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Four-Week Plan to Get in Shape

by
author image Ryan Biddulph
Based in New Jersey, Ryan Biddulph has been writing since 2010, with his articles appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM, among others. He has helped clients reach their personal fitness goals since 2001. He also runs an Internet marketing blog. He holds a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from Kean University and a certificate in Web development from the Cittone Institute.
Four-Week Plan to Get in Shape
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Getting in shape within four weeks is possible if you fully commit to increasing physical activity and improving your diet. Whether you want a beach body or simply to feel better, watching what you eat and increasing physical activity help you burn more calories, lose weight and improve your appearance. To whip yourself into shape quickly, focus on the benefits of increased physical activity. Consult a doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Benefits

The American Council on Exercise notes exercising regularly can help you lose weight, reduces the likelihood of lower back injury and improves posture and strength. Engaging in physical activity can also improve your cardiovascular health and mood. Following a balanced, nutritious diet aids weight loss and reduces the incidence of disease.

Resistance Training

Work out your major muscle groups by using free weights, calisthenics or machines. Integrate resistance training into your four-week plan by performing exercises like squats, bench presses and dead lifts for a full-body workout. Do eight repetitions with a light or moderate weight, adding more repetitions until you can do 12 reps with the proper form. In addition to increasing your overall strength, resistance training can increase your bones' strength and density and promotes weight loss.

Aerobic Activity

Keep your pace comfortable, exercising at a steady intensity to receive the greatest benefit while shaping up. If you can't hold a normal conversation during your exercise sessions, you might be overdoing it. Run or jog for 30 minutes per session, five days each week to shed weight. You can also jump rope or dance to reach your aerobic requirements. Add five minutes to your workout sessions during each week of the four-week plan to accelerate weight loss.

Diet

The Centers for Disease Control notes losing weight at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds weekly helps you maintain a healthy weight. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to receive critical vitamins and minerals, cut back on calories and bump up your fiber intake. Take in healthy fats like flax seed oil to increase hearth health and eat lean proteins like salmon to feed your muscles’ amino acids. To increase weight loss, cut back on starchy carbs like bread and increase fruit and vegetable -- which have fewer calories -- consumption near the end of your four-week plan.

Tips

Avoid fad diets that promise quick and easy weight loss or focus on just one food group. A large amount of weight lost quickly is typically water weight, not fat. Diets concentrating on one food group are nutritionally incomplete, depriving you of vitamins and minerals that help you power through your workouts. Consult a doctor before starting any new exercise program.

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