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There are so many things in life you have absolutely no control over. One thing that you can control is your own physical fitness. But just because you can control it doesn’t mean you know where to start. Everyone needs a little help, and luckily, we’re here with five easy, expert-approved ways to get in better shape than you are now, starting today. So let’s get started!
Along with exercise, following the right diet is essential in order to get fit and achieve a successful shape-up journey. Your body needs to fuel up on nutritious foods such as whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean protein, according to WebMD. It’s also important to get in the habit of reading food labels and drinking plenty of water. Keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to eating healthily. What works for one individual may not be ideal for another. It’s always a smart idea to check in with your healthcare provider to discuss your options.
Having just the right plan in place is everything, and to learn some of the most efficient steps, we reached out to Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM—a member of our Medical Expert Board and a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach who has helped develop the Body Program at Ro—who shares solid advice for setting yourself up to achieve success. Keep reading to learn all about Dr. Bohl’s five tips to get in better shape than you are today.
Making a plan is the best way to get yourself on the path to a successful journey. It’s important to identify what you’d like to achieve by establishing outcome and process goals for yourself.
Dr. Bohl explains, “Outcome goals are about what your overall target is, like how much weight you want to lose or how much muscle you want to gain. Process goals are about how you’re going to get there, like how often you’ll go to the gym or how many days you’ll follow a strict diet.”
Keep in mind that outcome goals typically take a bit of time, which is why it’s imperative that you set process goals to allow yourself some “small wins.” These will help you feel the progress you’re making along the way.
With so many diets to choose from, it’s challenging to know which is the best option for you. Should you go with low-carb instead of low-fat, or Paleo versus Mediterranean?
Dr. Bohl advises, “When you’re trying to get in better shape, there are really two important things to keep in mind: limit your calories to lose weight and eat a high-protein diet to build muscle. In general, good diet tips to follow include eating whole grains for carbs, eating healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and eating lean proteins like chicken, fish, and plant-based proteins.”
Selecting a workout plan is just as overwhelming as deciding on a diet—the choices are truly endless. For instance, should it be mostly cardio, strength training, a combination, or another regimen altogether?
“This all comes down to two things—your goals and what you’re most likely to stick with. If you’re new to exercise, you may want to start out trying a little bit of everything to see what you like,” Dr. Bohl advises.
This is a biggie! Dr. Bohl strongly recommends, “Dieting and exercising takes a lot of commitment, and having a social aspect to your journey can make you more likely to keep at it. The two (or more!) of you will encourage each other to stay on track and celebrate goals.”
Life has a habit of getting in the way of plans, and unexpected occurrences can make your fitness journey challenging.
“Stress can cause you to eat more or skip the gym, and lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and weight gain. Make sure you’re addressing all aspects of your health—including your mental health and sleep,” Dr. Bohl recommends.