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Staying fit is a great way to improve your mood and overall health. Many people struggle with staying fit over time, but the benefits of fitness definitely outweigh the costs. With some commitment and motivation, you can maintain your physical fitness for years to come!
Start your fitness plan by creating a daily walking, jogging, or cycling schedule to keep your heart and lungs active through exercise every day of the week. If you’re just starting to get fit, feel free to take things as slow as you need to and build up your abilities over time. When you're ready, start practicing strength and flexibility exercises at home by doing push-ups, sit-ups, or yoga. If you find yourself getting bored with your routine, sign up for a class at the gym or join a sports team.
There are a lot of benefits to staying physically fit. You'll have more energy, you'll look great, and you'll notice improvements in your overall health. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to stay in great shape. However, if you focus on nutrition and exercise, you can make a lot of healthy physical changes. Don't forget that a positive attitude is also really important to staying fit and beautifully healthy.
Find the time Exercise is one of the most important aspects in staying (or becoming) fit and healthy. Experts recommend that you should aim to be active for at least 30 minutes per day. Try scheduling your exercise the same way that you schedule other appointments and commitments. You'll be more likely to stick to it if it's on the calendar.
If you are trying to tone-up or lose weight, you might need to exercise more than thirty minutes per day. If you belong to a gym, ask to have a consultation with a personal trainer. They can help you plan a regimen for your specific goals.
Exercise in increments. If you are finding it difficult to block out 30 or 60 minutes of your day for exercise, try getting your movement in smaller chunks of time. For example, walk to work, take a walk at lunch, and walk home.
Make it a habit You will see the most benefits from exercise if you do it regularly. One good way to make a habit stick is to pick a form of exercise that you enjoy. For example, if you like swimming, make it a point to swim laps twice a week.
Make it easy to stick to your routine. Try setting out your workout clothes and your gym bag the night before. That way, you're all set to head out the door in the morning.
Utilize technology. Try a gadget to help you track your movements, such as a fitbit. There are even free apps on your phone that you can set to remind you to get up and move once an hour.
Don't give up. It typically takes between 20 and 30 days to make a habit stick. Keep exercising, and eventually it will become a natural part of your day.
Go outdoors There are definitely some perks to working out at a gym--air conditioning and televisions are a few. But scientists report that exercising outdoors, at least part of the time, can have major benefits. The varied terrain of a road, sidewalk, or trail challenges your body in ways that the monotony of a treadmill or elliptical trainer can't do.
Exercising outside can also have positive benefits for your mental health. In studies, people who walked both outside and inside reported enjoying the activity much more when completed outside.
Utilize your local parks. Many parks will have great areas for running or walking. If you like sports, you can also make use of the tennis courts or basketball courts.
Be social If you involve other people in your exercise routine, you'll see a positive impact in your results. Finding a workout buddy can help with accountability. If you schedule an activity with a friend, you are less likely to cancel than if you were only cancelling on yourself.
Group exercise classes also offer benefits. In classes, instructors can offer encouraging words. They can also motivate you and correct your form to make sure that you are doing each move safely and effectively.
Working out is a great way to meet new people. Try joining a running club or a tennis league. You'll make friends with similar interests and stay in great shape.
Vary your routine. It's great when you find an exercise that you enjoy. And there's no reason to give up something you love, like yoga or swimming. However, it can be beneficial to vary your exercise routine. Your body will respond positively to new challenges and you'll see greater results when you switch things up.
Your body will get used to a regular routine and will eventually start to spend less energy when you exercise. That means you'll burn fewer calories and might notice a plateau in your fitness goals.
Try doing a mix of strength training and cardio. For example, try running for two minutes, then stopping to do some core exercises, such as a plank or crunches. You can switch up the order of your exercises and add new ones to your routine.
If you prefer to work out indoors, try using cardio equipment like a treadmill. You can visit a gym or purchase your own. You may even be able to find used equipment to purchase.
Try changing your routine every two to four weeks to start seeing some faster results.
Cook. Eating right has a lot of benefits. It will help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your skin, and give you more energy. One of the best ways to eat a healthy diet is to cook your own food. Reports show that people who cook their own meals consume lower levels of sugar and fats. Cooking with fresh foods also helps you to eat fewer processed foods, which typically have high sodium levels.
