How Long Does It Take to Get In Shape?
Whether re-igniting a fitness practice or starting out as a rookie, the question, “how long does it take to get in shape and see results,” has an impact on and influences our decision to start and continue on. Since we all are wonderfully complex, there isn’t a one size fits all timeline indicating how long it actually takes to get in shape. Getting in shape is dependent upon many variables such as your availability within a given day or week, type of workout, personal intention, self-accountability, motivation, and self-confidence.
These variables when wrapped up with being consistent create a flow where the magic happens. Aka fitness gains!
A key factor to getting in shape is creating and owning a personal and realistic routine that honestly takes into account all of the moving parts of your life. If you only have one, two, or three days a week, own this because this is your truth!
Need-to-know “shape timeframe” basics:
A general “in shape” guideline, once you’ve claimed your exercise choice and cadence according to The American Council on Exercise (ACE), is within 2-4 weeks.
You can expect to see and feel some results both emotional and physical such as increased confidence, less stress, and improved endurance. From here, truthfully, the timeframe for how long it will take to get in shape is dependent on the amount of time you personally have to spend coupled with the type of exercise and intensity.
The general exercise guidelines for all adults, as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services, are to get at least 150 minutes (that’s roughly 20 minutes daily) of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise each week (walking, swimming, biking, tennis, fitness class, etc.). Lifting weights twice weekly for the upper and lower body is also recommended.
Small gains will win the race!
When getting started for the first time or re-igniting your fitness after a break, ACE recommends beginning with less time and then gradually increasing it. Start with low impact cardio like walking for 10-15-minute intervals. Add additional minutes and intensity to your base when the felt intensity of the first level has decreased. When you are able to carry on a conversation for 20 minutes while exercising it is safe to say you’ve achieved your aerobic base, and you can now move forward with intensity and duration! Do the same with weights. Start with less weight and fewer reps, then add more reps and increased weight when the first level no longer feels like a workout or is too easy.
Here Are 5 Inspirational Tips to Help You Get in Shape:
Take Small Steps When You’re First Getting Started.
Growing a new habit takes time. Start where you are now with an appropriate exercise plan. If you’ve been sedentary for quite some time start with walking or a low impact fitness class, then add on from here once your body has adjusted.
Treat yourself with an affirming reward so you enjoy your journey versus resenting it. Your reward can be anything you like from a massage, favorite show, a good book, new workout clothes, coffee with a friend, anything.
Creating and maintaining a new habit like exercise consistency takes time and with compassionate patience that all is coming. Be proactively patient with all that is shaping up for you.
If what you choose to do seems more like punishment or forced, please find something that you like and is realistic for where you happen to be fitness-wise right now.
Find Your Focus.
Stay focused on your goal of getting in shape and keep your eye on the prize. We have so much information coming at us with the next best workout or health approach it can be too easy to skip out and quit. Focus on your personal “why” of wanting to get in shape!
Do you have any inspirational tips for getting in shape that did not get mentioned above? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!
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