The key to getting fit in 2021 is by starting out in 2020
They say it takes about 30 days for anyone to get fit. What they don’t tell you is that those 30 days needn’t start on January. So if you’re reading this today, Day One could well be this very day! The key to getting fit doesn’t involve crash diets or fancy workouts.
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All you need is to start doing these five things… today:
1. Start making small changes
There’s no easy way to getting fit. All those body transformation stories you may have read are all very good but be rest assured there’s no easy way to fitness, says Eddie Teel, a Mumbai-based personal trainer. “You have to start small,” he adds.
“A crash diet or a fancy new workout may shock your body into losing weight for a while but it’s difficult to maintain this routine for a long time. So it’s better to start small, build up and stay consistent.” One of the easiest ways to do this is by simply changing the time you have your dinner.
According to Namita Jain’s book, 9 to 5 Fit, having dinner early can make all the difference you need. Having an early dinner will make you want to go to bed early, wake up sooner and give you the time to work out in the morning. She suggests that an early dinner will also make you feel hungrier in the morning so you end up having a heavy breakfast and pace out your meals throughout the day.
Teel also suggests similar changes when it comes to exercising. “You cannot just start by pumping iron one morning. Start small… really small,” he says arguing that if you’ve not worked out for more than a few months, just start by going for a walk for an hour every day for three weeks. “That’ll help you build your stamina and then you can graduate to more complex workouts.”
2. Don’t diet, just eat healthy
This is an extension of the argument made in the previous point. Dieting is great but think about it, really. Can you suddenly stop, say, your morning chai and swap it for warm water with honey and lemon?
You may be able to do it for a day or three but you’ll most likely find yourself drifting back to your old habits. And so, it’s a lot better to start eating healthy than go on a diet. Of course, we understand you can’t just switch to boiled vegetables and salad so, as Namita Jain points out, start small. Just have your dinner at 7 pm today and try following that routine for a week and see where that takes you!
3. Stop comparing
Everyone starts off at different point in their fitness journey. Your friend who’s been posting #fitspo posts on Instagram has likely been working out for years before they got to that point. It’s not just unfair to compare yourself with such a person but also a disservice to yourself.
If you’ve started out today and find yourself wondering when you’ll get that physique, you’ve lost the battle even before you begin. So instead of comparing yourself with someone else, start by thinking about how you feel today against how you were feeling the day before. The more you’re aware of how your body is reacting to your workouts, you will see that your journey becomes a lot easier and you find inspiration not on Instagram but within yourself.
4. Mix up your workout routine
As humans we are wired to look for novelty. This applies to our workouts too. Imagine waking up every morning and doing the same routine every day. You are bound to get bored. It doesn’t matter if you’ve taken up swimming, tennis, squash or even cycling.
Unless you’re training to be an athlete, doing the same exercise consistently will make you hate it and want to give up working out altogether.
Instead mix up your workout routine. If you’re running on the treadmill one day, try out kickboxing on the second day, HIIT on the third and so on. Just make sure to consult your personal trainer to make sure you’re mixing it up right. And, most importantly, listen to your body. Pushing yourself is great but hurting yourself is not. Which brings us to our last point.
5. Focus on how you feel inside
The idea is to not necessarily look at yourself in the mirror. Sure it makes you feel good about yourself when you’ve lost like a tonne of weight but till then just focus on how you’re feeling from the inside.
Are you happy when you’re working out? Do you feel joyous when you’re punching that bag or taking your cycle for a spin? Focus on that. Once you learn to enjoy how you’re feeling from the inside, you will begin to enjoy your workouts more.
And, really, isn’t that the whole point?