January is more often than not the month that you probably start to think about getting fit and healthy. Whether it's just to maintain a healthier lifestyle after the festive period of the previous year or to actually drop some weight, you're going to have to adopt a serious and dedicated mindset when it comes down to it. While getting fit is about making some minor lifestyle changes, it doesn't mean you have to completely alter the way you are living. Below, we outline our top tips for getting into the habit of being that little bit healthier this new year as you make 2018 the year to get fit.
Each year you'll be probably be inundated with people saying 'I'm doing dry January' and 'I'm going to get fit this year, I'm joining a gym'. This year however, instead of turning your nose up at them and continuing to eat the same way you had done over Christmas, you may have decided that it's time to get fit yourself. Maybe you want to just get fit for summer or perhaps you actually are feeling a little unhealthy both inside and out. The festive period is always one filled with heavy drinking and plenty of food and by January 1st you're usually ready for a bit of a detox. That said, a new mindset doesn't just automatically come with the start of the new year and so you're going to have to train yourself to be a little bit more proactive when it comes to painting a healthier lifestyle.
Below we are going to guide you through how to get fit and healthy in 2018, whether that means changing up your diet or if you want to know how to get fit for beginners. One of the hardest things about getting fit and what people find extremely difficult to overcome is the maintenance of their healthy mindset when they are in the workplace. If you work in an office, this is all too true and you will find yourself surrounded by snacks and unhealthy drinks on a daily basis. We will try to help you get over this hurdle.
So if you want to get fit in 2018, keep reading. If you don't, then keep reading and we may be able to persuade you to change your habits.
Set A Goal
So if you're wondering how to get a fit body, the first thing you need to do when attempting to get fit and healthy is to set a goal. You can't just jump in and expect great results without a bit of preparation, so we recommend really thinking about what you want to achieve. This may be as simple as starting off by finding the perfect gym for you. Once you have done this you can decided what it is you want to get out of the gym - perhaps you want to gain muscle mass or just lose weight.
With that decided, you will know which machines and equipment you should be using. If you want to gain muscle, you'll probably be avoiding cardio machines like treadmills and cross-trainers and instead be looking to use free weights and weight machines. If you want to lose weight and slim down you will probably do a combination of weights and cardio. Once you know what it is you're after you should set yourself a schedule that you can realistically stick to. A lot of people want to get fit fast and this isn't always a realistic goal. If you're looking for how to get fit in a week, then you're in the wrong place.
If you want to lose weight, you need to work out what suits your lifestyle. If you don't work then this may be easier as you have will have more time to work out. If you do, then you need to set yourself a realistic goal of how much weight you can actually lose in the limited time you have. So how long does it take to get fit? We think that aiming to lose one pound a week is a good idea, as this won't set you off and make you want to give up when you don't achieve unrealistic goals. The key to actually achieving what you set out to do is to set a smart goal and not one that you, deep down, know you will never be able to achieve.
Get A Support System
How can you get motivated to get fit? One of the most important things when trying to get fit or attempting to lose weight is to surround yourself by like-minded people. We aren't suggesting ditching your current friends and finding a whole new bunch of people who are also trying to do the same. Instead, inform those around you of your goals and ask them to help encourage you. January is a tough month to get yourself to actually go to the gym, not only because it falls just after a period of intense boozing and over-eating, but also because it is bitterly cold out there. The last thing you probably want to do at 6am is go outside into the arctic cold as you head to the gym, but needs must if you want to get fit.
Our advice is you tell your family, flat mates and friends what you want to achieve and to ask them to persuade you to go to the gym. If you're lucky, you might find that one of your friends has the same goals as you and is willing to join the gym with you. If this is the case then it will be a lot easier than doing it on your own and you will be able to motivate each other, meaning your goals will be within easier reach.
Another good thing to invest in is an activity tracker like a Fitbit, especially if your aim is to slowly change your lifestyle and to become a little healthier. Having one of these will mean you are constantly weary of what you have achieved with regards to movement (walking, running etc) and chances are, if you are shocked by how little you move, you might just change your ways.
Make A Schedule And Stick To It
Making a realistic schedule is extremely important if you want to achieve certain goals. With a schedule you'll actually understand your own timing and how you can fit getting healthy into your own routine, be it fitting it around your social life or just your work hours. Perhaps there is a gym you can join near work so that you can fit in a gym session during your lunch break or straight after work. Perhaps there are certain classes you think you will enjoy and will aid you in achieving your healthier lifestyle, so check out when these are and keep that slot free each week by avoiding committing to social activities. Committing to a schedule will allow you to naturally build a healthier lifestyle into your current lifestyle, without having to compromise too much. With that in mind, we recommend planning ahead, so set yourself a schedule that plans out your next month, at the very least.
