Last Updated on October 11, 2021 by Andrew Blakey
How To Get Back In Shape
Many of us have gone through ups and downs during covid, and for some of us that has led us to learning more about how to get back in shape.
Summer is fast approaching maybe that has motivated you to do endless research on what you can do to get that summer body ready. Well, I’m here to say that your search is over and by using the 11 tips on this page you’re going to learn exactly what you need in order to understand how to get back in shape! We also have a registered dietitian and published author Andy The Rd and certified personal trainer Rachael Todd providing their advice! If you haven’t read my previous article about 5 tips to becoming healthier over the summer, check that out.
The Good News
The good news is that if you’re someone who used to workout quite frequently and unfortunately just hasn’t gotten around to it lately, you’re going to regain that strength and size much more quickly than someone who is fresh into exercise.
The Not-So-Bad News
I’d be lieing if I told you that even though you used to workout, that it’s going to be easy. Like anything in life that is worth achieving, it’s going to take dedication and execution to reach your fitness goal – whatever it may be. Let’s get into the 3 areas you need to focus on and the things you can do to if you want to focus on how to get back in shape!
The 3 Areas You Need To Focus On
For almost any fitness goal, you’ll need to ensure your nutrition is positioned in a way that allows you to succeed. Nutrition can be the make or break of any health goal so it’s critically important for you to focus on implementing a plan to help guide you during your journey.
We all have different caloric, nutritional, and preference needs that should be met in our diet so it’s important to take these considerations into account while working towards your goal to get back in shape. We’ll expand on exact tips you can use later in this article.
Exercise is also an important aspect when it comes to getting in shape. What use is nutrition if you’re not building and strengthening the muscles that will allow you to do all the things in your life that you care about.
Exercise and working out is what will allow you to build the strong muscles that you use when you play with your kids, when you go out for a hike, or during every day tasks such as raking the lawn and mowing your grass. Exercise and working out will also give you those shapely muscles and attractive figure you’ve been dreaming of.
This area of focus cannot be over stressed for how important it is in order for you to get back in shape. If you have a plan in place for your nutrition and exercise, but you don’t have the mindset that allows you to execute on these plans, they’re worthless. Consider making an action plan which can help you stick to your plans and achieve your goals.
Time to get into the fun part! Here are the 11 things you can start doing to help you get back in shape.
The 11 Tips To Get Back In Shape
Start Working Out Again
What kind of personal trainer would I be if I didn’t advocate for all the benefits that are associated with working out? For many of you, the tasks associated with daily living have gotten in the way of your workouts.
Maybe you’ve been busy taking care of your family, maybe you’ve been busy with work, or maybe you’ve just gotten out of your habit of working out. The first step in getting back in shape is to start working out again! This doesn’t mean you have to go all Arnold Schwarzenegger and workout 7 days a week, but it’s important to start doing some sort of resistance training.
Perhaps this means lifting weights 2-3 times a week, or perhaps you would rather do some sort of body weight training, the most important thing is that you pick something that you’re going to do CONSISTENTLY.
You’re going to see very little results if you workout 3 days a week for 2-3 weeks and then go on a month long hiatus.
As a certified personal trainer and graduate in Kinesiology, I recommend starting your journey with 2-3 full body workouts per week. If you’re confused on what you should be doing, feel free to reach out and I’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction or make a custom plan for you!
Incorporate Cardio As A Daily Part Of Your Life
Many people when they think of cardio they picture someone running on a treadmill for hours on end. Unfortunately this is the picture that has been put into our head by media and news outlets, let me be the first to say that this isn’t the case.
For many people, cardio involves going for a brisk walk through the neighbourhood and enjoying the sun basking on their skin, for others it involves going for a nice jog by a lake or mountain to destress. What you choose to do in your life is your business, choose something that you can look forward to.
The benefits associated with cardio include:
- Increased Brain Function With Age
- Fight Osteoporosis
- Clearer Healthier Skin
- Reduce Your Likelihood For Type 2 Diabetes
- Improve Your Sex Life
- Lead To Better Sleep
- Help With Weight Loss And Your Journey To Get Back In Shape
As you can see, there are so many positive benefits that come from incorporating cardio into your life, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it! Get back in shape and enjoy it by making cardio a part of your life.
Keep Track Of Your Progress To Help Get Back In Shape
Sticking to a routine long term is one of the challenges that many of you face while trying to get back in shape. It can be hard to stick with a routine when you have your daily habits that may not have included exercise and healthy eating in the past. One thing that can help you to get back in shape is to track and monitor your progress. I like to say fitness is like a snowball rolling down a hill. You may start your journey with little motivation, but as you see progress and notice these changes to your body, you pick up more and more traction making your routine even easier to stick to and much more enjoyable.
Consider Working With a trainer
When you’re sick who do you call? A doctor.
When you need someone to fix your car who do you call? A mechanic.
When you need someone to help with your taxes who do you call? A tax planner or accountant.
When we are serious about something or need to get something done we hire someone who specializes in it. Sure you can try and do it on your own and eventually you probably will but we hire those services because we know it’s going to save us a ton of headaches, stress, and peace of mind to know that a professional is taking care of us.
Working with a personal trainer is no different. Personal trainers and fitness coaches specialize in helping people to achieve their fitness goals. They’re going to ensure your journey to get back in shape is less stressful, more efficient, and they can address any other areas of your body that may need taken care of (such as muscle imbalances). Here are 10 reasons you should consider working with a trainer.
