Health and Fitness

Get In Shape By Spring

6 Top Tips To Help You Get Fit And Get In Shape Before Spring

Getting in shape is easier than you think. From getting enough sleep to finding an exercise buddy, these tips will help you get fitter, stronger and healthier.

It may be cold and dark outside at the moment, but the new year will be here before we know it, and spring will be hot on its heels. If you want to get in shape for spring and summer, now is the time to start making the changes to your lifestyle that will help you to get results.

A London fitness coach shares his top tips for getting fit and shaping up for the spring.

Sign up for an event

Signing up for a sporting event or race can be a really effective way of motivating yourself to get off the couch and exercise – whether it’s a 5k run, a marathon or an obstacle race such as Tough Mudder. Training for a specific event will enable you to set clear goals, which will make it easier to plan (and complete!) your workouts, while fundraising for a charity can give you an extra impetus to train hard and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. The sense of accomplishment you feel when you complete the race can also have a really positive impact on your mental wellbeing and self-confidence.

Get your beauty sleep

You’ll be pleased to hear that getting in shape isn’t all about hitting the gym or working up a sweat. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential if you want to burn fat and build muscle – it also helps to reduce those cravings for sugary or fatty foods that can undo all your hard work. For best results, try to aim for between seven and nine hours of quality sleep each night.

Find an exercise buddy

If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to exercise, you might want to find yourself an exercise buddy – it’s much harder to skip a training session if you know you’ll be letting down a friend. As well as making it easier to get up for those early morning runs, exercising with a friend will encourage you to push your limits and, it’s simply more fun. If you don’t have a natural exercise partner, why not join a running club, or sign up for a team sport, such as netball, football or hockey? As well as getting in shape, you’ll have fun, learn a new skill, and make new friends to boot.

Build activity into your routine

Many people cite a lack of time as the main reason for not getting enough exercise. If this sounds like you, try to increase your overall activity level and build short periods of exercise into your day. This could include taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to shops instead of driving, or simply doing some stomach crunches as you watch The Apprentice.  If you live near the coast, countryside or even a nice park, why not grab your family or a couple of friends and head out for a long, leisurely weekend stroll? Exercising outdoors is proven to be good for both your physical and mental health, so you’ll get a double-whammy of benefits.

Hire a trainer

To really give your fitness regime a boost, you might want to consider booking some sessions with a personal trainer. They will be able to help you define and set your goals, and provide you with a personalised exercise plan that will enable you to achieve your fitness objectives. A trainer can also provide a much-needed burst of motivation when your energy is flagging.

Follow a healthy diet

Whatever exercise regime you decide to follow, don’t forget to pay attention to the food you ae eating. This doesn’t mean following a strict diet or starving yourself, however. Instead of counting carbs or calories, focus on fuelling your body with nutritious, unprocessed foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins, which are essential for muscle recovery.

Getting in shape for spring needn’t be a daunting, insurmountable task. By making small lifestyle changes and employing some motivation tricks, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to get fitter and healthier in plenty of time for the new season.