Updated: Mar 29, 2021
It takes time to tone up and get in shape, especially if you haven’t been doing it regularly. Give yourself some grace, but know you’ll need to find daily motivation to see a difference. Everyone wants to get in shape for summer, and unfortunately there’s no crash diet that makes that happen.
It takes good old-fashioned sweat (and maybe some tears).
A few simple exercise tips for beginners:
Setting goals and creating a plan helps keep you on track
Making diet changes will help you reach your goals faster
Listen to your body
Don’t give up
Make meaningful changes for a healthier life, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout and diet routine.
1. Set Realistic Goals and Create an Action Plan
Determine how much you want to lose divided by weeks to see if the end result is feasible. If you hope to lose 50 pounds total, it’s not going to happen overnight. It takes time.
Some insight into setting fitness goals:
8 pounds a month is doable
Count calories but don’t starve
Find exercise activities that you enjoy
Keep a journal to monitor progress
Remember: Not everyone is interested in the same type of workout. You may also have health or physical limitations, so don't beat yourself up about what you can't do. Instead, learn how you can mix it up. Schedule workouts like your meetings or doctor appointments so that you stick with it.
2. Workout When it’s Easy to be Consistent
The best time to workout is not the same for everyone. We all have different work schedules and obligations. If you're really not a morning person, and you already don't like working out, don't schedule 5 a.m. workouts.
As you plan workouts, remember:
Pick what works for you and your schedule
Consistency is what gets results
Location doesn’t matter; it’s whatever works best
Remember: Convenience and a time of day you’re most motivated are key to making your workouts consistent and productive.
3. Incorporate Diet Changes
Despite what the t.v. ads say or the magazines read, there's no magic pill that will give you a six-pack. As you gain confidence in working out, you may be tempted to still continue to eat junk food. Don’t fall into the trap of saying to yourself, “I’m working out so I can have that doughnut.” Look at your food triggers and find ways around them. For example, if you binge eat chips, you can’t eat those if you don’t buy them.
As you make diet changes:
Bring your lunch and limit going out to eat
Remember diet and exercise go hand in hand
Identify your eating triggers
Experiment with new recipes and foods
Remember: Eating healthy can be exciting. Note how you feel emotionally and physically after eating a healthy meal. Trying new foods can make it less of a “diet” and more of a new, fun meal experience. Once you pair diet and exercise together, you'll notice physical changes happen quicker — like strength, flexibility, weight loss, and more.