How To Get Fit
We’ve all heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, I’ve got a good question for you: What if it’s true? Wouldn’t that be easy to do—to eat an apple a day? Here’s the problem: It’s also easy not to do. – Jim Rohn
When it comes to physical fitness, humans are quintessentially human. We all want a quick fix. We want that magic pill. In short, we want results without having to work for them.
The best fitness tips are the simplest ones: eat right and exercise. As easy to do (or not to do) as eating that recommended apple every day. So why are so many people asking me how to get fit? You already know!
Here’s what I realized: getting your diet in order and building a firm body are about creating good habits, setting yourself up with a lifestyle that supports your fitness goals. So what most people are really asking when they ask how to get fit is “how do I make fitness a habit?”
In my opinion, building a firm body is a lot like building a house. And when you’re re-building your life, you need to start from the ground up.
Here’s how to get fit once and for all.
How to Get Fit: The Foundation
Whether you’re building a house or a fit lifestyle, you have to start with your foundation. And the foundation of good fitness lies in three areas: Effort, Intensity, and Consistency.
You get out what you put in.
You can have the best intentions in the world, but if you never get your butt off the couch, you’re going to be the same slow, tired person you were yesterday.
I’m not saying you have to run a 5k on your first day of training. Start with what your body can handle and go from there.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: walking is not exercise! Every day you walk to the fridge and to bed and you’re not getting any fitter.
The right physical fitness plan should push you out of your comfort zone a little bit. Not too much. But enough that you’re breathing hard and breaking a sweat.
And once that stops happening, up your game again. Don’t let yourself plateau! Fitness isn’t a staircase, it’s an escalator: if you don’t keep moving, you’ll end up back at the bottom.
One apple doesn’t keep the doctor away. It’s one apple every day.
You can’t show up for one training session or eat one healthy meal and expect to see results. You have to put consistent work in day after day, in multiple areas.
Fitness isn’t a trend or a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. Build fitness and nutrition into your daily life and watch it transform.
How to Get Fit: The Details
Once you have your foundation in place, you can start adding the details that make your house functional. Just as plumbing, electrical, and drywall make a steel-framed house livable, some key lifestyle changes will make a dramatic difference in your fitness journey.
I’m starting here because this is something most people love to hear.
When you’re working out at the right intensity, your body needs rest and recovery. And sleep is an important part of that. Get 7-8 hours every night of quality sleep so your body can start again the next day at the top of its game.
Drink as much as you can, then drink some more.
Every cell in your body needs water to function: your brain cells, your skin cells, even your muscle cells. Depriving them of water and expecting your body to run like a machine on nothing but caffeine and sugar is just asking for trouble.
Your muscles also need protein to refuel. But this isn’t an excuse to load up on bacon cheeseburgers every day. One serving of protein is the size of your palm…not your face.
Choose lean proteins such as eggs, fish, poultry, lean pork, beef, and wild game to build and maintain muscle.
Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not the enemy! Carbohydrates are an essential part of proper nutrition…if they come from the right source.
White bread, pasta, and cake aren’t going to help you get fit. Choose fiber-rich carbs from veggies, fruits, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains.
Fat-free is never the way to be. But again, your fat shouldn’t come from corn dogs and deep-fried butter.
Most of your fat intake come from nuts, seeds, fish oil, olive oil, avocado, whole eggs and meats.
Your exercise routine should include both strength training and conditioning (i.e. cardio). Your muscles need a workout if they are to perform at their best, and your heart needs a workout as well. Skipping one of these is as bad as skipping leg day.
Apples are great, but they’re not going to refuel your muscles after a tough workout. Instead, I recommend a whey protein/carb shake, as it digests quickly.
Your mind needs rest and recovery just like your body does, so make sure your lifestyle includes a method for handling stress.
Maybe you like to journal. Maybe you meditate or do yoga. Heck, you could even sit down with the kids and do a coloring book for a while. Whatever helps you get your zen on.
How to Get Fit: The Finishing Touches
You got your foundation. You’ve put up the walls, shingled the roof, and installed a door. Your house is livable, but it’s not complete with some paint, light fixtures, and crown molding.
In our clever, little metaphor, these details are vitamin and mineral supplements.
Just as you can’t build a house entirely out of chandeliers and door knobs, you can’t get fit from supplements alone. Vitamins and minerals are essential for a firm body because the body cannot make them. They must be consumed in food.
Say hello to the supplement business.
The supplement industry is a huge business because people look to supplements as a replacement for one of the details that go into building a strong, lean body. The problem is they don’t replace anything. What they can do is work in conjunction with those details to help you recover faster from training sessions, improve joint integrity, decrease inflammation, increase protein synthesis, and enhance fat loss so you are maximizing all your hard work and determination.
We are a quick fix, “I want it now” society. But trying to fast-track your way to a fit, firm body is like building a house on a crumbling foundation. Your results won’t match your goals and they won’t be sustainable.
You want a body that’s built to last. Don’t skip the necessary steps.
You already know how to get fit: eat right and exercise. Now get to work building the structure that will create healthy habits. Go pour some concrete and eat an apple.