Getting fit and healthy, it’s everyone’s goal. We all want to be the best we can possibly be, but it’s not easy. Sure, we all want to be super fit and healthy, but getting there is the hard part.
We all have different, unique lifestyles, and it can be hard to fit in what we need to with our lifestyles. Especially in the modern age, when life is so fast, and it is hard to fit in time to just focus on ourselves.
It doesn’t need to be super hard though, and you need not change your diet entirely, or start hitting the gym every week. While some would have you think that, that’s just not true.
You can change little things in your life that will have a big difference, and even if you do not go full fitness, the little changes count.
So, what can you do to get fit and healthy in 2022? Well, we have the answers. Read on to find out.
Benefits Of Getting In Shape
We all know the typical selling point of getting fit and healthy. Most of us want this aesthetic, to feel good and look good in our bodies. We often look at models, celebrities, and people online, comparing ourselves to them in the back of our mind.
However, there is more to being in shape than just aesthetic appeal. Being in shape can have benefits you may not have even considered. Things that can change the entire nature of your life and make you feel, and function differently, in a much better way.
Basically, you will feel better for it.
The first thing getting in shape gives you is more confidence. Not to say that you are not already confident and comfortable in yourself now, but when you feel happy in yourself, in your body, and in your general health, you will feel more confident too.
Getting fit helps you feel your best, in your mood and in your body. As you become stronger, and fitter, achieving your goals and feeling more focused on yourself, your mood will start to get higher. This gives you confidence in how you look and who you are.
Most of the time we put off getting in shape because all we see is an unachievable goal that we could no way reach, it seems impossible to us from a distance.
However, once we manage to start hitting the goals we set ourselves, we realize it is not an absurd goal, it is achievable, and this makes us feel confident that we CAN do it!
You might assume that working out and doing exercises will make you feel tired. So many of us think about going to the gym, or going for a run and immediately associate it with tiredness or exhaustion.
However, the truth is different. Exercise actually enhances cognition, because it makes our hippocampus- which is the critical part of our mind used for learning and memory, work harder. It increases blood flow to our brains, thus making us more psychologically awake.
Doing a workout can actually wake up your brain, so if you have a presentation at work, or if you have a test in college to study for, or if you have any occasion approaching where your brain needs to be ready to pick up info and fast, a work-out beforehand can actually kick your brain into gear and help.
This sounds crazy, we know. Your body might need to rest after a work-out, but the brain works differently. Being physically fit and active does wonders for the brain and can really help us to improve our mental functioning.
While the thought of going to the gym sounds awful for some, the idea of having a more active brain and alert mind is tempting.
Our bodies benefit a lot from physical fitness. This does not mean doing insanely long workouts, or hitting the gym every single day, though. Being fit and active means doing enough that is comfortable for you.
However, no matter whether you simply go for a jog every other morning, or if you decide to go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, even if you take up a sport, be it horseback riding, skating, cycling, surfing, or even hiking, any exercise will help your body.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), leisure-time physical activity is correlated with a longer life expectancy, even with low levels of activity. Just over an hour of physical activity per week can add nearly 2 years to your life expectancy.
Our bodies are a lot like our cars, if we stop using them to their full potential they can just conk out on us, if we overwork them the same can happen too. Find a happy medium and you will benefit.
You will find that your digestive system works better, aches and pains do not show themselves so much, you might have more energy, and your body will feel better overall.
Exercise keeps our bodies fit and strong, it keeps everything from our hearts, to our muscles, to our immune system, and our bones healthy and strong.
Better Mental Health
No matter how you exercise, whether you hit the gym or take up a sport, exercise is very positive for the brain. Your brain works hard at making positive changes. It is actually known to improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood.
It helps to improve self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercising has also been known to alleviate some symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.
Not to mention, exercising outdoors is even better. We get vitamin D from the sun, this vital vitamin is part of what helps us feel happy and have energy. Without vitamin D, we can go into a slump, feeling exhausted and depressed.
Getting out and doing exercise, even if it is just walking, will help to improve your overall mental health. People who suffer from chronic mental illness will feel a slight improvement after a little while out in the sun.
We aren’t saying the exercise will get rid of any issues with mental health, or that it will solve issues altogether, but we do note that it will help to ease the burden and take your mind off it for a while.
