hockey
  • Jump rope
  • Weightlifting
  • Kettlebells
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • The list goes on and on!

Feel Better

The desire to get fit comes from wanting to look better, perform better, or feel better. However, wouldn’t looking better make you feel better? Wouldn’t having the ability to move better or improve an athletic skill also make you feel better? No matter what the source of your motivation is, the desire to get fit is always about feeling better. And make no mistake; getting fit will make you feel better. So what are you waiting for? The best day to get started is today!

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