Ready to learn how to be fit? I’m so excited for you! Fitness makes a real difference to being healthy. Being fit will make you feel better. You’ll sleep better and feel more in touch with your body. Learn to treat it with more respect.
It’s possible to get fit even if you haven’t exercised in years. It’s small consistent changes to how you eat and exercise that add up to make a big difference.
The 5 steps to “How to be fit for beginners” are:
- Inspiration: Why do you want to be fit?
- Eating Better: Small changes to your diet will help you get fitter faster.
- Exercise: Keep it simple – find an activity you LOVE and do it consistently.
- Set A Goal: Something to keep you accountable.
- Support: Find the friends who count. Encouraging and even showing up on your doorstep to train alongside you!
How To Get Fit – Step #1 Find Your Inspiration
Why do you want to get in shape? You need a reason! It’s not enough to half-heartedly learn how to become fit because your doctor or significant other has been nagging you for years!
That’s not going to get you up off the couch.
You need a reason you can own. It can be anything but it has to resonate.
- Running along the beach with your toddler.
- Wearing a kick-arse dress to your wedding.
- Getting the most out of your retirement.
- Having the confidence to date again.
- No longer always feeling tired.
It has to be a reason that really matters to you. Write it down, stick it up on the wall somewhere where you’re going to see it every day… “I am going to get fit because…”
Don’t skip this part – it’s essential. Getting fit can be tough. It’s not because the exercise is hard, it’s because you have to show up consistently!
Make time to get fit. Having a good reason will make a big difference.
How To Get Fit – Step #2 Eat Better
There’s a saying “You can’t outrun a bad diet”. Now I know a few ultra runners who would beg to differ but the British Journal of Sports Medicine has a point: most people don’t exercise enough to make up for bad diet decisions.
Chugging down full-sugar coke or reaching for a Big Mac at the end of a run is often enough to wipe out all the calories you’ve burnt exercising.
Getting Fit Weight Loss
It’s tough to admit, but being fit won’t guarantee you hit your weight loss goals. Yeah sorry about that!
😒 If you have bad eating habits and consistently eat more calories than your body needs, you can exercise and still put on weight. It’s the ugly truth about how to be fit.
Starting your fitness plan isn’t an excuse to pile up the cakes as a reward…
There are two parts to being fit: physical fitness and being healthy. Granted life just isn’t fair when it comes to being healthy.
It’s true, some people manage to pull off eating a full American breakfast every day, never exercise and still live to be 100. But keeping your weight in the “normal” range and eating a nutritious diet will up your odds of having a healthy body.
(This BMI calculator will give you a rough guide to a normal healthy weight range).
Weight loss is all about calorie deficit. Burn more calories than you consume and you’ll lose your excess weight. Eat better, with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and you’ll get all the essential nutrients you need to perform at your best.
I’m not a fan of diets. Hands up if you’ve been on a diet and piled the weight back on 6 months to a year later.
Diets are difficult to stick to. Worse still, extreme diets just send your body into starvation mode where your body adjusts to living on a lower calorie intake.
That’s a big problem when you reach your target weight goal and want to go back to regular eating.
Instead, it’s better to make permanent changes to your diet. Less junk food and more healthy meals.
This is what a healthy diet should look like:
A diet rich in wonderful nutritious fruit and vegetables, filling proteins, whole grains, and fiber-rich carbohydrates.
Slow Weight Loss Is Best
The key here is making changes SLOWLY.
If you completely change your diet overnight, your body’s going to react BIG TIME and not in a good way. Your indigestion won’t know what’s hit it if you change overnight from a mainly processed food diet to a high fiber whole food diet.
You don’t need to change everything at once. Small changes and slow weight loss get results. You’re aiming to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week – no more.
Ignore those “lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks” headlines. For most people, it requires a ridiculously low-calorie intake. That might work for driven method actors such as Joaquin Phoenix for his part in The Joker, but you’re heading into dangerous eating habits and possibly permanent eating disorders.
Losing weight slowly is sustainable and will work alongside your efforts to be fit. That 1 pound-a-week weight loss will add up to 50 lb in a year!
