Sometimes the greatest way to get healthier and change your fitness levels is to copy those of inspiring and motivated people around you. Being a fitness pro isn't necessary; it's often the average person who used commitment and positivity to push towards achieving a fitness goal that completely changed his or her life. Thus, looking at habits of people who got fit and changed their lives can be just the dose of motivation that we need to propel ourselves forward and fight for greater fitness and wellbeing.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on creating SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based) goals that fit well in their schedules in order to develop healthy patterns that can be maintained long-term. Such examples include: setting in exercise appointments and training sessions, allowing for 15 minutes of meditation or yoga to unwind at night or boost alertness in the a.m., planning grocery store trips and meal prep during the week, and setting alarms to remind oneself to get ready for bedtime. By establishing a regular schedule that encompasses these healthy habits that promote fitness and wellness, you'll be more able to stick with the commitments and find success. Look for these 13 habits of people who got fit and made a momentous life change in order to improve wellbeing and happiness.
1. Sticking To Promises
People who stay committed to the promises they make for themselves are best able to achieve fitness success. Plus, following through on promises, especially those made for yourself, helps build self-trust and establishes a mind, body and soul commitment that can make you feel more connected to yourself and your goals. You owe yourself the chance to give something a shot and see whether you can flourish or not, so don't skimp on the amount of time and effort that goes with such desires.
2. Being Organized
Having a set schedule and being organized can help you feel more in control of your place in the world and better able to follow structure and patterns that can pertain to fitness regimens. When you treat your workouts as regular assignments, you're in a clearer mindset to not bail or give it a minimal effort. Think of exercise as a work appointment; you wouldn't cancel on work meetings without a valid reason!
3. Visualizing Achievement Of Your Goals
Studies show that visualization is a great motivation technique, as it can trigger the senses to make us feel close to our achievements and excited for how we might feel once we are deemed successful. Picture how you might feel if you stick with your fitness goals. Think about how you might feel about yourself, physically and emotionally, and plan for new activities that you had never considered doing before.
4. Gaining Support Via Social Media
While posting excessively on social media might create competitive energy or obsessive tendencies, posting a photo or status after a workout a few times each week could help you feel more confident and excited in your endeavors and gain a support network of people who are cheering you on. If you feel that people are watching and rooting for you, you're more inspired to remain motivated, and even inspire others.
5. Tracking Progress
Experts suggest that keeping a fitness diary, perhaps outlying daily workouts (time, intensity, reps, and other stats that might be beneficial for tracking and improving upon) and food intake (meals cooked versus meals out, or meals that included varied nutrients versus meals that didn't), could help you understand how your lifestyle habits affect your fitness outcomes. Plus, if you keep track of exercise stats, you'll know when you can increase in length, intensity or reps, and witness such progression over time.
6. Eating More Whole Foods
Exercise, without a healthy diet, cannot create long-lasting results; however, the duo can help you reap major benefits. People who got fit and changed their lives know that exercise isn't everything, and so they made sure to limit sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, high-fat and greasy foods, and unhealthy additives and sweeteners, in favor of whole foods, lean proteins and lots of fruits and vegetables.
7. Staying Hydrated
It sounds so simple; yet, we often forget to drink throughout the day. Water is one of the greatest ways to reduce bloating and inflammation, boost the metabolism, and promote healthy weight and hormonal balance, so when we are dehydrated, we are more likely to experience food cravings and excessive hunger, fatigue, muscle cramping and poorer sleep. Keep a bottle handy and re-fill every hour or so.
8. Looking To Role Models
People who got seriously fit and made a momentous life change weren't afraid to seek advice from mentors, trainers, experts and family and friends who may have gone through the same experiences. The best way to get fit is to learn from others who fit those characteristics and can offer sound advice. Let others in on your goals and see if they can help you achieve them and learn how to build upon those exercises moving forward.
9. Keeping Workouts Interesting
Doing the same run, yoga, or elliptical workout over and over can be boring and you might notice a plateau in exercise results, as the body gets accustomed to movement patterns and does not burn calories as effectively, if repeated over time. "Your body is very adaptive, so you should always be altering your workouts towards the direction of your goals," says Chris Aronsen, personal trainer and owner of Body Coach Personal Training in NYC, over email with Bustle. The body gets surprised by new moves and muscle activations that can keep the metabolism high and exercise results steady.
10. Doing High-Intensity Routines
Learning the difference between high intensity and low intensity workouts as relative to the body and its ability to maximize burn is so important, as it's more about the quality and intensity of the workout, rather than the quantity of minutes. Doing a shorter, but intense workout can keep the metabolism elevated for more hours post-workout, as opposed to a lower or more moderate workout that lasts for more minutes.
11. Shifting Perspectives
While an initial health and fitness goal might be centered around weight loss or short-term occasions, fit people who have changed their lives and developed sustainable patterns no longer think so simplistically, but instead view exercise as a part of their lifestyles and as something to boost their happiness, mental alertness, productivity, energy, and health. Think of exercise as something enjoyable. "Once it's a habit, you will do it automatically. Now add your interest and fun loving spirit and you are more likely to stick to it," says Aronsen.
12. Not Restricting Food
While it might be thought that eating fewer calories could make you healthier and more fit, it's actually quite the opposite. Eating too few calories will put your body into starvation mode and cause it store fat and function less effectively during workouts. Fit people eat balanced meals and fuel and recover pre/post workouts in order to build and repair muscle. Eat whole foods and lots of protein to keep your body healthy.
13. Lifting Weights
Cardio alone will not help you build muscle, and in fact, excess cardio can deplete muscle and lead to high levels of cortisol in the body, which can promote fat storage and weakened joints. To pair with cardio, strength train a couple times a week to tone muscle and raise your metabolism for hours post workout. Muscle burns more calories at rest, so having more muscle mass will lead to greater fitness levels.
When embarking upon a new fitness regimen, look to advice from experts and model after their healthy habits to stay motivated and get the greatest results. Looking for inspiration from others can positively influence our abilities to stay committed and feel more confident with progress. With great support and tips, there's nothing stopping you!
Images: Pexels (14); Bustle