One thing to note is that personal training is an unregulated field which means I encourage you to do your due diligence to ensure you’re hiring a qualified, experienced trainer. Alot of personal trainers are really great at what they do but their are also some duds out there (just like in any industry).
Get That Water Into You
You’ve probably heard your entire life that water is important for your well being. We all know that. Here’s some things that you may not know!
- Dehydration of just 2% can cause effects on your performance with more serious effects multiplying with each percentage of water lost.
- It flushes waste and helps with digestion
- Every minute your kidneys flush about 1/2 a cup of blood. When you’re dehydrated your kidneys have to work harder putting more strain on these important organs.
Drinking the proper amount of water is absolutely essential if you want to get back in shape. Being properly hydrated is going to help you workout harder, and help you mentally to undertake this journey.
Get Back In Shape By Getting Rid Of Those Liquid Calories
One of the most common things I see as a personal training specialist is people filling their diet with sugary drinks like juices and believe it or not – coffee.
Let’s use this example, 1 large double double at Tim Hortons contains about 270 calories. Now I don’t know about you but I typically have about 2 coffees each day. This equates to over 500 calories a day JUST IN COFFEE. Think about that, for many women they’re eating around 1500 calories a day… this means a third of their calories are already consumed with essentially no nutritional value.
Now that’s not to say you can’t drink coffee but if you’re serious about trying to get back in shape, consider drinking it regular or even black if you enjoy it that way. Since I’ve learned that double doubles have 270 calories I’ve changed my order to a regular in the morning and black in the afternoon.
The same goes for sugary drinks like juices and sodas. Yes, they’re tasty, but be aware of your intake of these drinks and try to avoid making them a daily habit – especially when attempting to get back in shape!
Focus On Your Sleep Quality
Like many of the tips listed, there’s a good chance you’ve probably heard it before. My goal is to explain how sleep can affect your progress so that you can truly understand how important proper sleep is for achieving your goal and to get back in shape.
One of the stresses we place on our body each day that we have direct control over is our sleep.
When we don’t give ourselves a proper 6-8 hours sleep, our body undergoes stress.
When we don’t sleep properly, that’s more stress we place on our body.
So you’re probably thinking, so what? Well the reason that this is important is because when our body undergoes any type of stress, our body releases a chemical called Cortisol. Cortisol is extremely important for regulating all sorts of functions in our body. When we put our body under consistent stress we can actually suffer from having too much cortisol.
Too much cortisol can result in all sorts of issues such as weight gain, depression, anxiety and other problems that can further exacerbate the problem. Do you see how a proper sleep can help you get in shape?
By allowing yourself a proper sleep without distractions, you eliminate one of the stresses that our body goes through on a daily basis.
Andy The RD (Registered Dietitian) Gives His Thoughts
Andy is a registered dietitian and published author who helps people use food to solve a wide variety of issues and achieve a greater state of health. He uses a 100% personalized nutrition approach to help you in your life. Click here if you’d like to learn more about his practice. Read on to hear his fantastic tips about how to use nutrition to get back in shape.
Focus On Protein & Fibre
Eating enough protein and fibre throughout the day is important to help control your blood sugar levels as well as to keep your feeling satiated throughout the day.
The one food that contains a good amount of both protein and fibre is the legume family (lentils,chickpeas, kidney beans etc) and many people don’t eat these foods enough, so they are a great starting point to build meals around.
Look Up Recipes Online
People associate dietary modifications with being bland or boring, but you have endless access to creative recipes and meal prep options online if you only take the time to look for them. For example, google “chickpea and chicken” and see what comes up. Some really solid high protein, high fibre recipes!
Leave Room For Your Favourites
While you may be shifting the state of your fridge and pantry, it’s important for both your mental health, happiness and the overall sustainability of any changes you are making to leave some room for your favourite foods. If you like chocolate, for example, why not add dark chocolate chips to yogurt, cereal, oatmeal or into a home-made trail mix with nuts/seeds?
Rachael Todd (Certified Personal Trainer) Gives Her Thoughts
Rachael Todd is a registered personal trainer in the Newmarket and Aurora area and virtual personal trainer. She is also a Kinesiology graduate and current massage student! You can check her out on instagram here!
Don’t Overwork Yourself
When getting back into a fitness routine and incorporating healthy habits back into your lifestyle make sure you aren’t diving in too quickly! Sometimes motivation and determination can take over and you will try to do everything you can to reach your goals in as little time as possible, but its important to keep in mind your body needs rest days too in order to benefit from the training that you are putting it through.
Start by incorporating a few days a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity and see how your body responds. Taking rest days does NOT mean you are taking short cuts in your fitness journey as they are KEY for muscular repair. Overtraining can lead to decreased muscular gains, mood swings, troubles sleeping even though you feel fatigued, your body feeling extremely sore, and an increased risk of injury.
Rest days don’t mean you shouldn’t do any movement, but they can be spent doing lower intensity physical activity such as going for a walk, bike ride or hike, just not to the full exertion you are doing within your training days. Try utilizing these tips to get back in shape!
You don’t have to utilize all of these tips mentioned in order to help you get back in shape. The important thing is that you choose a couple of the tips in this article and stick with them.
You have the tools to accomplish your fitness goals but if you don’t execute and use those tools, it simply won’t happen. The best thing you can do today to get back in shape is to START. Do something, do anything, that will help you get one step closer to your goal.
YOU CAN DO THIS!