The holidays are (finally) over, and if you’re like oh-so-many people around the world, you want to shed some of that splurge-induced weight. Or, perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions was to work toward a new, healthier you. Either way, you want to get in better shape.

Whether you want to build your muscles and get stronger or slim down and live healthier, here are some of the best ways to stay in shape.

Talk with your doctor

You hear it a lot, but we’re going to say it again - check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise routine. While you may never skip regular checkups, there’s always the chance that something has changed since your last one. You should always confirm with your doctor that you’re truly healthy enough to embark on this endeavor. This is especially true if you plan to add a new dietary supplement to your regimen.

Start slow

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is diving headfirst into an extreme diet or hardcore workout program. Not only can you suffer running injuries and other unwanted ailments, but trying to do too much too fast can lead to burnout and frustration. This can lead to you quitting before you really even get started.

Get yourself in the habit of working out. Start off with short runs, weight lifting, and more on a set schedule. Whether it’s every morning, twice a week, or every other day, don’t overdo it. As you adjust to this new lifestyle, gradually add to your routine.

Do passive cardio

Your heart is inarguably the most important organ in your body. If it isn’t in shape, the entire system can be affected. Your regular workout is great for cardio but there are a few things that you can throw into the mix of your everyday life that can help with heart health.

Walking is a great way to help keep the heart in shape. If you live close enough, walk to work or down the street to pick up a few things from a nearby store. Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs to get to your office or an appointment. While you may use a treadmill during every workout, making some changes to your daily life can quickly become routine and help take down belly fat

Eat nutritious foods

Sure, you take the right vitamins and strong antioxidants to improve fitness, but unless you’re eating healthy on a consistent basis, you’re doing your body a disservice.

Instead of reaching for that late-night cupcake, opt for some grapes, banana slices, and berries. You’ll still satisfy your craving for sweets but with natural sugars instead of refined ones. This is much healthier for you to do.

To ensure you eat right even when you're away from home, remember to pack your lunch. Stop eating fast food or vending machine sandwiches during your meal break at work. Prepare a salad, baked chicken, or your favorite heart-smart lunch, and forgo the processed foods that do much more harm than good.

The Bottom Line

Once you reach the pinnacle you’ve been striving for, don't stop. It takes continued work to keep it and stay in shape. To do so, you may want to consider implementing some of the tips mentioned above into your daily life. Whether getting and staying in shape is your goal or you’re already fit and want to make sure you’ll stay on the right track, keep the above in mind and you’ll increase your chances of success.