We’ve all done it. That moment when you glance at your calendar and realise its the start of a new year or there might even be an important event you thought you still had months and months to prepare for. So what do you do? Resign yourself to not looking and feeling your best and put aside the getting fit goal for another year, or is it actually possible to get fit fast without resorting to unsafe crash diets and extreme exercise? We share the ways you can get fit fast.
Cardio, cardio and more cardio
This one probably won’t be a surprise to you. The key to improving your fitness and, if you need to, shedding excess body fat is cardiovascular exercise. The type of exercise that gets your heart beating faster and burns mega calories if you do it properly. You can do any type of cardio exercise that you like, whether that’s running or power walking, a high energy dance class or a swim, just try and mix it up and try different things to really challenge yourself. The key to getting fit fast with cardio though is duration and frequency, a single session a week just isn’t going to cut it for fast results so aim for three to four sessions a week for at least an hour and you’ll see a difference in a matter of weeks.
Fitness and diet go hand in hand and the simple fact is that if you’re consistently eating more calories than your body needs, the precious hours you’ve invested in your cardio will all be in vain. And even if you’re not overeating but you waste your calories on foods with low nutritional value, not only will your body be missing out on valuable vitamins and minerals but your body won’t be fully fuelled to get the best out of your workouts. Remember, you get out what you put in so stick to good, healthy food to fuel your training regime, cutting the junk and eating fresh.
Get an unbiased opinion
One of the hardest things to do is to be brutally honest with ourselves about what we need to achieve with our fitness. It’s this ‘head in the sand’ approach where we convince ourselves that, because we play football once a week or walk to the shop daily for our lunchtime sandwich, we are actually fit. Often, we need to enlist the help of a professional to get a proper assessment of our current fitness, alongside actionable advice and support for achieving goals. And if you can invest in personal training, you’ll have not only an honest evaluation of your current fitness but someone to work alongside you to ensure you are able to get fit fast, safely and making the best use of your time. If you’re brand new to exercise, or have any health concerns, it’s best to seek medical advice before starting a vigorous training programme.
Tone and core
As you get fitter, perhaps shedding pounds or just feeling stronger and healthier, another way to expedite the process is with strength and conditioning work. Mix up your cardio with yoga or pilates, you might not feel you are doing much at the time, but boy will you feel it the next day! These types of exercises work on toning and strengthening the body’s muscle by working on core strength. The core is comprised of your upper and lower abs, all of those muscles in your trunk that when strong can allow you to stabilise and remain stable and firm. You can also easily add core moves into your workouts with moves like the plank, side planks and crunches.
With attention to diet, dedication to a well-structured and thought out training programme executed regularly, getting fit fast isn’t as impossible as you might imagine.
Keith McNiven is founder of London based personal training company Right Path Fitness, https://rightpath123.wpengine.com/