As we did note earlier, it might sound insane, but exercising really does give you more energy. Think about it. If you sit at home, or at work all the time, your body is not doing anything, so your energy is restricted to your day-to-day activities.
Doing exercise gets you out of this doddery old routine with minimal energy and will awaken you into a world of increased stamina.
Fighting fatigue is not helped by staying still and being sedentary, but instead by moving more. Doing exercise helps to increase your stamina by strengthening your heart and spiking your endorphin levels, which gives you more energy.
Imagine you work out at the gym one day, but not the next. The next day, you might have more energy than you are used to because your body has done a work-out, and you have improved your endorphin levels and stamina. Continuing to do this will increase your energy levels even more.
We all want a faster metabolism, a metabolism fast enough that means we do not put on weight just by glancing at a cake. When you do exercise, you burn calories when you are moving, and when you are not.
If you were to do regular resistance training, such as weight-based work-outs, then you maximize your lean body mass, and increase your overall metabolic rate.
Your muscles need a lot of energy, which means that they burn a lot of calories. In fact, active muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells, even when you are not exercising. This means that the time you spend working out gives and keeps on giving, long after you have stopped sweating.
Exercising is more important as you get older, as your metabolic rate naturally decreases as you age, exercising in your older years is therefore much more important as it will become a vital part of keeping you fit and healthy, but it will also prevent you from putting on weight quite so easily. This can even be a walk each day, it all makes a difference.
Less Prone To Ailments
Exercising is not just about physical and mental fitness, though. It does much more for your body than you know. Doing exercise has benefits beyond what we can physically see in ourselves.
The more exercise you do (within reason), will make you less prone to ails and ills. It is basically like free medication. Exercise helps to reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, it decreases back pain and helps in the prevention of some cancers and Alzheimer’s, keeping your mind and body fit.
Checkout the disease reduction data just from performing regular physical excercise:
The immune system also reaps benefits from exercise too. So, the more you exercise, the less likely you are to be bedridden by a cold or the flu.
Exercising also helps to stretch out, and our muscles and strengthen our bones, so if you suffer from back pain or stiff joints, exercise is actually a brilliant cure for this pain.
Physical activity can also help to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, this can really reduce the chances of you getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
Exercise causes other changes in antibodies and white blood cells, which are the cells that help to fight disease. as you get buff, so do the cells that fight off ailments.
Handling Stress Better
We all struggle to juggle the stresses of our lives, however, when we are unfit and not healthy everything is exacerbated. If you are having a bad day, and feel stressed, exercise can help.
When we are stressed or angry, our bodies are filled with adrenaline as we go into a fight or flight response. We can use this adrenaline, and release it when we work out.
Working out stimulates our endorphins, which are our feel good hormones, to help improve our overall mood. Exercise also helps to reduce the negative effects that stress has on our bodies, it is like a form of meditation in motion, and it can improve our overall mood.
Doing exercise will always help us to lift our mood after a bad day, and working out outside is even better because then you mix those feel good hormones with that feel good vitamin D from the sunshine. A perfect remedy to a stressful day.
4 Habits For A Fitter You
Getting into the right habits for creating a fitter lifestyle is not easy. Humans are creatures of habit, and we have often built up these habits over years, it can be hard to break them. Getting out of a sedentary lifestyle and into an active lifestyle can be as difficult as changing your diet.
However, you do not need to go all out right away, instead you can simply start with some baby steps towards your end goal. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, you do not need to jump in head on. Here are some habits you can start introducing now that will have an impact and help you get going in the right direction.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to start moving. This does not mean that you need to hit the gym, go for a run or take up a new sport. It can be hard to do that if you are not used to any exercise. So, take it slow and start off small and go from there. Starting with just doing something as simple as walking can make such a difference. Just remember that consistency is key, and walking is easy to maintain, you can just do it while getting chores done.
Watching what you eat is the next step, this does not mean that you need to start calorie counting. That is not always an ideal method for people. Start by looking at your portion sizes, if they are too big make them a bit smaller. You do not need to eat a whole meal at every sitting.
Then also look at what is in your food, high levels of sugars, fats, and salts are all bad for your health, so try to cut down. You do not need to cut them out completely, but regulating intake is important. You do not need to cut things out of your diet right away, just manage them.
