7 Habits of Fit & Active People
Most of us know that physical activity is the key to disease prevention, weight management, stress reduction and a general sense of well-being. Here are 7 habits I adopted to support a healthy and active lifestyle.
1. Prioritize fitness – Everyone struggles with how to fit physical activity into their busy schedules. With 60-hour workweeks, business travel, running a household, or juggling school and work there is never enough time. Fit & active people prioritize their fitness, elevating it’s importance in their mind and in their life. The key to success is to put fitness at the top of the list.
2. Do something everyday – Whether it is a hour exercise class, 45 minutes in the weight room, 20 minutes of calisthenics, or a 10 minute walk around the block, fit & active people do something active everyday. Consistency helps develop new habits.
3. Vary activities – Following the same workout routine day after day can not only become boring and tiresome, but may result in overuse injuries and even diminishing fitness returns. Fit & active people focus on developing all components of physical fitness and making sure all the major muscle groups are included.
4. Set realistic goals – Goals are an essential part of behavioral change and progressing fitness levels. The wrong goal, one that is unrealistic to our current level of fitness, or level of commitment, can be defeating and unproductive. Fit & active people set goals that are realistic and achievable, while still pushing themselves to meet the next challenge.
5. Fuel up with healthy foods – Good nutrition is a priority for fit & active people. A well balanced diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates provides energy for all bodily systems to function optimally. Low quality foods do not provide adequate energy and promote the storage of fat.
6. Social network of active friends – working out with a partner or a group can create a supportive relationship for physical activity. Fit & active people look for social networks that provide a motivating and positive environment to keep physically active, meet challenges, and celebrate successes.
7. Adequate recovery – sleep is important to both our mental and physical wellbeing. Research has found a link between sleep deprivation and impaired cognition and obesity. Sleep in also important to exercise recovery. During sleep the rate of cell building is increased while the breakdown of cells is decreased. This means that muscle is repaired and becomes stronger during sleep. It is rumored that Paula Radcliffe, world record marathon runner and Olympic athlete, sleeps about 11 hours a day.
Karen Moreno, MA Candidacy Kinesiology/Exercise Physiology
BA Social Science/Education