10 ways to get fit fast

Want to get fit quickly in 2020? Try these fail-safe ways

Exercise trainers
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Want to get fit for 2020, but don't know where to start? There are tons of ways you can get fit quickly, mostly at home and very cheaply, just by making a few basic changes. 

Really taking it seriously? Don't miss our buyer's guide to the best home gym equipment and check our guide to exercise at home to find the best work out regime for you. Otherwise, read on, make these small changes and get fit fast.

1. Ensure you're eating enough

While it can be easy to assume that drastically cutting calories is the easiest way to get fit – or lose weight – quickly, doing so will likely lead to short lived results. We'd recommend using the NHS calorie checker (opens in new tab) for expert advice on reducing your calorie intake, if this is something you'd like to learn more about, though it should by no means be considered essential. 

2. Eat healthily, regularly and after exercise

This will keep your body fuelled – just make good choices. We're not saying never eat processed foods, but simply swapping white bread for brown, processed meat for fresh chicken (etc) will make a big difference.

3. Try a PT session/an online tutorial/fitness video

If you've never exercised, are new to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or aren't sure if you're doing it right, it's really worth using a personal trainer once or twice, watching a YouTube tutorial or a fitness video to get yourself started and motivated. 

4. Build muscle with strength training

Doing this a couple of times a week with your body weight, resistance bands or weights makes it easy to dip in and out of. Look at doing two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise.

5. Embrace the trend for HIIT

Tried and tested for getting fit fast by the Realhomes.com team, HIIT increases calorie burning, even after you're finished your home exercise. It's good for burning abdominal fat; aerobic and anaerobic fitness; and a healthy heart. Simply put, it's intense aerobic exercise punctuated by periods of recovery (although don't take that to mean 'lying on the sofa').

6. Go for walks

Got a dog? Perfect. Not got a dog? Still perfect. It needn't be a purposeful walk around a park – although this is undoubtedly the best for your mental wellbeing, too – simply getting off the bus a stop or two early, walking to the shops instead of driving (and so on...) will do the trick. The ideal? A good, brisk, 20 minutes per day.

7. Stand up more at work

Sitting at a desk all day? Once an hour (set an alarm on your phone), make a point of standing up and moving about. Doing 10 star jumps and a few minutes of stretching is perfect but if that's awkward in the office, even just taking a walk around the office or climbing a few flights of stairs will make all the difference.

8. Stand up more at home

Class yourself as a couch potato and love nothing more than vegging out in front of the TV at night? Fine, do it. But every time there's an ad break, get up and do some exercise – sit ups, skipping, star jumps... whatever takes your fancy.

9. Swap to a vegan diet

Considering a plant-based diet? Why not check out our guide to how to be a vegan? It's not something you have to do every single day if you really can't commit, but swapping from fatty meat to low-fat plant alternatives at least two or three times a week will make a difference.

10. Take up yoga

We're big fans of yoga here at Realhomes.com. And whether you do yoga at home (try Yoga with Adriene (opens in new tab) if you're a beginner); in a church hall or (if you're lucky) at a local hot yoga studio (our personal favourite), you'll find you feel both better from the stretching and core work that you do – but also more relaxed and less stressed.

Lucy is Global Editor-in-Chief of Homes & Gardens having worked on numerous interiors and property titles. She was founding Editor of Channel 4’s 4Homes magazine, was Associate Editor at Ideal Home, before becoming Editor-in-Chief of Realhomes.com in 2018 then moving to Homes & Gardens in 2021. She has also written for Huffington Post, AOL, UKTV, MSN, House Beautiful, Good Homes, and many women’s titles. Find her writing about everything from buying and selling property, self build, DIY, design and consumer issues to gardening.