A Good Night’s Sleep
You would be surprised to discover just how much sleep impacts our health and fitness. Sleep is a major factor in what keeps you fit and healthy. Research actually shows that getting too little sleep can lead to diabetes, and will also trigger cravings for unhealthy foods throughout the day to get the energy you lack from not sleeping enough.
Find more statistics at Statista
Getting enough sleep is vital, as an adult you should have a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night. Be mindful of your sleep cycles too, as deep sleep is important for energy and physical and mental fitness
Finally, stay hydrated. So many of us do not drink enough water. You need to start drinking more of it, a few liters per day. It is essential for life, but also essential for helping your body function properly.
Often when we are hungry, we are actually just dehydrated and thirsty, so instead of grabbing a chocolate bar, grab a bottle of water instead and see the difference already.
Remember that alcohol, coffee, and sugary drinks all actually dehydrate you, they do not hydrate you. Water is the best thing to get hydrated, so try to choose water first and foremost.
Getting Fit For Men Step-By-Step
Getting fit is not always easy, it’s not easy for everyone to get into the mindset that they need to do to get started. This is why it is important that we take things slowly as we delve into attempting to get fit and healthy.
Staying fit and healthy is for life, but always sticking to the same things, or doing what everyone else does not guarantee an ageless, timeless physique. We need to evolve and confer to our own needs.
We need to recognize that not every workout plan will work for everyone. Some people will find that dance is their forte, for others horseback riding, surfing, hiking, going for a run, swimming, or hitting the gym. At the gym people differ, some will find that cardio is their specialty, for others its weights.
Even diets differ, our bodies are unique, and different things will work for different people. We will not tell you what to do, instead we will give you some steps to help you discover what is right to help YOU get fit.
Develop A Good Attitude
We all need to start off by adapting to seeing getting fit as a positive thing. At first, we often see it as a burden. Getting into shape is a marathon, not a sprint, and so you need a positive mindset about doing so. Viewing it as a positive change to your life will be the difference between success and failure.
Try not to approach this with a mindset where you risk slipping back into old bad habits, make a regime that, instead, becomes a habit.
Keep Track Of Your Progress
Tracking your progress is important, and this is why so many people will have fitness apps these days, not to brag but to remind them. Keeping a log of work-outs, what you do, how you do it, and how long you do it for, as well as a log of your diet, what you eat, and if you snacked.
This will help show you how far you have come, so in the darker moments when you feel like giving in, you can remind yourself of how far you have come, and appreciate your small victories. All victories count, be proud!
Create A Commitment Contract For Yourself
When we say to create a commitment contract with yourself, we don’t mean to actually write up a contract. This means you create a reward system for yourself.
So, for example, if you go for a run for half an hour each day for a month then you can buy yourself those new expensive shoes that you want, or if you complete all your goals for 6 months, buy yourself a new car, or go on vacation.
It doesn’t have to be a big thing, though, it can be small and something that will help motivate you.
Motivation is paramount.
Get Someone Else To Do It With You
Having someone to get fit and healthy with you is so useful, this person basically becomes a support system, and you have someone to turn to when you feel like you are not doing so well. You share the pain and the gain with them.
Greeting a schedule with someone else, or just having that person who is on the same journey as you, can make one hell of a difference when you are on a self-improvement journey.
You could even make it into a competition if you are competitive types, or have a group reward system. It’s all about motivation and helping you stay on track.
Add More Physical Activities Into Your Daily Routine
You do not have to go to the gym or go all out, you can simply incorporate physical activity into your day-to-day life. Walk the dog more, take a 15-minute walk, park further away from store entrances, clean your house with more vigor. Housework can actually be pretty taxing, so clean deeper and with more verve.
Think of the little things, too. If something falls on the floor, don’t bend down, do a squat. Going upstairs? Do some stair jumps at the bottom first. Need to stretch in the morning? Do a quick bit of yoga when you get out of bed. Little things add up to a lot.
Start An Exercise Regimen
Even if you are just doing little things, start up an exercise routine, and stick to it. Even if it is just doing vigorous housework, or going for a walk. Make sure you stick to it every day.
