How to Get in Shape: A Beginner’s Guide

Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
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We’re sure you’ve heard it before: if you want to get in shape, all you need to do is exercise regularly and eat right. With all the different available workouts (yoga, HIIT, strength training, cardio, etc.) and diets (paleo, keto, low-carb, high-protein) where do you start when you’re this spoiled for choice? This can make getting into shape feel like a difficult task. But it’s actually more straightforward than you might initially think. The good news is that once you find the right routine for you, living a healthier lifestyle will get easier over time.

At 8fit we believe the foundations to your health and well-being are rooted in building and cementing healthy habits. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or getting back into shape after some time off; use the following tips to learn how to get in shape and stay in shape.

Mindset matters

What’s your motivation? Before you start contemplating how to get in shape, it’s important to ask yourself why you want to do this. Make sure your mindset is in line with your goals as you embark on this journey. What’s your fitness motivation? Is it to look a certain way, to feel better and more energized or live a longer, healthier life, to be able to keep up with your kids? Write your reasons down and place in clear sight, so you’re reminded each day and avoid losing track of what you’re working towards.

Once you’ve given it a little thought and narrowed down what your actual goals are, it’s time to get going! Although planning is essential when it comes to your nutrition, having a perfectionist attitude can lead you to stall and procrastinate.

Cut yourself some slack

We recommend being kind to yourself when you slip up (and trust us, we all do at some point). Rather than adopting an all-or-nothing approach, understand that it’s human to veer off course sometimes. Instead of throwing your nutrition or fitness routine out the window each time, get right back on that horse and continue giving it your best.

It’s important to realize that you’re adopting a lifestyle change, not getting a quick fix. It’s a learning process, which means there will be a few bumps in the road before you get it right. If you stick at it, your new way of living will become routine in no time, just like anything else in your life.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of mindset, let’s move onto our four favorite fitness habits for that’ll get you.

4 habits for a fitter you!

1. Get moving

Most of us know that exercise is essential for our health — as many 8fitters can attest to its life-changing effects. Working out isn’t just an excellent way to get physically fit, but serves to improve your mental well-being. Depending on the type of workout you choose, the experience can be both a social or solitary activity.

If you lack motivation, then start off slow with something as simple as walking. You can’t always depend on being in the right mood to get things done, because that changes from day to day — and consistency is key when it comes to establishing a fitness routine.

Not feeling like going for a jog and looking for any excuse to skip? Put on your workout clothes and shoes. You’re already halfway there! With clothes and shoes on, you’re much less likely to back out and go through the trouble of changing back to your other clothes.

2. Mindful eating

Everything in moderation, as the saying goes. But what if you don’t even know what moderation looks like? This is when keeping a food journal comes in handy. As you start to track your food, it’s a good idea to learn what meal sizes and portion amounts are appropriate for your body. It depends on several factors including your height, weight and activity level, as well as your metabolism.

You may need to roughly calculate the amount of food your body needs on a day-to-day basis, then track your calorie intake to see where you need to adjust. One way to do this is to count calories, but here at 8fit, we prefer a more multifaceted approach that also takes your macro and micronutrient intake into account. It can feel complicated figuring all this out at first, but we promise, it does get easier with time.

If you need a little support, try 8fit Pro. Our in-house nutritionists have developed meal plans to that take your dietary and needs into consideration. Whether getting into shape means losing weight, gaining muscle or maintaining your weight, our meal plans take the guesswork out of the equation.

3. A good night’s sleep

At 8fit we’re always touting the benefits of a good night’s sleep. But it’s not just us, science also underscores the importance of sleep in helping you get fit and healthy. Research shows that too little sleep may lead to insulin resistance, which not only leads to diabetes but also triggers cravings for unhealthy food throughout the day.

Another reason you might benefit from more quality sleep is that it could make you feel more energized when exercising. Imagine how hard it would be to get in an intense workout with just a few hours of sleep — not much fun right? You’re more likely to get the most out of your workout after a night of restful slumber.

Here are some tips to sleep like a champ:

  • Wind it down: Whether it’s shutting off your smartphone an hour before bedtime, taking a hot shower or reading a chapter of your book, establishing a sleep routine every night can help your body know it’s time for bed.

  • Timing is everything: Try to go to sleep at around the same time every night. Set a reminder an hour before your desired sleep time so that you can begin your wind-down routine.

  • Caffeine-free: Limit caffeine consumption in the afternoon. Try to set a cut-off time for consuming coffee, tea, or any other caffeine-rich beverage/food.

  • Work out to wind down:Expending energy exercising will tire your body out and get you ready to rest. That being said, be careful when working out late in the evening, as you may find yourself feeling more energized than sleepy. If that’s the case, try working out earlier in the day.

4. Stay hydrated

Drink water, water, water — If you’re not already guzzling down a few liters of it per day, it’s time to get onboard. Not only is water an essential for life, but it’s a key factor when you’re figuring out how to get in shape. Often, we think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty. So, next time you feel like reaching for a bag of chips even though you ate a meal an hour ago, grab a glass of water.

Are you more H2NO than H2O? Here are some tips to incorporate it into your life:

  • Jazz it up: Infusing water with a variety of natural flavors is easy and affordable! Wash a handful of fresh herbs — think mint, cilantro, rosemary or basil — and place them into a large water pitcher or bottle. Let the water steep for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Feel free to add sliced fruits like cucumber rounds or citrus wedges. The possibilities are endless.

  • Get bubbly: Instead of always drinking still water, try the fizzy kind. The sparkling water can feel like you’re drinking a soda — minus all the calories. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to really glam it up.

  • Try herbal tea: If you feel like it, swap your water with some unsweetened herbal teas from time to time. We like peppermint, chamomile, and hibiscus, but there’s much more out there to get your mitts on.

How to get in shape, 8fit-style

If you want to find out more on how to get in shape, 8fit can accompany you on your journey. When you sign up to 8fit Pro, you’ll get access to an extensive library of workouts and over 700 tasty recipes that are healthy and easy to make.

Whether you’re a novice or you have some experience working out, we’ll guide you towards your specific goals. Our workouts and meal plans are designed by a team of expert nutritionists and professional trainers who know how to get you where you want to get to.

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