Mar 31, 2023 12:00:00 PM
DaVinci Healthcare Expert
Have you ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen” and wondered why they weren’t made in the gym?
When it comes to getting in shape, there is no shortage of options. Figuring out where to exert your energy can be challenging—should you run, lift weights, eat differently, or do all of the above? This article explains how to get and stay in shape using healthy habits.
The answer to this question is different for everyone, depending on their fitness level and health goals. For some, getting in shape means losing weight. For others, it means building or toning their muscles.
Research supports the idea that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight helps to support overall metabolic health.* However, research also shows the importance of creating and preserving lean muscle tissue to reach other markers of health and fitness.
What about flexibility, endurance, and other ways of measuring fitness or progress? In addition to obvious physical changes in body shape and size, consider these other definitions of fitness:
Whatever your definition of “in shape” may be, make sure your fitness goals are realistic and healthy for the long term. Avoid fad diets, too-good-to-be-true exercise trends, or comparing your progress to anyone else’s.
Being in shape means different things to different people, and so does the time and energy it takes to get there. Your fitness outcomes depend not only on your starting point and your end goal, but also on the type and amount of exercise you do, your dietary habits, and your stress levels.
Age, genetics, experience with exercise, and other lifestyle factors all matter. If you’re sedentary and have a lot of weight to lose, you’ll likely experience more weight loss when first starting a cardio exercise routine than someone who is already at a healthy weight or who is already doing regular cardio.
It’s important to set realistic goals for good physical results and a positive experience for the long term. If you’re just starting out with exercise, begin with a 30-minute moderate bike ride or hike and build up from there over the next few weeks.
Avoid burnout by finding physical activities that you enjoy, varying the exercise, and utilizing what motivates you. Plenty of free fitness apps offer customizable workouts, and some also help you stay mindful of the foods you’re eating.
With consistency and dedication, most people will start to see noticeable changes in just a few weeks. After a few months, you’ll really be on the way toward reaching your goals—from building lean muscle to reducing fat deposits and increasing cardiorespiratory endurance.
Getting in shape is one thing—staying in shape is another. Many people are able to lose weight through diet, exercise, or a combination of initiatives; however, most people regain much of that weight over time.
To successfully get in shape and maintain your progress for the long haul, consider these top five strategies:
Following these five tips and creating healthy habits that last will help you get in shape and stay that way. For best results, stay focused, hydrated, well rested.
Now that you have some tools to help you get in shape, you might be wondering how you can use them to get in shape fast.
While the idea is to start slow and steady with your exercise and eating plans, there are a few things you can do to get started now. Here are our top three tips for getting in shape efficiently:
What does getting “in shape” mean? It looks different to everyone. Whether your goals are related to body size and shape, or you’re more focused on cardiorespiratory health, our recommendations are the same.
Choose a variety of fun and challenging exercises that keep you motivated as you get started and continue your healthy habits for months and years to come. Switch out highly processed foods for fresh, whole foods with a lower glycemic index.
You may see some exciting results in just a few weeks as you start to get in shape, but the key is sticking with your new routines and maintaining healthy lifestyle changes. Be sure to treat yourself right along the way—get restorative sleep, stay hydrated, and schedule fun time with family and friends to keep occasional stress at bay.
 Schultchen D, Reichenberger J, Mittl T, Weh TRM, Smyth JM, Blechert J, Pollatos O. Bidirectional relationship of stress and affect with physical activity and healthy eating. Br J Health Psychol. 2019 May;24(2):315-333. doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12355. Epub 2019 Jan 22. PMID: 30672069; PMCID: PMC6767465.
 Cava E, Yeat NC, Mittendorfer B. Preserving Healthy Muscle during…Adv Nutr. 2017 May 15;8(3):511-519. doi: 10.3945/an.116.014506. PMID: 28507015; PMCID: PMC5421125.
 Al-Mallah MH, Sakr S, Al-Qunaibet A. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Cardiovascular…an Update. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2018 Jan 16;20(1):1. doi: 10.1007/s11883-018-0711-4. PMID: 29340805.
 Committee on Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine; Pate R, Oria M, Pillsbury L, editors. Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012 Dec 10. 7, Health-Related Fitness Measures for Youth: Flexibility. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK241323/
 Baron KG, Reid KJ, Zee PC. Exercise to improve sleep in…exploration of the bidirectional effects. J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 Aug 15;9(8):819-24. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.2930. PMID: 23946713; PMCID: PMC3716674.
 Viana RB, Naves JPA, Coswig VS, de Lira CAB, Steele J, Fisher JP, Gentil P. Is interval training the magic bullet for..? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Br J Sports Med. 2019 May;53(10):655-664. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-099928. Epub 2019 Feb 14. PMID: 30765340.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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