Getting in shape and maintaining it long term is a struggle for many people. That’s because our lives are busier than ever and we’re constantly surrounded by temptation that can derail our health regimes. The truth is, getting fit and staying fit takes effort and consistency, but it can be enjoyable too.

Here are our top tips on how to keep yourself in shape and feel amazing for the long haul.

  1. Regular exercise

It’s a no brainer. If you want to get fit and stay fit, you need to set aside time to exercise. We’re not talking going for a stroll for coffee. We’re talking dedicated exercise that gets your heart rate up. There are many forms of exercise, so finding one you love and can stick to, shouldn’t be a problem. If you love working out with weights, go sign up at your local gym. Maybe you like classes or prefer to be outside and enjoy running. Perhaps you have little kids and working out from home is better for you. This is now much more possible with online personal trainers, workout DVD’s or even apps.

The key is, finding a couple of forms of exercise you enjoy and can consistency commit to.

  1. Increase your NEAT

Outside of your dedicated exercise time, increase your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Say what?? By simply moving more throughout the day, you’re burning calories. The more you move, the better in shape you’ll be.

Think riding your bike to work instead of going in the car. Taking the stairs instead of going in the lift. Gardening, cleaning or playing with your kids at the park are other great ways to increase your movement throughout the day.

  1. Eat wholefoods most of the time

Adhering to a restricted ‘diet’ to keep in shape isn’t going to be realistic long term. Not only is cutting out food groups, drastically limiting your calories or doing cleanses hard to stick to, it can also result in weight gain when you resume a ‘normal diet’.

For long term success, you want to learn how to develop healthy food habits and eat wholefoods most of the time. By wholefoods, we mean food that comes from the ground, the sea or on a plant. Avoid packaged and processed foods where possible. And don’t punish yourself for enjoying a treat every now and then.

  1. Be accountable to someone

Staying fit and remaining on track with your health goals requires determination and focus. But, as with any goal in life, without an accountability system, failures can occur more often and the motivation can fade.

Find someone you can be accountable to. Make sure it’s someone that will really help you stay on track. Not the friend that will reward you with an ice-cream when you finished a 5km fun run. Or the boss who encourages you to have a few glasses of champagne on a Friday night. Pick someone who will be on top of your progress and who you can turn to when you’re feeling low.

If you’ve managed to keep in shape and enjoy living a fit, healthy life, perhaps it’s time you could inspire others. Personal training is a great career for those who are passionate about maintaining fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.

Getting certified is relatively easy with reputable personal training courses in Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney or wherever it is you live. If you’ve found keeping in shape is something you’ve grown to love, think about the positive changes you could make in those people’s lives who are struggling to do so.