When we talk about “getting fit”, most of the time our minds automatically go to “losing weight”. There is a difference, so let's talk about both!
We all know how to lose weight, right? There's no magical pill, and no magical formula. It's simply calories in, calories out. If it's soooo simple, why do so many of us struggle with losing that last – or first – fifteen pounds? Whether it's a lack of willpower, the need for an extra push (that's what this is!), or just pure laziness, 2015 is the time for us to get our act together!
Getting fit is less about losing weight and more about toning up and gaining muscle. Ladies, don't worry about bulking up – it's nearly impossible to do even when you're trying to, much less when you're not. As long as you're not taking steroids or lifting heavy weights five hours a day, you're safe. Getting fit is about improving your life! Your overall health will be improved as you increase your fitness level.
5 Stress-Free Ways to Get Fit in 2015
1. Drink water! Of course, of course – that's what literally every weight loss article tells you to do. So, do it. Like now. You like your water cold? That's fine – fill your cup with ice! While many diet fads will tell you to drink hot water, or to add lemon or cayenne, just getting into the habit of drinking the water is all you need to worry about right now.
Take your weight and divide it by two. Drink that many ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water. Start smaller if you need to – you're going to feel like you're floating if you go from 10 ounces to 100 ounces in one day.
If you need to use some type of zero calorie flavoring or sweetener, go for it. The health benefits/risks of such things are debatable, but if it gets you drinking a ton of water, it's worth a shot.
2. Eat more green! If you don't care for vegetables, now is the time to figure out how to change that! Most of the time when someone dislikes veggies, it's because they haven't had them prepared properly. Don't like them fresh? Try them steamed. Can't handle broccoli without cheese? Try garlic, salt, and a dash of Parmesan instead.
Try adding vegetables to a chicken or shrimp stir fry, but be sure to watch the sodium content of the sauces you're cooking with. Sodium can make you bloated, and will reduce the positive benefits of all that water you're drinking.
3. Get moving! Another obvious one, but instead of focusing on an exercise program or buying workout DVDs you'll never use, just start walking. A little here, a little there. You don't have to go all out at first, just start by parking your car at the end of the parking lot when you go grocery shopping.
Then, start walking around the block before you leave your house. So if you leave for work at 7AM, get out there at 6:30 and start walking. If you walk fast, you can start at 6:45. Give a little extra time in case you have hang-ups of some sort – you don't want to be late for work!
If you don't have a job outside of the home, set a timer for every hour. Get up and walk around the house. Whether you walk outside and literally walk around your house, or you just walk from one bedroom to the next until you've covered it all, it doesn't matter – just move.
Tip: One thing that really helps me get moving is my FitBit!
4. Stop obsessing over the scale! This one might seem odd, considering you'll need to somehow track your progress. However, the scale is just awful, especially for women. While the scale tells us how much we weigh, it doesn't tell us how strong we are, what our BMI is, or how our clothes fit. There is much debate over the BMI chart, so I'll leave that one alone for now, but there is a lot more to being fit than worrying about a number on the scale.
If you're having a difficult time staying off the scale, have your significant other hide the scale. Bring it out once a month to check your progress, but be sure to have other methods in place as well. How are your clothes fitting? How are you feeling? How are you looking? Sometimes that last one is deceiving, because we are our own worst critic, but take progress photos – those don't lie!
Need help tracking your food/water/activity intake? Try MyFitnessPal for free!
5. Move a little more. So I know we already covered the movement part, but I really want to make sure it hits home! Believe me, I know how difficult it is to even care enough to make sure I move each day – working at home does have its disadvantages, believe it or not. You've heard that commercial, though, right? The one that says “a body in motion tends to stay in motion”… yeah, that one! It's so true!
Even if you don't take up Bikram Yoga (Google it, it's insane!), you can set a timer to walk, jump rope, or even hula hoop every few hours during the day. If you're up for fitness classes, try something low impact like Zumba Gold. It's specifically for senior citizens, but is really fun!
When you move more, you'll want to drink more water. When you drink more water, you won't be as hungry so you won't be as tempted to over-eat.
Losing weight and getting fit is one big puzzle that you now have all the pieces to! What's your best “get fit” tip? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. I've also found that having an accountability partner helps me a lot. Be sure to pair up with someone that will actually be accountable, though, or it could backfire!