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THE FIX

How to Get Fit, Fast


How to Get Fit, Fast


The Best Way to Get Fit Fast 

What are your plans? One of mine is to increase my fitness levels back up after life in lockdown. Summer is approaching, spurring most of us into action. We want to look and feel our best and feel strong and healthy. Many of us have been infinitely more sedentary during most of the day, so fitness levels have dropped. However, where there's a will, there's a way is the best saying I can relate to here. We need to be looking forward to exercising choices and combinations and how smartly we organise our workouts across a week. The exercises to choose and how to group them within each workout will maximise our programme's efficiency and get back to our best in the quickest time possible.  Discussed below are some hacks to achieve this target.   

Get Enough Calories 

If you're aiming to get fit fast, the first thing that comes up in people's minds is to reduce their calorie intake, but remember that fitness and weight are not the same thing do not always correlate.

Calories are a measurement of energy and it is important that our energy levels are sufficient enough to see us through the day.  This is especially true when we are upping our workout game, with the ambition of increasing our fitness.

When you restrict your caloric intake too severely -- fewer than 1,200 calories per day for women (these are approximate levels - calorie intake is personal and specific to each and every person) and 1,800 men -- you may slow the metabolism.

If it's weight loss that you are after,  find the number of calories to lose at a steady rate of 1/2 to 2 pounds a week. Pull this off by reducing your current intake by 250 calories to 1,000 calories a day. For example, if your current intake 2,600 calories a day, you can lose weight safely by reducing it to 1,600 to 2,350 calories a day and burn the rest of the calories through physical activity.

Eat Healthy Foods

Equally as important as the amount of energy (Kcal) that we consume is what these foods consist of.  To get the most out of the fitness routine, fill your diet with foods that fulfil your energy needs and muscle growth. A "get fit" diet is a healthy eating plan filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and some good fats. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you'll have a better workout when your body is adequately fuelled. Also, be sure to eat a snack after exercising to replenish energy stores and promote muscle building. 

Limit Processed Foods

According to a 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, "certain foods are linked to weight gain, including potato chips, sweetened drinks such as soda and juice and processed meats such as bacon and pepperoni." These types of food and drinks also make our blood sugar spike and drop and does not offer a slow release of steady energy throughout the day. To improve your fitness level and help you reach your goals faster, limit the intake of processed foods such as white bread and pasta, sweets and fast food.

Get Fit With HIIT

Adults are recommended to take150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.  When you are trying to get fit fast, HITT sessions can do wonders. According to an article published by Australian Family Physician in 2012, "HIIT may help you reach the fitness goals faster than traditional aerobic exercise because it increases the calorie-burning capacity, even after working out." According to The American College of Sports Medicine, you will burn 6 to 15 per cent more calories those two hours following HIIT. Aswell as burning more calories, HIIT reduces abdominal fat while retaining muscle mass and improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness and heart health.

Organise your Week in Workouts

Plan heavy workouts on alternative days and have slow-intensity cardio days in-between. An example of this is splitting your workouts into: leg days, ab days, upper body days and full body workout days.  Take long walks in between sessions.

How to Group them Together

An effective way to get fit is by focusing on multi-joint or compound movements, which use the most muscle tissue, thus building the most strength and requiring the most significant energy to perform. How we put exercises together is vital. This means is to perform one set of an upper-body workout, following by a set of a lower-body workout, then rest, and repeat.

While moving through the two exercises effectively helps the cardiovascular system simultaneously as the muscular system.

To summarise, Adults roughly need 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week to maintain good health. Fitness does not happen over night, by sprinkling protein powder over your food or drinking a protein shake every day. To get fit fast, one needs to focus on eating right and engaging in cardio and strength-training exercises. Consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet or starting any exercise program and best of luck.

By Ayesha Gulzar, PharmD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Research and Medicine
Editor and Founder: Katherine Elyse Blake, BSC Nutrition, ANutr

 

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