getting in shape

Have you been thinking that it’s time to get “in shape”? The past couple of months had you cooped up in your home, but now you’re ready for a routine again. You’ve had enough of feeling unhealthy and unhappy in your body, and you want to make a change. But what does it really mean to get in shape? This article will go over what you should focus on to get in shape and to start feeling healthy again.

What Does Being In Shape Mean?

Being in shape means different things to different people. Some people may think muscle gain and fat loss is what it means. Others may think getting skinny, running 6 miles, or lifting a certain weight is getting in shape. To us, at in2GREAT, this means to feel great in your body and to feel healthy. Some people may look like they are “in shape”, yet their cells and organs say otherwise. Some skinny people may not be eating enough nutrients to fuel their body and their necessary processes to function optimally. Then there are healthy people who eat clean and participate in moderate exercise but don’t have their “ideal” body. When you are trying to get in shape, it shouldn’t all be about appearance. Make sure you are prioritizing the health of your insides too! The goal of getting in shape should be to feel healthy and to feel good in your body. Here’s a couple of ways to get your body in shape (on the inside and outside).

Change Up Your Eating Habits First things first. When getting fit, you have to look at what you are putting into your body. Of course, the number of calories matters to a certain point, but what’s just as important is where those calories are coming from. Are you eating frozen pizzas and take out or are you skipping dinner so you can eat that bowl of ice cream? When getting in shape you want to fuel your body with the right foods. This means incorporating as many whole and nutrient-dense foods into your diet as possible. Just by eating whole foods, you will get closer to your body’s ideal calorie intake because you will feel full faster thanks to the higher fiber content in whole foods.

Not only can eating whole foods help you reach your body’s ideal weight, but it can also help your body feel healthy so that you have the energy to work out and reach your physical appearance goals. You’ll recover faster, have more endurance, and help rid your body of other health conditions that may be hindering your ability to get in shape (achy joints, fatigue, headaches, sore muscles, etc).

Foods To Help You Get In Shape

  • Anti-inflammatory Foods- Turmeric, Ginger, Nuts
  • Foods High In Antioxidants- Berries, Dark Leafy Greens, Pecans
  • Clean Protein- Organic Beans, Chickpeas, Eggs, Organic Animal Protein, Pea Protein
  • Carbs and fats for fuel sources as well (remember that your body needs all three
    macronutrients for energy production, not just protein).

Avoid These Foods

  • Fast Food
  • Fried Foods
  • Sodas
  • Processed Meats
  • Processed Foods

Work With A Trainer seeking guidance from a trained professional is key. If you really want to reach your health goals, get help from someone who specializes in all aspects of it. Getting healthy by getting into shape includes physical changes to your body. Aerobic exercises, strength training, and flexibility can all improve certain aspects of your health.

Having a good balance of all these areas in your training routine can help you reach maximum health. These can all positively affect the way your body and cells work. Another benefit of working with a trainer is that you’re more likely to stay consistent with your workout. You’ll be held accountable, unlike when you are trying to get in shape by yourself. Trainers can help motivate you and remind you why you wanted to do this in the first place.

What Happens To Your Body As You Get In Shape?

As you get in shape, you are helping your body function better. Do you normally get winded going up the stairs or doing moderate level physical activities? This is a sign that your body is working on overdrive. Participating in aerobic exercises can help your cardiovascular system so that it doesn’t have to work as hard doing simple tasks.

Changes To Your Cells

High-intensity aerobic interval (HIIT) and resistance training can enhance your insulin sensitivity, meaning it allows your body’s cells to use blood glucose (sugar) more effectively, reducing blood sugar. HIIT activities can even improve your aerobic capacity and skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration. This means your cells can create more ATP (energy) for movement, making your workouts feel easier the more you get in shape.

Changes to Your Muscles

Performing strength training or weight lifting exercises can help build more muscle in your body. Having more muscle mass can help support your bones, reducing the risk of fractures. It can also help make your everyday activities easier, especially for those individuals who are older. When you work out, your muscle fibers “tear” a little bit. They are then repaired by the body and built upon, creating stronger connective tissue and stronger muscles. Certain exercises can expand your muscle cells (called hypertrophy), and the diameter of your muscle fibers increases. When you increase your muscle mass, your body will appear more “toned”, making you feel not only stronger on the inside, but can help you feel more confident in your body as well.

Changes To Your Mood

When you work out, your brain releases serotonin (feel-good hormone). So when you are working out multiple times a week, you are getting that surge in hormones that brightens your mood and increases your overall well being. Because of this, it can reduce your risk of depression or other mental health issues. These endorphins that are released during your workouts also play a role in reducing pain by binding to opioid receptors, making it a “natural painkiller”.

Health Benefits Of Getting In Shape

  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Rates Of Heart Disease
  • Improves Digestion
  • Builds Stronger Bones Which Can Reduce Bone Fractures
  • Lowers Risk Of Certain Types Of Cancers
  • Reduces Risk Of Diabetes
  • Boosts Energy
  • Better Sleep

If you’ve had enough of feeling below par and want to get in shape now, get in contact with in2GREAT Functional Medicine Clinic. They can help you optimize your health so you can get in shape faster and in a healthy manner. Get in contact with them here or give them a call at (913) 308-0172.

Dr Corey Priest, DC - Functional medicine practitioner

About the author

Dr. Corey Priest has been practicing functional medicine since 2001. in2GREAT was founded in 2014 by Dr Priest after 13 years of experience with his other practices. Over his career, Dr. Priest has worked with and helped well over 10,000 patients under a functional medicine model.

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