Don’t get discouraged at the thought of getting in shape for women, as it’s not as difficult as you might think! In fact, once you get in the habit of working out regularly you won't want to take a day off!
Examples of celebrities who have successfully lost weight and kept it off using diet and exercise include Janet Jackson, Oprah, Khloe Kardashian, Kirstie Alley, and Marie Osmond to name just a few.
What’s their trick?
They incorporate fitness and other healthy lifestyle habits into their daily routines and many of these women credit organized weight loss programs to their success!
Get in shape, burn fat, and get the tight, toned physique of your dreams with the Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X)!
It offers fat-burning workouts, nutritious weight loss meal plans, and motivational support needed to keep you on track and in shape for life.
Sign for our FREE Fit Mom 3-day weight-loss jump-start kit to get started!
The Role of Exercise in Weight Loss
Exercise plays a crucial role in effective weight loss when combined with a healthy diet.
A 2012 study published in the journal Obesity (1) found that dieting is more effective for weight loss than exercise, but diet PLUS exercise leads to the most dramatic weight and fat loss results!
Exercise helps you increase lean muscle mass, so your body can burn extra calories all throughout the day and maintain weight loss long term.
Muscle mass is the key to achieving the toned, aesthetically pleasing body many women desire.
At the Fit Mother Project, busy women everywhere are losing weight, getting tight and toned, and becoming healthier for life.
Why? Because FM30X workout plans are simple, don’t take up much of your time, and you can do them from the comfort of home as no gym membership is required!
10 Easy Ways to Get in Shape for Women
Getting in shape for women is simple when you take it one step at a time! Follow the easy strategies below so you can tone up quickly and get the body of your dreams.
#1 Schedule Daily Workouts on Your Calendar
Create a regular routine and make daily workouts part of it. Set 30-60 minutes aside each day for exercise and mark it on your calendar.
For example, your regular routine might include working out when you first wake up, when the kids go to school, on your lunch break, or in the evenings after work.
Everybody is different, so set aside time to work out based on what's best for you!
If you don't have 30 minutes to spare, 15-20 minutes of exercise daily is better than nothing.
#2 Make Workouts a Priority
Make working out a priority over everything else to get in shape and stay fit for life.
If your day is busy, find 15-30 minutes to get in a quick workout – even if it's while watching television with your family in the evening.
Save longer workouts for the days you have more free time.
#3 Take Baby Steps
If you haven’t worked out in a while, take baby steps. Begin by exercising just 10-15 minutes a day for the first week and work up to 20-30 minutes daily.
Another option is doing 2-3 10-minute bouts of exercise when you can fit them into the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life.
#4 Combine Aerobic with Strength Workouts
To get in shape for women, combine aerobic with strength workouts to achieve the best possible results.
Examples of aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercises include:
- Rollerblade skating
- Using an elliptical machine
- Stair climbing
- Jumping rope
- Jumping jacks
- High knees in place
Mix in some strength training workouts too, such as:
- Bodyweight exercises (pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, etc.)
- Weightlifting with dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or medicine balls
- Using resistance bands
There are several ways you can incorporate aerobic and strength workouts into your weekly routine.
A few ideas include:
- Split your workouts in half (do cardiovascular exercise during half of your workout and strength training during the other half).
- Alternate aerobic workouts with strength training workouts (every other day).
- Try circuit training – alternate strength exercises with aerobic exercises during your workout (every other exercise is aerobic) with little to no rest between sets.
Change up your workout routine regularly to exercise various muscle groups and achieve the most effective results!
#5 Set Daily Workout Goals
Write down workout goals in a journal and track your progress over time. Exercise should be part of each daily to-do list.
Even if you don’t always meet exercise goals, studies (2) show that goal setting leads to greater weight loss over a 12-month period vs. not setting goals in overweight adults.
A good exercise goal is getting 30-60 minutes of aerobic or resistance training in most days (if not every day) of the week.
Set weight and fat loss goals too!
Examples include losing 20 pounds, achieving a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25, or reducing your waist circumference to less than 35 inches (3) in diameter to reduce chronic disease risks.
#6 Train for a Competition
Training for a fun run, marathon, triathlon, walking race, bodybuilding or CrossFit competition is an excellent way to get in shape quickly and stay motivated to work out.
Your workout routine varies based on the type of competition you're training for.
Recruit a friend to exercise with you to make long sweat sessions more enjoyable.
#7 Join a Sports Team
Joining an adult sports team is an excellent way to get in shape for women, keep you active, and have fun with friends or family.
Try a city basketball, soccer, sand volleyball, tennis, or softball league to keep you motivated to stay active and in shape!
#8 Try an Active Hobby
If you have time for a hobby, choose one that keeps you moving!
Examples include kayaking, rollerblading, hiking, water skiing, cross country skiing, golfing (carry your clubs), dancing, or mountain biking.
Recruit your spouse, parents, children, or friends to join you!
#9 Work in Your Yard
Do chores in the yard on your days off from working out, or choose yard work in addition to workouts when you’re energized and motivated!
Outside chores help you burn a significant number of calories – as many as working out in some cases!
For example, you’ll expend 149 calories raking, 167 calories gardening, 172 calories weeding, 205 calories mowing the lawn with a push mower, and 223 calories shoveling snow for 30 minutes if you weigh 155 pounds.
If you weigh more than this you'll expend additional calories doing the same activity at the same intensity.
#10 Take Active Breaks Throughout the Day
Regardless of whether you stay at home with the kids or work at an office, take regular activity breaks throughout the day.
