How Do You Get Fit If You Are Very Unfit? A Guide To Sustainable Fitness

How do you get fit if I am very unfit? It’s a question that many of us ask ourselves when we find ourselves feeling out of shape and lacking fitness.

The good news is that there is always a way to turn things around and improve our fitness level, no matter our starting point. In this article, I will guide you through the steps and strategies to get fit when you are very unfit.

Feeling out of shape can be discouraging, but it’s important to remember that we all start somewhere. By approaching our fitness journey with the right mindset and making consistent efforts, we can make significant progress and achieve our goals.

In this article, I will provide you with practical guidance and actionable tips to help you get on the path to fitness.

Let’s begin by understanding the symptoms of being out of shape. By recognizing these signs, we can gain insight into our current fitness level and identify areas that need improvement.

Next, we will discuss how to start exercising when we are overweight and out of shape. It’s essential to find exercises that are safe, effective, and enjoyable for our current fitness level. I will provide you with practical advice on selecting the best exercises for beginners.

Additionally, we will address the common concern of how long it takes to go from unfit to fit. While the journey may vary for each individual, I will provide you with insights and tips on how to set realistic expectations and make progress at your own pace. We will also discuss the importance of proper nutrition and provide guidance on what to eat to support our fitness goals.

So, if you’re ready to take the first steps towards a fitter and healthier you, keep reading. By following the strategies and tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on your way to improving your fitness level and achieving a healthier lifestyle.

Remember, it’s never too late to start, and every small step counts towards your ultimate goal. Let’s embark on this journey together and transform our fitness, one day at a time.

How Long Does It Take To Go From Unfit To Fit?

How Do You Get Fit If You Are Very Unfit - Stefan bradley before and after

It’s important to understand that the timeline for going from unfit to fit varies from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Several factors come into play, such as your current fitness level, age, overall health, and commitment to a fitness routine.

However, with consistent effort and dedication, you can start experiencing positive changes in as little as a few weeks. Building fitness is a gradual process, so be patient with yourself and celebrate small milestones along the way. Remember, the key is to focus on progress, not perfection.

What Are The Symptoms Of Being Out Of Shape?

Being out of shape can manifest in various ways, and it’s important to recognize the symptoms to understand where you stand on the fitness spectrum. If you resonate with these symptoms, don’t worry.

It’s a starting point for acknowledging the areas you need to work on and improve. By identifying these signs, you can gain a better understanding of your current fitness level and the areas that require attention.

  • Shortness of breath during everyday activities is a common symptom of being out of shape. Even simple tasks like climbing stairs or walking short distances can leave you feeling breathless. This is a clear indication that your cardiovascular endurance is compromised and needs improvement.
  • Feeling fatigued or easily tired is another symptom of being out of shape. Lack of physical fitness can lead to a constant feeling of tiredness and low energy levels throughout the day. Regular exercise can help boost your energy levels, improve stamina, and reduce fatigue.
  • Difficulty performing physical tasks or experiencing muscle weakness is also common. Basic activities that require strength and endurance, such as lifting objects or carrying groceries, may become challenging. Strengthening exercises can help improve muscle tone, enhance overall strength, and make daily activities easier.
  • Poor posture and limited flexibility are additional symptoms of being out of shape. Weak muscles and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to poor posture and reduced flexibility, leading to discomfort and potential injury. Incorporating exercises that target posture and flexibility can help improve your overall body alignment and range of motion.
  • Increased body weight or excess body fat is a visible sign of being out of shape. Lack of regular exercise and unhealthy eating habits can result in weight gain or the accumulation of excess body fat. Implementing a balanced exercise routine along with a healthy diet can assist in managing body weight and reducing body fat.
  • Elevated resting heart rate is another indicator of poor cardiovascular fitness. A higher resting heart rate can indicate a lower level of cardiovascular health. Regular aerobic exercises, such as jogging, cycling, or swimming, can help lower your resting heart rate and improve overall cardiovascular fitness.
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol levels are potential health risks associated with being out of shape. Inactivity and poor fitness can contribute to increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can have negative impacts on heart health. Incorporating regular exercise and adopting a balanced diet can help manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

How To Start Exercising When You Are Overweight And Out Of Shape?