Make cooking fun. Recruit family members to get involved, so that it feels like less of a chore. Give each family member a day of the week to request a certain meal and find a new recipe to try out.
Being organized can help make cooking seem easier. Try planning your meals in advance. This will limit the trips you have to make to the grocery store, and will also help you stay on track with your fitness goals if you plan healthy weekly menus.
Get the right nutrients. When you're cooking your yourself, you can fully control the ingredients you use. This will help you make sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs. Eating well can help control your weight, and it can also give you the energy you need to exercise regularly.
Try to eat a diet that includes several servings a day of fresh fruits and vegetables. These are packed with vitamins and fiber.
Eat lean meats and fish. These will provide you with protein and also gives your body healthy fats.
Make your plate colorful. The more color on your plate, the more fruits and vegetables you are likely eating. Try for leafy greens, like kale, and vibrant orange tones, like those in sweet potatoes and carrots.
Talk to your doctor. You can plan a general, healthy diet for yourself. But if you have any special concerns about your weight or overall health, it's a great idea to consult your doctor. She can help you figure out the foods that will help you meet your fitness goals, whether it is maintaining your current fitness levels or losing weight.
Your doctor can also help you figure out which foods to avoid. For example, if you suffer from high blood pressure, your doctor will likely recommend a reduced sodium diet.
Ask your doctor before taking any weight loss supplements. While diet pills can be effective when used safely, it's best to check with your doctor about whether or not they are right for you.
Ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian. They can help you review your diet and plan meals to lose weight or maintain an already healthy lifestyle.
Read labels. Pay attention to the nutrition labels on the foods that you buy. The information listed here can help you make healthy choices about what to put in your body. When reading labels, pay specific attention to the amounts of sugar, fat, and calories that are listed. You can see how much of the recommended daily allowance of sugar, for example, you should aim for.
Pay attention to serving size. For example, if you want to have a bag of chips, read the package to see if the information tells you the calorie count for the whole bag. Sometimes, a third of the bag is considered a full serving.
If you have hypertension, you may need to watch your salt intake. Make sure to read how much salt/sodium is in each product to make sure that you do not consume more than 1,500 mg a day. Canned foods and pre-prepared meals are often full of sodium.
There are multiple different names for most ingredients. For example, sugar has at least 61 different names, including sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and rice syrup. If you are trying to avoid a particular ingredient, make sure that you can recognize all of its different names.
Build a positive body image. Mental health is an important part of feeling fit and beautifully healthy. It can be hard to have a positive body image when we are inundated with pictures of very thin actresses and models. But there are ways you can learn to feel good about yourself, no matter your shape. A positive body image will help you stay motivated to eat healthy and work out.
Find something you like about your looks and make that your focus. For example, if you have been running a lot lately, compliment yourself on how strong your legs are looking.
Avoid negativity. Try not to criticize yourself. It's fine to want to make changes, but try to give yourself encouragement, rather than tearing yourself down. For example, instead of feeling bad about eating a bag of cookies, say to yourself, "I guess now I have extra motivation to do 20 extra sit-ups tomorrow!"
Focus on how you feel. Body image is all about how you feel about how you look. So try to focus on positive feelings. Focus on the good things your body does for you, like give you the energy to play with your dog. When you feel healthy, you will also feel more fit and beautiful.
Don't worry about the numbers on the scale. Instead, focus on how strong you feel and how your clothes fit. Base your personal fitness assessment on your energy levels and overall health, not on your weight.
Don't compare yourself to others. It can be tempting to judge yourself based on how other people look. But experts say that comparing yourself to others can be damaging. For instance, it can lower your sense of self-worth. That can lead to lower self-esteem, and lower energy levels.
Make your own goals. Trying to look like someone else isn't going to help you achieve your goals. Instead, assess your fitness level by noting if you've made improvements and if you can see and feel a difference in your body.
Think about your body frame size. Everyone is different. Some people have small frames, while others have a large frame. Yours might be medium. You can figure out your frame size by measuring the circumference of your wrist and consulting a height chart. Remember, if you have a large frame, you will have different weight goals than someone who is naturally smaller.
