We all know it’s important to get enough exercise.
Staying fit and active isn’t just important for being able to look good and feel good, but also to function well and reduce your risk of diseases.
However, much like how it’s common to adopt different popular diets periodically and then abandon ship and go back to your old eating habits, many people start and stop fitness routines.
Getting the momentum to start working out is a hurdle in and of itself, but continuing can also be a challenge.
In this article, we will provide how to get fit and some fitness tips for lifelong fitness.
We will cover:
- How to Get Fit
- 9 Fitness Tips for Life
Let’s get started!
How to Get Fit
Starting a fitness plan can be as simple as going out the door for a short walk after dinner or before work in the morning. You don’t have to take on a vigorous or complicated workout regime right off the bat—just get moving.
Gradually increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of your workouts as your fitness improves.
You can pick any type of exercise you like or know how to do. Examples include walking, jogging, or running outside or on a treadmill, cycling on an exercise bike or outdoors, using an elliptical machine, swimming, or climbing stairs.
To meet the guidelines for physical activity for adults set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the British Heart Foundation, you should aim to accumulate either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio exercise per week.
This works out to exercising 30 minutes per day five days a week if you are working at a moderate intensity level or about 25 minutes three days per week if you’re working at a vigorous intensity.
Of course, you are welcome to divvy up the number of minutes you should exercise over the week as you see fit.
It may take several weeks to get up to this volume but take your time—jumping in from nothing to exercising 30 minutes a day nearly every day of the week can be a recipe for unworkable muscle soreness, injury, and a lack of motivation to continue.
Wearing a heart rate monitor is the best way to properly assess the intensity of your workouts.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, to qualify as a moderate-intensity “cardio” workout, your heart rate should be in the range of 64-76% of your maximum heart rate, while vigorous-intensity cardio is associated with a heart rate of 77-95% of your max.
Now that we know how to get fit let’s check out our fit tips for life to keep you motivated, happy, and healthy!
9 Fitness Tips for Life
#1: Find Your Why
We all know that getting enough physical activity is important for our health and reducing the risk of disease, but sometimes that’s not enough of a motivating factor to get you out the door for a ride or encourage you to head to the gym after work to lift weights instead of going home to relax.
Many of us need more of an instant gratification or personally motivating “why” to help us stay consistent with an exercise routine.
For example, maybe you want to lose weight for your son or daughter‘s wedding (or your own!). Maybe you want to get fit so that you can keep up with your kids and grandkids without feeling winded when you play.
Perhaps your father passed prematurely from heart disease, and you don’t want the same thing to happen to you, or maybe you want to train to run a race in support of a charity that’s near and dear to your heart.
Having a big push or pull to exercise—a “why” that resonates with you personally—is a great way to keep you focused and committed to your fitness routine.
#2: Start Slow
If you jump in too quickly to a brand new workout routine, you might become too sore and tired, and it might cause too much of a total life overhaul or change in your schedule that you become unmotivated or quickly disenfranchised with the idea of doing this forever.
Starting small and building up gradually by adding just five minutes a day for one or two days per week over the course of several weeks is a great way to both physically and mentally give yourself time to adapt and become accustomed to your new training plan.
#3: Find Something You Love
As children, most of the physical activity we do is disguised as play. However, somewhere along the way, when we become adults, exercise starts being viewed as a chore, and many of the most common types of exercise seem quite structured and not all that fun to many people.
If the idea of hopping on the elliptical machine and doing a 30-minute workout or swimming a bunch of laps is simply unappealing to you, find a type of exercise you actually enjoy doing and make that the mainstay of your fitness routine.
You can always supplement with other structured forms of exercise if your preferred way to move your body is inadequate or incomplete total-body training.
For example, if you love mountain biking, there’s no reason why you need to force yourself to do treadmill running or even indoor spin classes. Get outside in the real world and “play“ doing your favorite activity.
You can always supplement with upper body strength training, brisk walking, or other forms of exercise, but the bulk of your routine should be made up of some type of activity you actually enjoy.
#4: Find an Exercise Buddy
Social support exercise is really important for some people.
Whether you find a running buddy or a workout partner for the gym, join a group exercise class, or an adult sports league or team (running team, masters swim team, adult basketball, etc.); camaraderie can increase accountability and make your workout time fly by.
Talking with other people and getting caught up in lively conversation will take your mind off the discomfort of your workout and how many minutes are remaining.
#5: Set a Routine
Humans are creatures of habit. Before you start working out consistently, you probably have some sort of routine that doesn’t seem to hold space to accommodate working out.
However, if you start carving out a designated time to exercise every day and maintain consistency in that schedule, you will build a habit that will make it easier to get your workout done every day.
For example, perhaps you get in a quick run first thing in the morning before breakfast, or you take your lunch break to head to the gym next door to your office for a quick bodyweight HIIT circuit.
After several weeks of diligently adhering to the same schedule, it will become second nature. As soon as you wake up, you’ll get your running shoes on, and the day will get started. On your lunch break, it will feel like you’re missing something if you skip out on the gym.
#6: Be a Problem Solver
We often get in our own way. If you try to establish a fitness routine and it’s just not working for one reason or another, give yourself grace and be mentally flexible enough to try something different.
Perhaps you started by trying to go running every day after work for 20 minutes, but you find that by the end of your workday, you are just too tired and hungry, and you want to go home.
Instead of either continuing to try to force yourself to stick with your training plan and feeling miserable while doing so or abandoning your newfound commitment to getting fit altogether, try to think of an alternative and give that a go.
For example, since you are getting too tired to exercise after work, consider waking up a little bit earlier every day and getting in a workout before heading off to the office. Alternatively, maybe you could go home and have an early dinner and then do an evening cardio session instead.
#7: Try Working Out At Home
Home workouts have become increasingly popular, and they could be a great option for people who have limited time or feel uncomfortable or intimidated about exercising in public.
You can buy cardio equipment or follow fitness abs and strong bodyweight workouts. With a couple of resistance bands or adjustable dumbbells, you can also do all of your strength training right at home.
#8: Use Technology
There are all sorts of fitness apps and smartwatches that can help spice up your workouts or make it more motivating to stay active.
You can also watch TV or use exercise equipment that allows for interactive training. This type of technology can increase motivation and be more fun.
#9: Get Back On the Horse
Even the most dedicated exercisers will experience times in their life when they have to take a break, whether due to an illness, injury, or some sort of life change.
The key to being fit for life is always keeping physical activity as one of your priorities. When you fall off your workout regimen for one reason or another. Try to right the ship and get back at it as soon as possible.
There you have it, our 9 fit tips for life.
You deserve to be fit, healthy, and happy. Make sure that you place value in that, and remember that exercise is the vehicle to which you can take care of your body so that you can enjoy all that life has to offer.
If you want to get started right away, why not try out one of our 30-Day Fitness Challenges here?