Shaping Up Nicely
It’s not about eliminating jelly belly or fitting into skinny jeans. In reality, getting in shape means priming your body to perform certain physical tasks with relative ease. Whether you want to run a marathon or simply play with your kids, your body needs physical conditioning to perform these activities.
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular aerobic exercise can lead to health benefits, including a stronger immune system and improved mood. One study published in the electronic Journal of Human Sexuality found that improved fitness may even lead to better sex!
However, few of us actually go through the motions to condition our bodies: According to the National Center for Health Statistics, seven out of 10 Americans don’t exercise regularly. But once you start and stick with a fitness plan, you’ll notice a significant change in your appearance and overall health.
“Getting in Shape” Defined
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the components of physical fitness include cardio-respiratory endurance (your body’s ability to provide fuel during sustained physical activity); muscular strength; muscular endurance; body composition; and flexibility.
That means the first 30 days of getting in shape should include a significant amount of exercise, which can be overwhelming. “If you’ve been unsuccessful at adhering to a fitness program, you might have to turn off the internal script that challenges your ability to succeed,” says fitness instructor Bob Reilly.
Changing her internal script helped Bianca Newman* from Massapequa, NY, get in shape. When Bianca got to college, her fitness level deteriorated. “I finally made up my mind that I would work as much as I could to get in shape,” she says. The key to your fitness success comes with believing in the changes you’re making and being determined to reach your goal.