Improve Your Eating Habits With Healthy Foods
Make one small change at a time and stick to it. Start with something easy – a small commitment. Small steps towards healthy living and being fit. It could be:
- Opting for diet soda or even better water instead of your normal full sugar coke.
- Making more meals at home.
- Filling up on green vegetables instead of chips.
- Eating an apple instead of hitting the biscuit tin on your mid-morning break.
Make the small change and when it’s become normal, make another small change. This could be one change a week or if it’s something that’s a big deal for you, one change a month. All these small changes will add up. Small steps to success…
How To Get Fit Step – #3 Exercise
By now you should be all fired up – you know why you want to get fit and you’ve come up with some easy wins for improving your diet. The next step for how to get fit for beginners is exercise!
You need to start moving!
Find something you enjoy. Do you HATE all forms of exercise and physical activity? I doubt it. You just haven’t found the one thing that’s going to get you motivated.
Maybe you’ve found it already – you just haven’t given it a chance!
I was forced to run at school and LOATHED it. Then friends introduced me to walking and running in the mountains. I went from avoiding all forms of running at all costs to craving a daily running fix!
This doesn’t mean I think everyone should become a runner. Your THING could be completely different. It could be dancing, yoga, hiking, paddle boarding… anything that gets you moving.
Remember the activities you used to enjoy as a child. For example, roller skating is a great exercise for weight loss.
The intensity is going to depend on what you’re trying to achieve. It links back to why you’re trying to get fit in the first place. Not everyone wants to run a marathon. For some people, it’s enough to be able to walk 10,000 steps a day and lose a little weight.
For others, trying to improve their cardiovascular fitness, intense workouts that boost the heart rate such as high-intensity interval training could be part of their fitness plan.
✅ Find out how many calories you burn exercising with my Calories Burned Calculator.
Check In With Your Doctor
If you have any doubts about starting an exercise program, check with your doctor. If you’re overweight or have any medical issues it’s best to get an all-clear first.
With any exercise program start slowly. Launching into a long run on day one just to prove you can still do it, won’t help if you end up with an injury.
There’s Nothing Wrong With Walking For A Healthy Lifestyle
Walking is a great way to get fit. It’s easier on the joints – a good thing if you’re overweight or an older athlete.
You don’t need any special equipment or costly gym membership. You just a good pair of comfortable shoes, and a coat if it looks like it’s going to rain! Make sure your shoes have good support.
Get started with my 9 Week Fat Buster Walking Plan – lose 10 pounds in 9 weeks and keep it off!
Regular walking every day will make a real difference to your fitness and energy levels if you’re not used to exercising. The more you walk, the fitter you’ll become.
Brisk walking as an exercise routine has a long list of health benefits and recent studies have shown that fast walkers live longer.
Walking is also a good stepping stone to taking up running. I suggest you walk every day for two weeks first before starting a running program.
✅ Walking 10,000 steps a day will make a huge difference to your fitness level. Find out: How much are 10,000 steps in miles and calories burned? and Do you need to walk 10,000 steps a day – is it essential?
Couch To 5K
Starting running is all about getting through those first few weeks until running starts to feel easier. It will I promise!
When you take up running, finding a running buddy or joining a club can be the best way to get the most out of your exercise, especially as a beginner runner.
There are so many ways to enjoy running, from early morning trail runs with inspiring scenery to the thrill of friendly races. My only warning is running is addictive! It could change your life… for the better…
Do I Have To Walk Or Run To Be Fit?
Does it seem like everyone talks about running or walking as the only way to get fit? Running and walking are great for burning calories but they’re definitely not the only way to get fit.
The best way to be fit is to find an activity you enjoy and start doing it regularly. This could be a daily yoga session or taking up hiking. If you’re having fun, your fitness activity becomes something to look forward to – the highlight of your day.
I love running but I’m the first person to start making excuses if it’s wet or cold outside. A way to get over this is always exercising at a regular time or better still arranging to meet someone.
It’s hard to not show up if you know a friend’s waiting on their doorstep for you! Especially if it’s early in the morning!
