Get in Shape FAST
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Get Fit Quick: Your Two-Week Kickstart Guide
Do it right here, right now. If you're carrying around excess pounds, have low energy and even lower self-esteem, know two things. First, your body got this way, most likely, over the course of years, and you can't turn back the clock in two weeks or even two months! That said, you can use a self-imposed "deadline" of 14 days as motivation to create fresh, better-for-you habits. Second, and more importantly: Positive changes will happen if you don't give up, asserts George Bein, a veteran personal trainer at Unique Health and Fitness in Huntington, New York.
And setting realistic goals is the best way to make sure you don't get discouraged right out of the gate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's healthy weight-loss guidelines , safe, sustainable weight loss typically comes at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds each week, so set a goal to lose a maximum of 4 pounds of weight during your two-week "kickoff" period. Don't even think about extreme diets that promise double-digit weight loss in no time. When you inevitably go off of it, you'll gain the weight back, if not more," stresses Bein.
Aside from losing a few pounds, attainable two-week goals might include greater energy, more flexibility and improved endurance for physical activity. Oh, and a more positive outlook on life may be a reasonable expectation as well. Exercise is a mood-lifter, revealed an August study , updated in April by Harvard Medical School. The research also noted that, in some cases, working out might be as effective as taking an anti-depressant.
When you inevitably go off of it, you'll gain the weight back, if not more. Losing weight comes down to consuming fewer calories than necessary to meet your energy needs. How many calories that is, exactly, depends on several factors, including your age, gender, height and current weight. According to general Mayo Clinic guidelines , if you cut to 1, calories a day from your typical diet, you'll lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, respectively. Things get a little trickier with time, though, as your body adjusts to the lower calorie intake.
As you start to hit your weight-loss targets, you may find it harder to keep dropping extra pounds, and thus have to cut your calories further to reach your ultimate goal. Here are a few tips to help prevent a plateau:. Take slightly less than you usually do.
You may not miss the extra food. If you are still hungry, eat more green vegetables. It can't hurt to use smaller dishes , too. Doing quick, focused, HIIT-style workouts will help you get in shape faster than slow, moderate ones will.
If your goal is maximum efficiency aka fastest possible results , you should be sweaty and exhausted by the end of your workout — or you're not working hard enough. Including full-body exercises like squats, burpees, push ups and triceps dips in your workouts will help you get fit in less time than simply focusing on isolation muscle exercises think biceps curls and calf raises will. Full-body exercises are more functional, anyway, and will help you more in real-life situations like lifting a suitcase over your head in an airplane or playing with your kid at the playground.
If you ever played sports growing up, you'll probably remember practice being full of plyometrics: exercises like long jumps, tuck jumps, jump lunges, sprints and more. Plyos are great because not only will they help you get conditioned for whatever sports you enjoy in your free time, they'll help you burn fat and lose weight as well and are a great habit to build into your workouts.
Even if your ultimate goal is to lose weight, it's much more motivating and satisfying in the long run to work toward an athletic or fitness goal of some kind. Whether your goal is to do your first handstand, learn a cool yoga pose or complete burpees in a row , making it a habit to regularly set and work toward athletic-focused goals will not only help you get fit quicker right now, making it a habit to create fun and challenging fitness goals will help ensure you make health and fitness a priority for life.
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Stop making excuses not to work out. Because it doesn't matter whether you don't have access to a gym, have no workout equipment available, or have less than 15 minutes to work out — you can still get a good workout if you set your mind to it. You'll be amazed at how quickly you start getting in shape once you become consistent with your workouts and quit your excuses for good. You are now subscribed Be on the lookout for a welcome email in your inbox!
How to Get in Shape Fast for Your Ultimate Season
Saved Articles. Gift Purchases. Contact Support. Log Out. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. Ready to Begin? Got the Green Light? Now Get Moving! The most important thing is to simply move. Just start increasing your everyday activities.
That means taking the stairs, parking the car farther from your destination, walking to the grocery store and carrying bags home.
15 Former Couch Potatoes Share Their Best Tips For Getting In Shape
Strength training twice a week : Builds muscles, supports a healthy metabolism and keeps bones strong. Core strength sprinkled throughout the week : Supports your entire body, helps your posture and saves your back. Balance exercises sprinkled throughout the week : Stabilizes and protects you from fall-related injuries. Flexibility exercises sprinkled throughout the week : Keeps you agile and limber. A good fitness routine should encompass all 5 workouts. But no matter what you choose — be it yoga, tennis or spinning — here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
A slow start is smart. Then increase it to 30 minutes twice a week. Build a base and then grow from it. Be reasonable about what your body can do. Cardio intervals done with intensity burn fat cells, Peeke says. An interval can be something as simple as walking for 5 minutes, then speed-walking or jogging for 1 minute. The point is to add bursts of high-intensity effort to your workout to get the heart rate up and burn fat. It can really help shed pounds.
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Be nice to your knees. Years of repetitive motion — from bending to pick up kids and the like — can wear out joints.
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So be kind to your body and stay away from deep-knee bends. Such exercises are just too intense for weakened joints. Try this workout as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next. Work up to three circuits per session. Knee Pushup Starting Position: Kneel on all fours, your arms straight and shoulder-width apart and in line with your shoulders, fingers facing forward.
Your knees should be under your hips.