Food And Drink
When it comes to getting fit, you might think that going on the odd run here and there will do the trick. This is simply not the case and it is extremely important to remember this. When it comes to getting toned, gaining muscle mass or losing weight, your diet is just as important as your workout. For you to actually get the most out of working out you need to again work out what it is that you want to achieve.
If you are aiming to lose weight, you will need to think wisely about substituting out foods that are bad for you for ones that are beneficial. This could be as simple as swapping out that afternoon chocolate bar or packet of crisps for a handful of cut up vegetables. Trying to lose weight isn't about starving yourself, but instead is about being wise. Vegetables and healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potato, wholegrain pasta and brown rice should all be incorporated into your diet, switching out white pasta, white rice and bread. Protein should take up a large percentage of your diet as well, with you straying towards lean meats which will promote weight loss. Protein is extremely effective at keeping hunger at bay as well as boosting your metabolism, so definitely make sure you are getting a good amount. If you are attempting to lose weight you need to bare in mind that you need to be burning more calories than you are eating in order to do so, so while you may think 'sure I just burnt 300 calories on the treadmill, I can eat a slice of pizza', this won't actually be helping you.
For muscle building, your diet will heavily depend upon what you are eating. You will need to increase your intake of certain foods. The biggest hitter here is beef (From Grass-Fed Cattle). Beef is important for building lean muscle due to its protein content, cholesterol, zinc, B vitamins and iron content. You should also be eating plenty of lean meats such as chicken and turkey, eggs, and vegetables, while getting in plenty of good carbohydrates such as brown rice. You may even want to incorporate protein supplements into your diet for extra effect. These are especially effective if you are on the run after a gym session, or need to head straight back to work.
As it's January, you are more than likely feeling the effects of a boozy festive period. New Year's Eve's antics may still be lingering and you may even have attempted to do dry January (steering clear of alcohol completely and adopting a tee-total lifestyle for the duration of the first month of the year). More often than not, this fails and so while we aren't suggesting you steer clear of all fun and ditch the alcohol completely, we are suggesting that you become a little bit more wise about the choices you are making when it comes to what you're drinking.
You probably will want to still fit in going out and having fun alongside getting fit and healthy and it is completely doable. You just need to be wise about what it is you're drinking, so ditch the heavy beers and stick to low calorie spirits and mixers like gin and slim line tonic. You will also need to limit yourself. While you might think an all night bender sounds like a good idea, you will regret it the next day. Not only will you be full of empty calories, but you will also be feeling sluggish (probably for more than a day) and your workouts will be limited as a result.
How To Stay Fit At Work
Staying fit at work is probably what will cause a few downfalls. We know all too well that there are endless snacks coming into the office and often the temptation to eat them can get too much. That said, you're going to need to avoid them like the plague as that one digestive biscuit every morning won't be doing your waist line any wonders. Instead you will need to adopt the habit of bringing in healthy snacks to keep your hunger and temptations at bay. Keep fruit and chopped up vegetables at your desk and make sure you meal prep your lunches the night before - you don't want to fall victim to those tempting takeaways and coffee shop sandwiches as they can really pack a punch when it comes to calories.
Another thing to be weary of is what you are drinking at work. No we aren't suggesting that you are partial to the odd alcoholic beverage at work, but if you are a regular coffee, tea or fruit juice drinker then you will still need to be careful. Avoid fruit juices that are from concentrate and if you are craving one, go for a pressed juice that actually is beneficial to your health. Be careful when it comes to coffees too, as these often pack a pretty high calorific punch, especially if you opt for mochas and lattes.
Another thing to bare in mind when at work is your posture. This might sound a bit odd at first, but hear us out. If you slouch in your chair, you aren't doing yourself any favours at all. If you sit up straight, not only will your posture be better, but you will also benefit with a loss of extra calories. If you're serious about getting fit we recommend investing in a stability ball which will engage with your core and improve your posture, helping you to naturally burn around 150-200 calories a day.
On That Note
Above we have outlined our top tips for getting fit. We have advised on how to get fit and lose weight this year with some minor lifestyle changes which are easy to incorporate into your everyday routine. If you are serious about getting fit this year, then look no further. We aren't about completely overhauling your lifestyle, but simply making a few alterations that will make you feel and hopefully look better.