Starting an exercise routine when you are overweight and out of shape can feel daunting, but remember that every journey begins with a single step. Here are some tips to help you get started:

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Consult With A Healthcare Professional 

Before starting any exercise program, it’s essential to consult with your doctor, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns. They can provide guidance and ensure that you approach exercise safely.

Start Slow And Gradually Increase Intensity

Begin with low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling. These activities are gentle on the joints while still providing cardiovascular benefits. Start with shorter durations and gradually increase the intensity and duration as your fitness level improves.

Set Realistic Goals

Establish realistic and achievable fitness goals that align with your current abilities. It’s important to be patient with yourself and understand that progress takes time. Celebrate small victories along the way to stay motivated and inspired.

Incorporate Strength Training 

Strength training exercises are crucial for building muscle and increasing metabolism. Begin with bodyweight exercises or use resistance bands, gradually progressing to weights as you gain strength and confidence. Strength training not only helps you burn calories but also improves bone density and enhances overall functional fitness.

Find Activities You Enjoy 

Exercise should not feel like a chore. Choose activities that you genuinely enjoy, whether it’s dancing, hiking, yoga, or playing a sport. When you engage in activities you find fun and fulfilling, you’re more likely to stick with them in the long run.

Make It A Habit 

Consistency is key when it comes to getting fit. Make exercise a regular part of your daily routine, scheduling it at a time that works best for you. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with two or more days of strength training.

Stay Motivated With A Support System 

Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or a fitness community who can encourage and motivate you along your fitness journey. Having someone to share your successes, challenges, and progress with can make a significant difference in staying committed.

Listen To Your Body 

Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. If you experience pain or discomfort, it’s important to take a step back and modify your activities. Rest and recovery are just as crucial as exercise itself in allowing your body to adapt and grow stronger.

Practice Proper Nutrition 

Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. Fuel your body with a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Eating well will provide you with the energy and nutrients necessary to support your exercise routine and promote overall well-being.

Stay Hydrated 

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts to stay hydrated. Proper hydration helps maintain optimal bodily functions and supports exercise performance.

Monitor Your Progress 

Keep track of your progress by maintaining a workout journal or using fitness apps and wearable devices. Tracking your workouts, measurements, and achievements can provide a sense of accomplishment and help you identify areas of improvement.

Be Kind To Yourself 

Remember that fitness is a personal journey, and everyone progresses at their own pace. Avoid comparing yourself to others and focus on your own progress and growth. Embrace self-compassion and celebrate every step forward, no matter how small.

What Is The Best Exercise For Overweight Beginners?

The best exercise for overweight beginners is one that you enjoy and can sustain in the long term. However, some exercises are particularly beneficial for those starting their fitness journey:


Walking is a low-impact exercise that is accessible to most people. It helps improve cardiovascular health, burns calories, and boosts mood. Start with shorter walks and gradually increase your distance and pace.


Swimming is a full-body workout that is gentle on the joints. It provides resistance, builds strength, and helps improve flexibility. If you have access to a pool or a nearby body of water, consider incorporating swimming into your routine.


Cycling is a low-impact activity that can be done outdoors or on a stationary bike. It strengthens the lower body, improves cardiovascular fitness, and aids in weight loss. Start with shorter rides and gradually increase the duration and intensity.

Strength Training

Incorporating strength training exercises using bodyweight or resistance bands helps build muscle, increase metabolism, and improve body composition. Focus on compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and rows.

Remember to start slowly and gradually progress as your fitness level improves. Listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. Stay consistent, stay motivated, and celebrate your progress along the way.


Getting fit when you are very unfit requires patience, dedication, and a positive mindset. By starting slowly, setting realistic goals, and finding activities you enjoy, you can begin your journey to improved fitness and overall well-being. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health concerns.

As a next step, I encourage you to book a free fitness evaluation call with me. During this call, we can discuss your specific goals, and challenges, and develop a personalized plan to help you on your fitness journey. Take the first step towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. Your body will thank you for it.

Book your free fitness evaluation call today and embark on the path to a fitter and healthier you.