Setting fitness goals and creating a workout schedule are some of my fitness tips for staying motivated.
If you’re a night owl like me, getting enough zzzs can be a problem. Yet skimping on your 7 to 8 hours a night, (more if you’re a teenager), can drastically affect your fitness.
Try setting an alarm for bedtime. A regular sleep routine will help with your fitness levels and eating habits.
Can you be fit but overweight?
Yes of course! Your weight doesn’t correspond to your fitness level. Fashion models are known for being skinny but many have no muscle definition and poor cardio fitness.
Conversely, be careful not to rule out a competitor in a race just because they’re packing a few extra pounds of body fat!
Ultimately being overweight does affect both your health and your fitness. It would be a mistake to think otherwise.
It’s easier to run, climb, hike, do yoga, or just about any sport if you’re within the bounds of a normal healthy weight.
How To Get Fit – Step #4 Set A Goal
Even the best plans can go astray and it’s far easier to stay on track if you have a goal. Make sure your goal is:
- Really specific.
- Sets out how you’re going to achieve your goal.
- Has a time element.
- Is reviewed at the end of the time period.
A good example is “I’m going to lose 10 pounds by following the Love Life Be Fit walking plan for 9 weeks and drinking water instead of my normal soda”.
This has a target – losing 10 pounds, a walking plan to achieve the goal, plus there’s a time limit of 9 weeks. At the end of the 9 weeks, review how it went.
- Did you lose 10 lb?
- Did you enjoy walking?
- What was good about following the plan.
- What would be better?
- Could you push yourself harder?
- What’s your next target?
Your fitness plan is unique to you. It could be anything from “I will go dance classes 3 times a week for a month and stop eating cake”. Or “I’m going to climb my first 14,000 ft peak this summer”. It all depends on what activity YOU enjoy!
How To Get Fit – Step #5 Support
If it’s years since you last exercised, getting fit is a big deal. Don’t try and do it all on your own.
Find a buddy with similar goals, a personal trainer, or a club where you’ll get advice and support. Surround yourself with people who want you to get fit.
What do I mean by that?
Some of your existing friends and family may actively try to foil your fitness plans.
They maybe don’t mean to but your efforts to get fit are a threat to them! If you become fit, it’s showing them up. As you become fitter, you’ve held up a mirror to their own health and fitness levels.
Some friends and family might be inspired by you, but others might try and lead you astray. Suggest you skip training sessions and slide back into unhealthy habits.
I’m not saying you need to shun your friends but you may want to spend less time with them if they’re not giving you the support you need.
Make some new friends and find your support group. People who will help hold you to account and keep you on track to hit your fitness goals.
This guide is just an introduction to how to be fit and I hope the biggest takeaway is to find a sport or activity you enjoy! It’s much easier to be fit if you’re looking forward to your daily exercise session.
If you’ve found this post helpful, you may enjoy my other fitness-related articles:
- Stairmaster vs. Treadmill: Which Is Better For Weight Loss?
- Does Skating Help You Lose Weight?
- Which Cardio Machines Burn The Most Calories?
- How Long Should You Spend At The Gym?
- Fitness Goals And How To Achieve Them (7 Realistic Steps)
- How To Be Fit (A Guide For Beginners)
- Why You Need To Stop Chasing Perfection (And Start Living Instead)
- How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise (When You Really Don’t Want To)
To become fit start with small steps, and activities that will become regular habits. Find a type of exercise you enjoy. Set your fitness goals to stay motivated. Exercise with friends. Make sure you get enough sleep and aim for healthy, sustainable, weight maintenance.
If you want to stick to your fitness goals as a beginner, follow a realistic fitness plan. Beginners fail at fitness when they start off really keen and do too much in the first few days. The key to fitness is regular exercise. Small steps to improve your fitness level.
You can make a big difference to your fitness level in 2 months. Follow my Fat Buster Walking Plan to lose 10 pounds in 9 weeks and keep it off or start the Couch To 5K running program. There are many different ways to get in shape. The key is to find an exercise you enjoy and stick at it!