Doing so keeps your blood pumping, your heart healthy, and increases your daily calorie expenditure for weight and fat loss.
Take periodic breaks at work or when you’re at home to climb stairs, do squats or calf raises, or walk around – even if it’s just for 5 minutes at a time!
A Sample Workout Plan to Get in Shape for Women
Changing up your workout routine regularly is the key to successfully getting and staying in shape!
Below are sample beginner, intermediate-level, and advanced weekly workouts that get you results quickly.
We also have a great workout available on our Fit Mother Project YouTube channel, shown below.
Day #1 – Cardio and Strength Training
- 10-20 minutes of walking, swimming, using an elliptical machine, rowing, or cycling
- 3 sets of squats using your body weight as resistance
- 3 sets of lunges using your body weight as resistance
- 3 sets of modified pushups (on your knees)
- 5 minutes of crunches, planks, and lying leg raises
- 20-30 minutes of continuous cardiovascular exercise (jogging, swimming, using an elliptical machine, stair climbing, cycling, etc.)
- 4 sets of squats to press using dumbbells
- 4 sets of lunges with dumbbells
- 4 sets of regular pushups
- 5 minutes of bicycle crunches, shoulder touch planks, and lying leg raises
- 20-30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- 4-5 sets of squats to press using dumbbells
- 4-5 sets of lunges with dumbbells
- 4-5 sets of plyometrics pushups
- 4-5 sets of renegade rows
- 5 minutes of weighted sit-ups, plank jacks, and lying leg raises with a stability ball between your knees
HIIT alternates high-intensity cardio exercise bouts with low-intensity recovery periods to enhance calorie burning and help you get shredded.
Day #2 – Kickboxing
Beginner Kickboxing Workout: 20 minutes
Intermediate Kickboxing Workout: 25-35 minutes
Advanced Kickboxing Workout: 45-60 minutes
Day #3 – Circuit Training
*Complete each circuit training exercise for 30-60 seconds and immediately move on to the next exercise. Take short breaks between circuits as needed.
Warm-up: 3-5 minutes of a slow jog or jogging in place
Beginner Circuit Training Workout: 15-25 minutes, or one set of each circuit
Intermediate Circuit Training Workout: 25-35 minutes, or two sets of each circuit
Advanced Circuit Training Workout: 35-45 minutes, or three sets of each circuit
Circuit #1: rope jumping, kettlebell swings, and squat to press using dumbbells or a medicine ball
Circuit #2: jumping jacks, Russian twists with a medicine ball, and reverse lunges with biceps curls
Circuit #3: burpees, standing triceps extensions, and lying leg raises with dumbbell chest press
Circuit #4: squat jumps, mountain climbers, and deadlifts using dumbbells or a barbell
Cool-down: 3-5 minutes of walking or another low-intensity exercise plus stretching
Day #4 – Yoga, Rest, or Walking
Day #5 – Repeat Day #1 Workout
Day #6 – Repeat Day #2 OR Day #3 Workout
Day #7 – Yoga, Rest, or Walking
Dietary Considerations to Get in Shape For Women
A healthy diet is crucial when getting in shape for women is your goal. Eat the right foods before and after workouts to keep energy levels high and burn excess body fat.
Dietary habits to consider when you work out regularly for weight loss include:
- Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day
- Drink 12 cups of water (or other fluids) each day
- Consider weight loss protein shakes or bars in place of a meal or instead of sweet treats
- Fill half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables
- Fill a quarter of your plate with fiber-rich starches
- Get at least 25 grams of fiber from fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds
- Fill a quarter of each plate with very lean meats, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, or tofu
- Consume 2-3 servings of calcium-rich, low-fat dairy foods or plant milk
- Drink black coffee or unsweetened tea
Non-starchy vegetables to consider include asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, and leafy greens.
Corn, peas, beans, lentils, other legumes, sweet potatoes, and whole grains are starches that are rich in fiber.
Consider taking a fiber supplement if your doctor recommends it.
ELIMINATE the following foods to help you get and stay in shape and make workouts seem easier:
- Fried foods
- Fast foods
- Processed meats (hot dogs, deli meats, ham, bacon, etc.)
- High-fat cuts of red meat
- Baked goods
- Refined grains (white bread, white rice, etc.)
- Potato chips
- Other highly processed foods
If you prefer to keep alcohol in your diet, limit it to one drink per day at most.
Should I Join a Weight Loss Program for Women?
Joining a weight loss program specifically designed for women, such as the Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X), increases your chance of getting and staying in shape, eating right, and achieving your goal weight.
Why is this the case?
Because when you sign up you receive numerous daily fat-burning workouts, nutritious weight loss meal plans, healthy eating tips, recipes, and motivational support from health experts who keep you accountable for staying on track!
Try Fit Mother Project 30X for FREE by signing up for the FM30X 3-day weight-loss jump start kit!
You’ll receive a free weight loss workout, free fat-burning meal plan, free health coaching support, and private fit mom Facebook group access.
Give it a try to begin your journey toward a fitter, healthier life today!
Your new friend & health coach,
Erin Coleman, B.S. – Nutritional Science, Registered Dietician, Licenced Dietician
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.
She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as a Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.
Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife and a Mom to two beautiful children.
1. Effect of diet and exercise, alone or combined, on weight and body composition in overweight-to-obese post-menopausal women – doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.76
2. Setting targets leads to greater long‐term weight losses and ‘unrealistic’ targets increase the effect in a large community‐based commercial weight management group – doi: 10.1111/jhn.12390
3. Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk – National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.