Do your warm-ups too and your cool-downs. Warm-up activities can be walking, slow pedaling on a bike, or a round or two on a stairmaster. Cardio is running, biking, cycling, swimming, horseback riding, and so on. Cardio is linked with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Strength building is anything that incorporates weights and muscle gain, such as weight lifting, and weight machines at the gym.
Switch Things Up
All physical activities that take effort will help you to get fit. However, variety is important. Your body will get comfortable performing a certain activity over and over again. It will become too easy for you and you will start to plateau.
Even if you enjoy one particular type of exercise, try giving it some variation. Do you go running? Try some uphill. Cycling? Try new terrain. Treadmill? Up the intensity. Weight training? Go up a weight.
This will keep your body and mind guessing, and adding in diversity will benefit your muscles and help you to continue on your fitness journey instead of plateauing. You could even try out some totally new activities as well.
Join Extracurricular Activities, Like Playing Sports
We all know that joining in group activities and being around others who are trying to do the same as us will help to motivate us and get us in the zone. If you struggle to get motivated, it can be worth joining extracurricular activities.
Doing things such as tennis, joining swimming groups, cycling groups, or even a cross-country or running group will help you to stay that extra little more motivated.
Unlike when you do activities alone, doing them with a group makes your exercise into more than just exercise, it gives you a chance to socialize as well.
Give Your Body The Fuel It Needs
As you become more active (or even if you are only slightly more active) you need to fuel your body correctly. You will need more food if you are active, but you need healthy and energy laden food. This means that a burger after a workout might sound nice, but it’s not what your body needs.
You should switch to whole grains, it’s healthier and really delicious with loads of flavor. You should try to cut unhealthy snacks and replace them with fruit or vegetables.
Who doesn’t love a fresh bowl of fruit after a work-out on a hot summer’s day? Eat protein laden foods as this is where a lot of energy comes from, and cut back on solid fats such as butter and dessert foods.
Keep Your House Stocked With The Right Food
Keeping your home stocked up with the right foods will help relieve you from temptation. Get healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and so on. Keep junk food out of your cupboards to avoid temptation.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have any junk, just try to keep it to you every now and again, rather than as a regular thing. If you do want chocolate- dark chocolate is the healthiest of all the types. If you want to have some junk foods, why not try and make some yourself, you can control what goes into it and learn a new skill too!
Drink 1.5-2 Liters (0.5 Gal) Of Water Per Day
We spoke about how imperative water is to our bodies, and you need to ensure you are drinking enough of it. It keeps you hydrated and promotes optimal metabolic activity. It is also brain juice, helping our brains work as they should.
Similarly, water takes a great volume of your stomach, so you feel more full without having to consume any snacks. This can help keep away excessive calorie consumption.
Try to avoid sugary drinks and replace them with water. If you do not like the taste of water, infuse it with your favorite fruits, or even try herbal teas, which are beneficial for your health, you can get cold infusion teas too!
Let Your Body Rest
Get enough sleep. Sleep is so important, and in fact, deep sleep is known as being the stage of sleep in which our bodies recover, and our immune system gets strengthened. As an adult, you should get at least 7 hours sleep per night (more for children).
Sleep deprivation is actually linked to overeating, ensuring that you get enough sleep to cover your energy needs, so you are not making up for that energy in calories that your body will not use.
Get A Check-up
Get your check-up at your doctors. It might seem irrelevant for the topic, but just like you MOT a car, you should also MOT your body too. Ensure that you take yourself to the doctor and dentists regularly to ensure that everything is running smoothly on the inside.
You can catch any problems early this way and avoid unnecessary high-cost medical bills by simply having check-ups.
If you do have any ails, your doctor can tell you how to fix these and if you have to use any exercise or wellbeing techniques as a preventative measure.
Exercise and health are paramount in our lives, however, in the modern age we are often told to go further with these than we need to. This typically deters people as it seems too much and too hard. But, you know your body and your limits best, you do not need to go all out.
Slow and steady wins the race, and putting together a plan that suits you and that you know you can stick to and progress with is the most important thing. Setting high and excessive goals is not going to get you where you want to be.
Less is more, Rome wasn’t built in a day, health and fitness is a pyramid, and you have to start at the bottom, and work your way up. You’ve got this, you can do it. Believe in yourself.
Like this article? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this.