Get Back in Shape in Just Two Weeks
Here is how to recommit to a healthy lifestyle and get back in shape, according to an expert.
It happens to the best of us: After staying committed to a health and fitness plan, we fall off the wagon. Fortunately, hopping back on is easier than you think, says Samantha Harte, Doctor of Physical Therapy and founder of StrongHarte Fitness. "Jump-starting our health and fitness journey is always one decision away," she says. The hardest part? "Working towards new habits when the old ones are so deeply ingrained," she says. "If you're truly ready to change, you will have a willingness that is strong and undeniable. From there, you can begin to practice new behaviors."
According to Dr. Harte, working on your outside should start from within. An easy way to do this is with morning meditation. "Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier than usual and use that time to relax in bed. No phones, no distractions. Just tune inward and pay attention to how your body feels. Notice how busy your mind is. Take some deep breaths and start the day," she says.
You need to properly hydrate if you want to get back in shape. She suggests starting the day by filling up a water bottle with 64 ounces or more of water and drinking it throughout the day. "Try to finish it before you come home and then fill it up again. Drink whatever you can until around 8 p.m.," she says.
Make one small commitment for the day and stick to it, "no matter what," says Dr. Harte. "Maybe it's a promise not to skip breakfast, to move your body for 5 minutes, or to rest more," she says. "The only way to silence the inner critic is to stop letting yourself down. We must learn to show up for ourselves a little bit at a time."
Schedule time for yourself, suggests Dr. Harte. "When you look at the week ahead and see the doctor's appointment, the kid's baseball practice, and the work meeting, plug yourself in there too. Even if it's 5 minutes, block out the time to do something that brings you JOY. Dance, sing, journal, or call a friend. This time is yours and it matters, so enjoy it," she says.
At the end of the day, make a list of two things you're powerless over, two things you're grateful for, and two things you did well, Dr. Harte suggests. "If it helps, find an accountability buddy who you can send it to and who can send you one in return. It's a great way to bookend your day and strike a balance between what you did well and what you could do better."