If it were easy staying fit and healthy, there would be fewer diseases in the world, and people would live much longer. Unfortunately, it gets more difficult as one gets older, and it may require serious lifestyle changes. However, this does not mean that it isn’t possible. If anything, there are probably several things you could be doing differently, and there’s no reason you can’t give it a shot.
Many people are guilty of wishing they could get a sculpted body from eating junk food and watching TV all day. But that is just not going to happen. Even though getting in shape sounds like a long, time-wasting process, the effort put towards being in shape has many positive effects.
There are a lot of benefits to staying fit. You’ll have more energy, you’ll look great, and you’ll notice improvements in your overall health. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to stay in great shape. However, if you focus on nutrition and exercise, you can make a lot of healthy physical changes. Don’t forget that a positive attitude is also critical to staying fit and healthy.
Here are some things you can do to get back on track:
Exercise daily for at least an hour. You do not have to kill yourself from running, jogging, etc., but you should have some sort of moderate physical activity in your everyday life. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds fast, do a higher-level intensity workout.
For example, go on a walk at a brisk pace for an hour. Or, you can jog and set certain intervals to sprint during that hour. Make sure you’re not in severe pain during your workout. Just a warning, your muscles will ache after a high-intensity workout. It may be irritating, but that means your body is changing for the better. Be sure to stay hydrated, stretch, and eat foods with a decent amount of protein after each workout. The protein will help keep your muscles, not fat, rebuilding.
Find the time
Exercise is one of the essential aspects of staying (or becoming) fit and healthy. Experts recommend that you should aim to be active for at least 30 minutes per day. Try scheduling your exercise the same way that you schedule other appointments and commitments. You’ll be more likely to stick to it if it’s on the calendar.
- If you are trying to tone-up or lose weight, you might need to exercise more than thirty minutes per day. If you belong to a gym, ask to have a consultation with a personal trainer. They can help you plan a regimen for your specific goals.
- Exercise in increments. If you are finding it difficult to block out 30 or 60 minutes of your day for exercise, try getting your movement in smaller chunks of time. For example, walk to work, take a walk at lunch, and walk home.
Consistency is the key. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do, as long as you enjoy it enough to do it regularly. Some people enjoy running, while others would rather walk or ride a bike. Other options include swimming, yoga, skipping rope, and calisthenics. If it gets your body moving and raises your heart rate, you’ll get some benefit from it. Try to get at least one hour of exercise each day.
2. Make it a habit
One right way to make a habit stick is to pick a form of exercise that you enjoy. For example, if you like swimming, make it a point to swim laps twice a week.
- Make it easy to stick to your routine. Try setting out your workout clothes and your gym bag the night before. That way, you’re all set to head out the door in the morning.
- Utilize technology. Try a gadget to help you track your movements, such as a Fitbit. There are even free apps on your phone that you can set to remind you to get up and move once an hour.
- Don’t give up. It typically takes between 20 and 30 days to make a habit stick. Keep exercising, and eventually, it will become a natural part of your day.
3. Go outdoors
There are some perks to working out at a gym–air conditioning and televisions are a few. But scientists report that exercising outdoors, at least part of the time, can have significant benefits. The varied terrain of a road, sidewalk, or trail challenges your body in ways that the monotony of a treadmill or elliptical trainer can’t do.
- Exercising outside can also have positive benefits for your mental health. In studies, people who walked both outside and inside reported enjoying the activity much more when completed outdoors.
- Utilize your local parks. Many parks will have vast areas for running or walking. If you like sports, you can also make use of the tennis courts or basketball courts.
4. Vary your routine
It’s great when you find an exercise that you enjoy. And there’s no reason to give up something you love, like yoga or swimming. However, it can be beneficial to vary your exercise routine. Your body will respond positively to new challenges, and you’ll see higher results when you switch things up.
- Your body will get used to a routine and will eventually start to spend less energy when you exercise. That means you’ll burn fewer calories and might notice a plateau in your fitness goals.
- Try doing a mix of strength training and cardio. For example, try running for two minutes, then stopping to do some core exercises, such as a plank or crunches. You can switch up the order of your exercises and add new ones to your routine.
- If you prefer to work out indoors, try using cardio equipment like a treadmill. You can visit a gym or purchase your own. You may even be able to find some used equipment to buy.
- Try changing your routine every two to four weeks to start seeing some faster results.
5. Be social
If you involve other people in your exercise routine, you’ll see a positive impact on your results. Finding a workout buddy can help with accountability. If you schedule an activity with a friend, you are less likely to cancel than if you were only canceling on yourself.
- Group exercise classes also offer benefits. In classes, instructors can offer encouraging words. They can also motivate you and correct your form to make sure that you are making each move safely and effectively.
- Working out is a great way to meet new people. Try joining a running club or a tennis league. You’ll make friends with similar interests and stay in great shape.
Eating right has a lot of benefits. It will help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your skin, and give you more energy. One of the best ways to eat a healthy diet is to cook your food. Reports show that people who cook their meals consume lower levels of sugar and fats. Cooking with fresh foods also helps you to eat fewer processed foods, which typically have high sodium levels.
- Make cooking fun. Recruit family members to get involved, so that it feels like less of a chore. Give each family member a day of the week to request a particular meal and find a new recipe to try out.
