Good fitness and good health are related in several ways. For example, a good condition helps to reduce the risk of diseases and injuries. But even during illness it can be important to maintain your condition as well as possible, in order to recover faster or to be able to deal with it more easily.
A good condition is also very important for the elderly. That is not always talked about anymore. In fact, you should definitely continue to work on your fitness after the age of fifty. Fortunately, we even receive reactions from eighty-year-olds on our site, who still get plenty of inspiration here to live a healthy life and exercise. We always like to read that. Because our parents, who are approaching 80 or already 80, are still very much alive. They have a busy life, live completely independently, do voluntary work, play sports, do their shopping by bicycle, and so on.
Anyway, we also know enough people, young and old, who sigh that they have no condition at all. And we also sometimes have a period when we have less movement. Then you notice how quickly your condition deteriorates.
That is why we give a number of tips below on how to quickly improve your condition. You may think that improving your fitness is only a matter of exercising a lot. That is not true. Below we also explain what a good condition actually means.
What is good fitness?
It is said about condition that it is the state of your body. Or your state of health. We think that doesn’t quite cover the load. With some diseases and conditions you can still be in good shape.
Stamina might be better, but not quite right either. For example, you can have excellent stamina to walk 15 km, but if you go swimming, cycling or fitness, your condition can still be quite disappointing.
Let’s say fitness is the degree to which you feel fit. Still somewhat general, but it covers more the load.
How can you measure your fitness?
Now the previous descriptions are rather vague, but fortunately your condition is also measurable. That’s clearer. Condition is indicated by VO2max. The VO2max indicates the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during exercise. During this examination, heart, lungs, blood circulation and muscles are tested in terms of fitness. The higher the VO2max, the better your condition!
A really good VO2max test is done on a treadmill by a professional. However, you can also get an indication via a smartwatch. We will explain that in a subsequent article.
In this article we tell you how you can quickly improve your condition. For example, because you don’t feel fit or for a specific reason:
- you have registered for a sporting challenge
- you want to go on a cycling holiday
- you need to have surgery soon
- you have received the advice of your doctor or general practitioner
- you want to lose weight
And so forth. Actually, everything is a good reason to work on your condition, because a good condition is important for your health. It also means more than just moving more!
Can you quickly improve your fitness?
Yes and no. Really building a sustainable, healthy condition is actually a permanent thing. If you want to achieve something quickly and you stop quickly afterwards, you will be back to square one very quickly. Nevertheless, you can clearly have a greatly improved condition in two weeks with the tips below. After two weeks of applying all the tips, you will already feel a lot fitter. After that it is much easier to persevere and further improve your condition!
15 tips to quickly improve your fitness:
1 Physical activity every day
Plan a different physical activity every day in your agenda. At the weekend, put the bicycles on the back of the car (or on top of your car: see here for the various bicycle carrier options for your car) and go cycling in a different environment. Of course you can also go for a walk. During the week, for example, go to the gym, go for a swim, do a team sport, dance, garden, and so on. Don’t take the elevator, take the stairs. Do as much as possible by bike or on foot.
Find someone to join you
It helps enormously if you have a ‘buddy’ with the same goal. You can support and encourage each other.
3 Drink plenty of water
Easy to do in between. Drink about four glasses of water in the morning and afternoon. Essential for good condition, because it improves your blood flow, among other things.
4 Do HIIT
Studies also show that HIIT is very effective for quickly improving your condition: high-intensity interval training. During this training, for example, you will move for about 20 minutes. You alternate a high intensity with a low intensity. For example, move quickly for 2 minutes and then move slowly for 1 minute. You can keep that up for 20 minutes.
5. Choose regularity
Do a number of exercises or activities at fixed times that help you with your condition. For example, immediately after getting up, take a brisk walk or run for 20 minutes. Or a short workout on the spot after dinner. Yoga also has exercises that help to improve your condition. If you get your body used to more exercise and also choose a number of fixed moments for this, it will become more and more automatic and your body will also ask for it.
6. Also get enough rest
Improving your fitness quickly doesn’t mean you have to exaggerate. You are going to build it up slowly, although you can challenge yourself a bit. But then also give your body time to recover. Otherwise you will achieve the exact opposite and you will not improve your condition, but you will become overloaded.
7. Sleep well
In addition to rest in between, it is very important to sleep well at night. So 7 to 8.5 hours in a row, depending on what you need. It is of course also very logical that you feel fitter when you sleep well.
8. Avoid sugar
Sugar ensures that you get tired after a short-term peak. Sugar also makes you need more sugar. And we mainly mean sugary products such as cookies, candy and so on. White bread, white rice and white pasta also have a similar effect. Sugar works against a better condition.
9. Lots of vegetables
You build up fitness faster if, in addition to the tips mentioned above, you ensure that you eat at least 400 grams of vegetables a day. You can do that as a smoothie, but also just eat vegetables. You could eat carrots and cucumber as snacks.
If you move and exercise much more, you need enough protein. This is to allow your muscles to recover faster. Despite the fact that it is often written that we get enough protein every day, in most cases that is not the case at all. You have to eat quite a lot of protein-rich products to get enough protein. Many gyms therefore recommend that you consciously eat something high in protein during every meal. Think, for example, of cottage cheese or yogurt, an egg, chicken meat, legumes or nuts. Also read our article: Which vegetables contain a lot of protein?
11. Focus on your goal
Perhaps the desire to get more in shape is fueled by a special reason. We have already mentioned some of them above. It may also stem from the desire to live a healthier life. Anyway, clarify Why you want this. And keep thinking about that. What do you need for yourself to keep reminding yourself of the goal? Is it already in your head and are you determined, or could you use some reminders? Do what you need!
12. Persevere when things go wrong for a day
There always comes a time when you seem to be back at square one. It doesn’t flow that day. You don’t feel fit at all (and you’re not sick). Accept that this is happening. It’s okay, tomorrow everything will be different again. No one feels exactly the same every day. Pick yourself up and continue with these tips, even if nothing seems to help on this day. Tomorrow you will feel much better. Especially since you persevered!
13. Alternate strength and cardio training
By that I mean that you should alternate walking, cycling, swimming, running, tennis, etc. with a few strength training sessions per week. Exercise with some weights. Put your bike on a stand with more resistance. Push yourself up a few times. There are plenty of tips for everyone, such as these 3 intensive strength exercises without equipment.
14. Build it up
Let’s see if you’ve read all the tips carefully 😉 Because you must have missed this tip: of course you have to build up. You can’t immediately walk 15 km if you hardly ever walk. Go a little further each time, or make it a little harder for yourself. If you start with walking 2 km, you will walk 2.5 km after 2 days. And the week after that you are at 3 km. It’s going to get easier and easier. This way you build everything up quietly. Also with cycling, swimming and strength training. Depending, of course, on what kinds of exercise you can do to improve your fitness.
Make it a party. What do you need to make it fun? Do you see it as a game where you keep leveling up? Do you enjoy listening to a podcast while exercising? Or are you someone who does well on a reward? Then come up with a number of realistic rewards for yourself that do not harm the built-up condition, but do make you feel good. Do you notice the changes in your body? Be proud of yourself!
Together with Vanessa I am the owner of this website Good food Healthy living. I myself struggled with my health and weight for a while and I was looking for more information. Actually, this website started as a great search for what could be right for me. How could I feel healthier and fitter? I’ve been reading a lot about this. Vanessa already knew a lot about nutrition and often told me about it. We thought it was fun to share, that’s why we started this blog. This website is our passion. All information is supplementary, not a replacement for regular medicine!