Thursday, January 17, 2013
Fit Tip: Seven Habits of Highly Fit People
You’ve heard it before: If you want to be successful, study the habits of the experts. To get in shape, pay attention to the routines of highly fit people like personal trainers. Many of their secrets are very straightforward habits that anyone could adapt into their own life.
1. Live by the 90/10 rule. 90 percent of the time, focus on maintaining healthy habits and allow indulgences only 10 percent of the time. It’s not what you do once in a while that counts; it’s what you do most often.
2. Aim for an hour a day but never miss more than two days in a row of exercise. Follow the two-day rule. Something may come up that makes you miss exercise on a particular day, but don’t let it happen more than two days in a row. Commit to never letting more than two days pass you by without exercise.
3. Find a substitute for weaknesses. With a simple Google search you can find healthier options for the most tempting treat. For example, if you love ice cream, try Greek yogurt with fresh berries and walnuts instead. Or if you love salty chips, try some homemade popcorn for a healthier substitute. It’s okay to enjoy temptations here and there, just not daily.
4. Use monitoring tools. Determine what monitoring tools you want to use to track steps taken, calories burned, heart rate zones and workouts. With all the different high-tech tools available in today’s market, it’s never been easier to keep track, pin-point strengths and weaknesses and monitor progress.
5. Cross train. Unless you are preparing for an upcoming competition or race, train for overall health and include cardio, strength and flexibility in your routine. Don’t get stuck in a rut of steady state cardio. Add in intervals, hills and speed to challenge the heart. Work muscles with functional strength training at least twice a week. Also consider taking a yoga class or make a habit of stretching.
6. Be prepared. It takes planning, but travel with healthy snacks and always have water on hand. Set the refrigerator up on Sundays for a week of healthy choices. Extreme hunger is the enemy of making bad choices and overeating so have healthy snacks like nuts, apples, carrots or homemade granola bars at the ready for when hunger strikes. Also, don’t go anywhere without water. You should be drinking it all day long.
7. Check your attitude. If thoughts are positive, actions are more likely to be positive too. Stop negative thoughts in their tracks and focus on small wins and progress.