- Being organized can help make cooking seem easier. Try planning your meals. This will limit the trips you have to make to the grocery store, and will also help you stay on track with your fitness goals if you plan healthy weekly menus.
2. Get the right nutrients
When you’re cooking yourself, you can fully control the ingredients you use. This will help you make sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs. Eating well can help control your weight, and it can also give you the energy you need to exercise regularly.
- Try to eat a diet that includes several servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables. These come packed with vitamins and fiber.
- Eat lean meats and fish. These will provide you with protein and also gives your body healthy fats.
- Make your plate colorful. The more color on your plate, the more fruits, and vegetables you are likely eating. Try for leafy greens, like kale, and vibrant orange tones, like those in sweet potatoes and carrots.
3. Talk to your doctor
You can plan a general, healthy diet for yourself. But if you have any individual concerns about your weight or overall health, it’s a great idea to consult your doctor. She can help you figure out the foods that will help you meet your fitness goals, whether it is maintaining your current fitness levels or losing weight.
- Your doctor can also help you figure out which foods to avoid. For example, if you suffer from high blood pressure, your doctor will likely recommend a reduced-sodium diet.
- Ask your doctor before taking any weight loss supplements. While diet pills can be useful when used safely, it’s best to check with your doctor about whether or not they are right for you.
- Ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian. They can help you review your diet and plan meals to lose weight or maintain an already healthy lifestyle.
4. Read labels
Pay attention to the nutrition labels on the foods that you buy. The information listed here can help you make healthy choices about what to put in your body. When reading labels, pay specific attention to the amounts of sugar, fat, and calories that are listed. You can see how much of the recommended daily allowance of sugar, for example, you should aim for.
- Pay attention to serving size. For example, if you want to have a bag of chips, read the package to see if the information tells you the calorie count for the whole bag. Sometimes, a third of the bag is considered a full serving.
- If you have hypertension, you may need to watch your salt intake. Make sure to read how much salt/sodium is in each product to make sure that you do not consume more than 1,500 mg a day. Canned foods and pre-prepared meals are often full of sodium.
- There are multiple different names for most ingredients. For example, sugar has at least 61 different names, including sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and rice syrup. If you are trying to avoid a particular ingredient, make sure that you can recognize all of its different names.
Have a Healthy Mindset
1. Build a positive body image
Mental health is an integral part of staying fit and healthy. It can be hard to have a positive body image when we are inundated with pictures of skinny actresses and models. But there are ways you can learn to feel good about yourself, no matter your shape. A positive body image will help you stay motivated to eat healthily and work out. 
- Find something you like about your looks and make that your focus. For example, if you have been running a lot lately, compliment yourself on how strong your legs are looking.
- Avoid negativity. Try not to criticize yourself. It’s fine to want to make changes, but try to encourage yourself, rather than tearing yourself down. For example, instead of feeling bad about eating a bag of cookies, say to yourself, “I guess now I have extra motivation to do 20 extra sit-ups tomorrow!”
2. Focus on how you feel
Body image is all about how you feel about how you look. So try to focus on positive feelings. Focus on the right things your body does for you, like to give you the energy to play with your dog. When you feel healthy, you will also feel more fit and beautiful.
- Don’t worry about the numbers on the scale. Instead, focus on how strong you feel and how your clothes fit. Base your fitness assessment on your energy levels and overall health, not on your weight.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
It can be tempting to judge yourself based on how other people look. But experts say that comparing yourself to others can be damaging. For instance, it can lower your sense of self-worth. That can lead to lower self-esteem and lower energy levels.
- Make your own goals. You are trying to look like someone else isn’t going to help you achieve your goals. Instead, assess your fitness level by noting if you’ve made improvements and if you can see and feel a difference in your body.
- Think about your body frame size. Some people have small frames, while others have large frames. Yours might be medium. You can figure out your frame size by measuring the circumference of your wrist and consulting a height chart. Remember, if you have a large frame, you will have different weight goals than someone who is naturally smaller.
- Try keeping a daily journal, where you record positive statements about yourself. You can use this journal to track your exercise and diet, or you can just write down happy, self-affirming thoughts to keep you motivated.
An essential key to being in shape is to set goals and keep a positive mindset. If you stay positive, you will be able to push yourself to get that fit body you’ve always wanted.
Get enough sleep
Even though most of us have eight-hour jobs during the day or night, it is crucial to get enough sleep to recharge the body’s batteries. Six to eight hours of sleep will keep the body going throughout the day, but if you happen to feel tired at any point after coming home from work, by all means, take a small nap before exercising. You should only nap for about a half-hour. This will prevent you from staying up later in the night.
Tips for Staying Fit and Healthy Summary
Ultimately, the choice to remain fit and healthy is up to you. Just because you spent the first few decades of your life eating lousy food and neglecting your body does not mean that you can’t repair some of the damage. If anything, living well should be one of the most important goals to strive for in the remaining years of your life.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have anything that you’d like to share or any opinions about my website, please do speak up. I look forward to your comments, questions, and the sharing of ideas.
Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer or a healthcare professional. The above tips are compiled from the below references and my own experiences and might not be the right for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine.