It takes a lot of work to get in shape! We’re talking weeks, months, or even years of struggling to lose weight, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular conditioning. You know what the worst part is? It takes way less time to get OUT of shape!
If you stop your fitness efforts, you can bet that your fitness will slowly decline. A few weeks of inactivity can have visible effect on your waistline, and you’ll certainly notice the difference next time you go to run or lift. Getting back into “fighting shape” is actually a lot harder than you’d think. The simple solution: avoid getting out of shape!
Why You Get Out of Shape
There are a few reasons why you may get out of shape in the first place:
Lack of time — You may not have the time to get to the gym, or the time to prepare healthy meals. Busy professionals and parents often fall victim to this problem.
Meal planning is stressful — It’s not easy to count calories and balance your macros! Eventually, you just want to stop thinking and eat whatever.
Work is too demanding — Between home and work obligations, you may have no time to work out or cook healthy meals. Or, you may FEEL like your work is too demanding, and you don’t have the brain power to stay fit.
Injuries — For people who train hard, injuries are a VERY common problem. They can stop you from training for days, weeks, or even months, which will cause your fitness to slide.
Laziness — We all get hit with that lethargy that tells us to take it easy and not work out. If we give in, we’re guaranteed to let our fitness decline.
All of these are common reasons to get out of shape, but don’t let them be the cause of your declining fitness!
How to Avoid Getting Out of Shape
Here are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay in shape:
Make workouts a priority — You always have time for the things you consider “important”. Put your gym time at the head of the list, and you’ll make sure to fit it in every day–or at least 4 to 5 days a week.
Maintain, don’t build — You don’t always have to be building muscle or pushing the limits of your endurance. Sometimes it’s okay to simply maintain your condition without doing more. You can take it a bit easier with the workouts, and you’ll still be in good shape.
Mix it up — This goes for both your diet and workout programs! Boredom is the enemy of progress, so make sure to keep things fresh and changing however you can.
Cook beforehand — One of the main reasons people get out of shape is due to lack of time, particularly time to cook healthy meals. Well, everyone has a weekend! Spend your Sunday afternoon cooking healthy meals for the coming week, and simply refrigerate/freeze them. It will be much easier to stay in shape and stay slim this way!
Avoid time and energy sucks — We all have things that steal our time and sap our energy. If you give in to these, your fitness is going to decline. Avoid time-wasters, and try to limit things that could sap your energy and determination to work out. This usually means limiting social engagements and partying. It’s tough, but necessary.
Remember why it matters — Don’t lose sight of your goals, or the reasons you were trying to get fit in the first place. If you remember what makes your fitness important, you’ll be far more likely to keep up with your efforts.