You know that really fit person that doesn’t even seem to try to stay in shape?
The person who confesses to actually crave vegetables and looks forward to her daily workout, yet never seems to obsess about every calorie and eats dessert without even feeling guilty?
That person doesn’t just have really good genes. Whether knowing it or not, she has built up a set of habits over the years that allows her to stay in shape without putting in a lot of effort. And those habits can equal the difference between a really fit person—and a couch potato.
Here are 7 things really fit people do to stay in shape:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
“People who are fit are the same as anyone else. The only difference is their level of commitment.” – Boxing champion Laila Ali
4. 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.
5. 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.