How Long Does it Take to Get in Shape & What Factors Into That?

How Long Does it Take to Get in Shape & What Factors Into That?

If you have not been too happy with how you look and feel, you may be thinking about changing up your health routine, and have been planning to get in shape to feel better about yourself. If this is the case, then you may need some help with figuring out just how long it takes to feel the benefit of adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine so you can reach your goals.

It is essential to factor in things like age, fitness level, health, and even medication. This will be delved into further so that you can see what you can do to achieve this and how long it may take you to meet your set out goals. The health benefits of having a healthy lifestyle are vast, not only can it support physical health but it can provide mental benefits too.

Getting in Shape – How Long Does it Take?

No point sugar-coating it, first things first, the answer to the burning question in your mind – how long does it take to get in shape? Sorry to say that it is not a simple answer, it depends on quite a few factors as previously mentioned and how much time you dedicate to changing up your lifestyle and focusing on how to lose weight (if that is a goal) or just upping your physical activity (if you want to feel fitter).

There is no quick fix to getting into shape. Some advertisements may say that you can get in shape within 2 weeks with “quick and easy” diet plans and a targeted exercise routine to lose body fat and gain muscle mass. Whilst that seems to be a huge draw to many, it is not the fitness goal of everyone also – it’s not true.

Water Weight Loss

If you are losing weight within a short time period, then it may be attributed to water weight as the first week of your diet, according to the website Mens Health, up to 70% of the weight lost is water weight, it hasn’t tapped into the fat stores yet, and whilst you may feel less puffy and bloated, you are not in fact losing body fat.

This may be upsetting to hear but you need to know this if you are serious about getting fitter for your health. To get into shape you must see what goals you have and how you can factor that all into getting on the fitness ladder. There are no fitness miracles in the early stages, you need to focus and make a plan.

What Are Your Goals?

Everyone has goals, whether it is for their personal life or professionally. So, when it comes to changing your lifestyle, what is your goal? Do you want a lower percent body fat? Bring up your cardiovascular fitness? Make healthy diet choices? or maybe you want to train for a marathon? Whichever goal you are going for, you need to channel your activity into making that a reality.

The fitness benefits of getting into shape are insurmountable. It can breathe new life into you and help you with feeling better about yourself as well as potentially extending your life because of these new healthy habits.

Your fitness journey is yours and yours alone, so the path you walk down must be the one that you want, this will help you maintain focus and keep you to a routine.

What You Need To Factor In

The time it takes to get in shape will depend not only on your determination but personal factors that you have to deal with daily. There is no point in doing a high intensity interval training program if you are of an older age with heart issues. This will not be beneficial to you at all.

Dieting Properly

Having a poor diet of processed foods and high sugar content means that your body is not exactly thanking you. You can feel sluggish and your body weight is not going to be great, plus it can raise your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Even if you are not overweight, you can still have health issues due to the content of the food you consume.

If you are starting out with getting into shape, and you exercise regularly or see a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals, but you are not seeing any improvement with weight loss, then it may be to do with your current eating habits, and that you are consuming more calories than you are expending.

Regular exercise won’t make a dent if you are not eating healthy and are not taking into account what you are putting inside your body. If fat loss is an important part of changing your lifestyle, then incorporating a workout routine with a healthy diet will inch you closer to your goal, plus it can help you with gaining more energy from healthy food sources that provide you with the right nutrients and vitamins.

Fad diets

Diets are everywhere, we see them online, through social media, and in magazines. They can promise you that you will lose weight and get in shape with their easy-to-do exercises and meal plans. But as said before, they are simply not the way to go. Some of these diets can be incredibly bad for the body and have the potential to cause eating disorders in people and affect their mental health.

They are not sustainable and people may notice that they put the weight back on once they finish them. People who are trying to find a solution to the question – how long does it take to get in shape? May turn to these diets so they can try and speed up weight loss. It is crucial that people stay away from these and focus on doing it carefully and suited to them.

Healthy Diets

Healthy eating is the way to go, it will put less strain on your body and fuel it to keep you going throughout the day. Look at incorporating vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and healthy fats (unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated), into your daily eating schedule. If you feel like you need a snack, think about having a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.

It may seem hard to do at first but persistence and support will help you reach your goal. Plus a healthy diet with regular physical activity can provide even more fitness benefits that will do you wonders down the line.

Taking On Regular Exercise

If you want to get into shape, then you will need to think about what your current exercise level is and how you may be able to improve on that for your cardiovascular health. There are a few things you can do to bring up your current fitness level, and it will differ for everyone.

Resistance Training

So you want to undergo resistance training to support your muscular physique and potentially build on your muscle mass? You will want to look at what that entails and what the physical benefits are.

There are different forms of resistance training. You can do bodyweight resistance exercises, for example push-ups, squats, and chin-ups, which can help with building muscular endurance. You may also want to take a look at utilizing free weights that will require dumbbells and kettlebells. Weight machines are also part of training like this and they are great for when you are in the gym.

These are just some of the resistance training that you can do to not only help with your supporting your muscles but also for your cardiovascular fitness goals. Remember to lift weights safely when doing any form of strength training. If you are not used to any of the machines, ask for assistance from professionals, or get someone to spot you.

Cardiovascular Training

You may not find strength training to be in your wheelhouse, luckily there are other options such as cardiovascular fitness training. This list includes –

  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Dancing

These may be better suited to your body composition and be better for your fitness goals. With proper training, you will be able to do these exercises properly and get yourself to a moderate fitness level that will be advantageous to your body.

Just remember, if you are doing a hard intensity exercise and you are not paying attention, you could cause injury to yourself. Stop training as soon as you get hurt so you can minimize fitness losses, as the worse it is, the longer you won’t be able to work out which can affect your mental health if you rely on exercise to keep you motivated.


You may not be able to get a ripped body at 60, but you can definitely give yourself a healthier body by starting a workout routine and having a healthy diet. Your age will mean that different exercises will need to be done to support your lifestyle.

The older you are, the more important it is to go and see your doctor and talk about how you can get in good shape for your body. They will be able to measure your fitness level and see what can be adjusted.


If you are on medication, this will change things. Anything that affects your heart and muscles will have to be monitored by your doctor. They may send you to a physical therapist to help with getting you moving and working with your medication so you don’t over-exert yourself.

Potential Outcomes

You may be able to build on some lean muscle and it could even reduce some chronic pain that you may have by being more active. Plus, the mental benefits of being active and going outside can help if you live alone. Just remember to take someone with you.


Hopefully, this article has answered the question – how long does it take to get in shape? So you can factor that into your health regime. Everything takes time and it is important to not get discouraged if you do not see results straight away.

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