5 Steps to Get in Shape

So you've decided to get in shape. What does that mean? This five step evaluation is done by many professional trainers to help people establish where they are in terms of current fitness level and where they need to go.

Use this guide to help make a smart plan and reach your goals.

Step 1: Calculate your BMI

Body mass index (BMI) is used to classify a person into one of the following body weight categories: underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. This is an important first step because it helps you know your starting point. BMI Calculator.

Step 2: Calculate your Ideal Weight

The healthy weight calculator provides a healthy weight range based on your height and weight. Check out your ideal weight.

Step 3: Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage

This tool can determine whether or not you are in a healthy range based on your gender, weight and basic body measurements. See your Body Fat Percentage.

Step 4: Calculate How Many Calories You Should Consume

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns during a day from performing basic functions like breathing and pumping blood. Think of it as the calories you would burn if you sat on the couch all day.

Calculating this number helps you to target how many calories you should consume in one day to maintain your current weight, or how many calories you need to consume to begin weight maintenance. Find out how many calories you should consume daily.

Step 5: Calculate Your Target Heart Rate

Now that you've figured out your goals, make sure you are working out hard enough to reach them. Your heart rate is a constant monitor of your fitness level and exercise intensity.

Calculating your target heart rate can lead to a safer, more efficient workout by helping you exercise at the right pace to experience maximum benefits. Discover your target heart rate.


Dena Stern is the Content & Community Manager for Exercise.com. She works with a highly trained group of nutritionists, trainers, yoga and Pilates instructors and athletes to provide the best information, tools and motivation related to exercise and fitness.

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