While we wish it was, getting fit isn’t an overnight thing. There are some benefits to regular exercise that you’ll begin to notice right away, but feeling in shape can totally depend on a number of factors.
This includes what shape you’re in at your starting point and how much you’re ready to commit to your new exercise regime! When eating well and feeling focused in exercise – you can start seeing some pretty awesome results in a matter of weeks.
So, how long does it take to get into shape? We take a look!
How we benefit from exercise immediately
There’s nothing better than that feeling of working off a stressful day. Whether you opt for a run in the park, a HIIT class at the gym or some time lifting weights, that immediate relief post-exercise makes it all worthwhile.
As well as helping to reduce stress, exercise can boost your mood, improve your mental health and help keep up sharp. There are so many mental and physical benefits of exercise, we’d be here all day telling you how it can benefit your mind and body!
So much so, that some exercise can provide pain relief from conditions such as arthritis. Of course, choosing the right type of exercise is key.
If weight loss is your aim, think of every workout as a step closer to achieving your goals! While you may not necessarily see the effects after each workout, leaving a session drenched in sweat will tell you you’re heading in the right direction!
All of these positive and healthy choices add up. But it’s important to not beat yourself up if you miss a workout. Simply pick up where you lift off the next day. So, immediate effects aside, how long does it take to get in shape?
Your timeline of getting into shape
While it’s common to wonder, how long does it take to get fit, or get in shape – there is no one-size-fits-all timeline, unfortunately! Since there are several ways to measure fitness or ‘getting into shape’, this type of timeline can be different from one person to the next.
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Many report that cardio exercise begins to feel easier within a couple of weeks, showing proof that they are getting fitter.
Setting achievable goals
So, how can you measure that you’re getting into shape? By setting achievable goals.
When you set goals for yourself, it can not only help us feel more motivated, but also measure how we’re progressing with exercise.
Start off simple with your goals. Whether it’s 10 minutes on a treadmill, soon upping it to 15, or increasing the weight you’re lifting.
A healthy diet
How long does it take to get into shape? A healthy diet and overall healthy lifestyle play a crucial role in your timeline.
If we consider ‘getting into shape’ to be a reflection of your overall health and fitness, if you were exercising but eating badly, you wouldn’t have the same results as an all-round healthy lifestyle.
Many saturated and processed foods can play havoc with your health. These can affect your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and heart health. So, how can you get fit? Although exercise plays a major role, it needs to be paired with a healthy diet, too.
But let’s kick fad diets to the curb – as these diets simply aren’t sustainable. If you’re at the higher end of the scales, gradual weight loss – paired with exercise – is the result of small changes to your lifestyle.
Following a healthy diet:
It can feel like a struggle to make dramatic changes to a poor diet. In order to make a shift into a healthier lifestyle, you can start off small by paying attention to what you currently eat. Replace fatty foods with lean meats, fruit, nuts and plenty of vegetables.
If you find yourself tempted to snack, it could be that your main meals are not filling enough. In this case, try adding some filling and slow-releasing foods, such as oats and sweet potatoes.
You can’t get fit without some exercise! So, how long does it take to get in shape? Studies suggest that it’s an ongoing process, with 6 weeks of working out not quite equalling getting into shape.
However, during the study, participants carried out either control, strength or cardiovascular training for an average of 34mins each – three times a week. While every small session of exercise will have you working towards your goals, many of us work out for longer, more than three times a week.
Also Read: How to get back into working out after Covid
When trying to work out, how long does it take to get fit – it can totally depend on your goals and need for strength, shedding body fat, endurance and general weight loss. For example, if you’re aiming to run a marathon, the level of fitness you would need would vary greatly from improving fitness levels to run up the stairs and do everyday tasks!
How long to get back in shape?
When you fall out of love with your fitness goals, or simply find yourself slipping out of the gym, it can feel harder to get back into shape.
Try not to beat yourself up about where you’re current fitness levels are, and look for ways to start off slow. Sure, you might not be able to jump back on the treadmill for an hour at a time, but even the smallest amount of exercise will get you in the right direction!
How long it takes to get fit, or get back into shape can depend on your goals. The time it may take to start seeing differences in your fitness levels can depend greatly on what you’re trying to achieve.
Whether you’re looking to:
- Gain strength
- Improve stamina
- Lose weight
- Lose body fat
The answer as to how long it will take to get “fit” varies for each of these goals. For example, if you’re looking to shed pounds and bulk up, this isn’t going to be an overnight result.
If you have been out of shape, or haven’t exercised for some time (or at all), it can typically take around eight weeks of exercise multiple times a week to get yourself to a moderate fitness level.
Whereas if you’re happy with your bodyweight and want to improve your endurance, cardio exercises will show quicker results.
For those starting out, two weeks can be enough to begin feeling the benefits!
Getting fit for different reasons
For many of us, our reason for getting fit isn’t just because we know we should be looking after our fitness levels.
Let’s say you’re looking to compete. If you need a huge goal to keep you motivated, the idea of working towards running a 5 or 10k race or marathon can help you to measure how your fitness levels improve.
But before jumping into a race or a marathon, why not test your fitness with an obstacle course for a bit of fun? There are plenty of ways to increase your endurance levels.
Not every exercise session needs to be in the gym, however. If you prefer something a little less competitive and don’t want to feel as though you’re working out, opt for backpacking, cycling or even kayaking.
Also Read: Best Compound Exercises for Beginner Lifters
Your fitness levels when you get started can help determine how long it t takes to get into shape. As well as the type of exercise you choose. If you were once able to swim plenty of laps and fell out of your exercise regime, jumping back in the pool won’t mean you can instantly return to where you left off.
However, if you’re entering into cardio exercise that you haven’t tried before, it can affect you differently as a beginner. While the first session may feel tiring, it’s totally worth it!
Still wondering, how long does it take to get in shape? Since it can be so different for everyone, there is no one answer. However, this will greatly depend on your starting point – both in your fitness levels, weight and general health.
If your previous exercise routine took a backseat due to an injury, you may have to go a little slower with your exercise as to not injure yourself again.
Once you build a foundation of strength, it’ll stay with you. Making returning to strength training far easier, no matter how long a break you have from the gym!
Can’t wait to get back into shape?
It can be hard to find your drive when you’ve had some time away from exercise. If you start off slow and steady, with achievable goals, you’ll quickly be able to see your progress!
But if you need a boost of energy and focus, why not try BlackWolf? Our vegan-friendly formula is loaded with scientifically backed ingredients –So you receive the optimal dosage, every time, with zero crash.