When trying to get in shape you need to know how your habits affect your efforts. They can hold you back. You need to understand where you are going. It will take longer to get in shape if you don’t. Finally, the effort you put in determines how long it takes.
Getting in shape is an individual journey. It depends on a multitude of factors. Truly, how long it takes to sculpt your physique depends on you. Learn how to avoid getting caught by fitness pitfalls in this article.
Your habits impact your progress
One step forwards then two steps back. No one would purposefully sabotage themselves when getting in shape. Even so, that is what a lot of us do unintentionally.
Deciding to get in shape has two halves. The first is the challenge of forming new healthy habits. The second is the struggle to kick bad ones. If you do one without the other, it will take you a long time to get in shape.
There are a lot of habits that affect your progress. Some of the common ones include poor sleep, smoking, and being inactive. However, two of the biggest ones are eating and drinking.
What and how much you eat can make or break your journey to sculpt your physique. I know how hard it is to change eating habits. It is certainly not a quick change. It will take lots of planning and understanding.
The basics are easy to grasp. Intaking more calories than you burn will lead to weight gain and vice versa. In the long term what is more important is the quality of food. Highly processed foods can be harmful even if your calorie intake is healthy.
When trying to get in shape you should be conscious of what you eat. Changing what you eat won’t get you in shape by itself. That said, it is a big step in the right direction!
The other half of a healthy diet is your drinking habits. Alcohol, soda, and even tea can be harmful in excess. Moderation is key here.
Having a cup of tea or two in a day can be great, even necessary! The problems come from drinking 4 or more in a day. The same goes for alcohol. A drink or two here and there won’t hurt. When you start drinking in excess you will see signs of the harm it does.
Sugar filled drinks in particular are the worst. If you are aiming to get fit, you should cut out sugary drinks and limit alcohol.
Your definition of ‘in shape’ changes the journey
Your journey to a healthy shape will be affected by where you want to be. Food and drink will certainly affect the rate you progress. Even so, the distance you are from your goal will affect you more.
Aiming to be able to climb several flights of stairs without getting winded is one thing. Aiming to be the next Dwayne Johnson is something else. It will take you longer to look like The Rock. But don’t let yourself hit rock bottom. It is still possible!
The goal doesn’t just change how long it will take. Additionally, it will change what your journey looks like. Your journey will have to be much stricter if you are preparing for a marathon. You can be more relaxed with smaller goals.
Where are you starting from?
The time involved also depends on where you start. You can’t go from couch to marathon overnight. Even couch to marathon in four months is pushing it.
If you haven’t been exercising in several years you will have a long path to fitness. Certainly longer than someone who had kept up some basic stretching and exercising.
That said there is some benefit to being a beginner. In weightlifting specifically, beginners can expect a huge jump in their first year. So your starting point and goals will both dramatically affect your fitness journey. All you have to do is put in the effort!
Your level of effort matters
The third need-to-know is all about what you put in. Sticking to a healthy diet is great. Understanding where you’re going is even better. But neither will matter if you don’t put in the effort. The less effort you put into yourself, the longer it will take to get in shape.
Effort can be sticking to a diet. More importantly for this journey, it is exercising regularly. It isn’t easy. Some days you just want to stay home and watch a good show. Other days you’re just too busy with life.
Be prepared to put in the effort on these days. Remind yourself how much being in shape is worth.
Frequent and regular workouts will get you in shape in no time. You should still maintain time for your body to rest though. Working yourself too hard can set you back. Finding that balance should be one of your main goals.
Workout type; duration
How you work out is a big part of your effort. If you only do a handful of push ups each day you will make progress. That progress won’t be as much as if you did your maximum.
A half-hour of exercise is better than none. If that half-hour isn’t properly used, you will be losing progress.
One great use of limited time is high intensity interval training (HIIT). It is all about doing as much as you can in a short amount of time. One HIIT exercise is much better than a half-hearted one.
If you have more time to devote to exercise you can go for more traditional styles. You should still apply as much effort in these longer sessions as you can.
The duration involved will depend on your available time. It should also depend on what you do. HIIT exercises can be shorter. More traditional exercises need longer times.