How to Get in Shape in 6 Months

Getting fit has a myriad of benefits including preventing excess weight gain, combatting health conditions and diseases, improving mood, boosting energy, promoting better sleep and invigorating your sex life. A fit adult engages in strength training-exercises twice weekly in addition to either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity-aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By setting realistic goals, you can work toward achieving this level of fitness in six months.

Step 1

Increase your flexibility and reduce your likelihood of injury by warming up and stretching before you start to exercise. Walk or start exercising at a low level of intensity for five to 10 minutes as a warmup. Stretch at least three times a week after warming up. Good stretches include the heel-cord stretch, the groin stretch and the thigh stretch.

Step 2

Engage in aerobic activities such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming, throughout the week. Start by working out at low intensity, such as walking, for about three 10-minute sessions per day, most days. Gradually increase your workout time and intensity to meet the CDC targets by the end of the six-month period.

Step 3

Cool down after an aerobic workout to allow your heart rate to go back to its resting rate by decreasing your intensity. If you have been jogging, for example, you can walk for five to 10 minutes to cool down.

Step 4

Join a gym to workout with resistance machines or free weights or use a home set of free weights or exercise bands. Use the weight of your own body for resistance, by doing exercises such as pushups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.

Step 5

Strengthen the trunk of your body by completing exercises such as abdominal crunches or by working with a fitness ball. A strong core will help your workouts in all other areas by bracing your spine which enables you to use your upper and lower body muscles more effectively, according to MayoClinic.com. Increase the number of exercises and your intensity level gradually over the six-month time frame.

Step 6

Cut down on your carbs to reduce body weight. Eat lean protein, fruits, whole grains and vegetables and avoid processed foods. Use a combination of increased activity and restricted food intake to lose weight. Aim to reduce intake by 3,500 calories a week — 500 calories per day — to lose 24 pounds in six months.

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