How to Get Fit When You’re Totally Out of Shape

how to get fit when out of shapeEvery strategy to get into better shape begins with one step. The form of that step depends on your fitness level at the time. If you are completely out of shape, then it’s better to get started with short-term goals to help you to build your fitness level, build some healthy habits, and avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults try to participate in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate cardiovascular activity. This means that you should do around 30 minutes per day, five days per week. It’s also a good idea to add a couple of 20 minute sessions per week of activities that work on your flexibility and strength.

To start, find at least one cardio activity that you can work into your nearly-daily life. The easiest way to do this is to start walking. You can do at least some walking no matter your fitness level. If you’re very out of shape, you may need to build up to your 30 minute per day goal. It’s a good idea to get a pedometer to give you a way to track your progress. Begin by choosing parking spots farther away from where you’re headed. Walk to the corner store instead of driving there. Spend a week monitoring the number of steps you’re usually getting in a day so you can start to set some realistic goals.

Ideally, you should work your way up to 10,000 steps per day. Once you find out where you typically are in a day, set your goal to be 1,000 steps higher than what you’re actually doing. Try hard to reach that goal. Once you reach it consistently for a week, add another 1,000 steps to your goal until you’re averaging 10,000 per day.

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Strength training isn’t a matter of bodybuilding. Instead, it can involve some tiny changes that can make a great difference. For instance, if you just add some wrist weights or light hand weights to your regular cardio routine, you’ll be adding a strength training component so you won’t need to do it separately. You can also try a few added moves such as push-ups against a wall to use your own body weight for resistance.

This combination will let you build at a pace your body can handle so you can start to look into additional exercises for more fun and variety.

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