Try keeping a daily journal, where you record positive statements about yourself. You can use this journal to track your exercise and diet, or you can just write down happy, self-affirming thoughts to keep you motivated.
They don’t diet.
Have you ever known someone in really great shape who was constantly trying out every new fad diet?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Because for the most part, fit people don’t diet—they make healthy eating a part of their lifestyle.
While I recommend sticking to an 80/20 nutrition plan, ultimately, the key to staying fit and eating healthy is learning to listen to your body. What makes you feel good? What keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the day? What helps you kick ass during your workouts? What keeps you feeling and looking fit?
If you learn to answer these questions for yourself, you’ll soon be on the road to embracing healthy eating as a lifestyle, not following every new diet that comes along.
They find a way to enjoy exercise.
If you’re one of those people who absolutely dreads every minute of your approaching treadmill workout, and hate it even more once you’re there, it’s time to find a different approach to exercise.
Because more often than not, fit people find a way to actually enjoy—and even look forward to—their workouts.
And while that may not always mean they’re excited to lace up their sneakers and go for a run on a rainy day, it does mean that they like the feeling of being fit and value that more than their desire to sit on the couch.
If you really hate to exercise, the problem may be with your workout, not you. Everyone enjoys different things—I used to hate working out when running was all I did, but ever since I discovered HIIT, I can hardly go a day without working out.
So find something you like—whether it’s HIIT, sports, boot camps, CrossFit, or something else entirely—and start looking forward to your workouts, not dreading them.
They prioritize their health and fitness.
While most people let work, family, social engagements and other priorities get in the way of exercise, really fit people make exercise a priority no matter what.
Yes, this may mean having to get up 15 minutes earlier when you’d rather be sleeping, working out on vacation, or fitting in a workout even when your life seems busier than you can handle. But once you build up the habit, it actually becomes harder to not exercise because you become so used to prioritizing it in your life.
They don’t eat perfect 100% of the time.
Sure, there’s that rare person with 5% body fat that refuses even a single bite of chocolate and seems to be ok with it. But most of us need to cheat a little in order to keep our sanity.
Giving yourself a cheat meal or day every once in a while ensures you don’t feel bitter about your healthy diet and go crazy and binge on all the things you’re missing out on.
So don’t feel guilty if you enjoy a cookie, some dark chocolate or your favorite treat once in a while—just don’t let it become too frequent of a habit or you’ll end up losing all that hard work you put in during your workouts.
They get a lot of sleep.
If you still think being fit is only about how often you work out, you need to think again. Because one of the top things fit people do to stay healthy and fit isn’t exercise based at all—it’s sleep.
Not only does sleep give you the energy you need to work out on a regular basis, it also helps regulate your metabolism, repair your muscles, boost your athletic performance and more.
Aim for at least 7-8 hours each night, and you’ll be a healthier, fitter and a happier person overall.
They hang around other fit people.
You know that saying, “you are what you eat?” Well, you are who you eat with (and socialize with) as well.
Think about it: if all your friends are constantly getting fast food and donuts for dessert, and always choosing sedentary activities like going to movies or sitting around for hours, what do you think you’re going to do? Probably eat junk and sit around all day too.
On the other hand, if your friends are into healthy cooking, or trying new restaurants with local, fresh ingredients, and want to go bike riding or organize a pick up game of soccer for fun, you’re most likely going to join in and be more active as a result.
This may be difficult at first if you have old friends with unhealthy habits, but you can try and encourage them to be healthy too with small adjustments to your usual activities—and you can always try and meet some new more active, healthy friends as well.
They stay active outside of the gym
While fit people always make it a priority to get in planned exercise on a regular basis, they don’t limit exercise solely to the gym (or home gym)—they do all they can do stay active outside of their workouts as well.
So how can you start incorporating this into your own life? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Walk wherever and whenever possible.
Pick active weekend activities like bike rides, hikes, or tennis.
Take the stairs. Always.
Choose active vacations. Hiking, kayaking, skiing, swimming, biking… there are so many possibilities!
Get up and move whenever you can. Sitting is bad for you. Move often.
And most of all, believe in yourself. You can do it. Now go get started.