Being fit isn't an easy task. It really is a mental state. It's about changing aspects of your life for a healthier body and ultimately, a healthier future. Being fit isn't just about toned abs, running long distances and glowing skin, it's about how what you do to your inside effects your outside.
1. They eat their veggies (and fruits)
Vegetables are good for you. Yes, we know this. "Eat your peas" is one of our first lessons in life but our parents had a point. Vegetables are filling, fiber full, vitamin full, low calorie foods that are going to help keep you going. For example, brussel sprouts are packed with Vitamin C (great for your skin, helping to boost collagen) and Vitamin K (helps maintain bone density). I told you, inside and out!
2. It's a routine
It's not a diet. It's not a fad. It isn't something for two weeks or for bikini season. It's a way of life. People who are truly fit alter their lifestyles to fit in their workouts and always eat clean. It's very difficult but after a little while, it just becomes your life. I suggest that you give it a try for 30 days, see how different you feel, and then decide if it's a lifestyle worth keeping.
3. They drink their greens
I have always loved green juice but here's the thing: a lot of the fiber is removed. Fiber is important for your digestive system. So, when you remove the fiber from a fruit, you're left with mostly sugar. But when you remove it from your greens, like kale, you're left with drinkable vitamins. This is great for your body, skin, health, and your hanger (def: hunger that turns to anger)
4. Active is real in active rest day
Fit people are always on the move. Their life is about keeping their body healthy by keeping it moving. Make your social time, active time. Great ideas for this are hiking with friends, taking a bike ride around your town or city, walking with your dog, playing tennis with a friend, or even just going out dancing. All you have to do is keep your body moving.
5. 80/20 makes them happy
A few years back, The American Psychological Association, released a study that said willpower is a "limited resource". Essentially, we have a 100 dollars of willpower money and everything that takes willpower takes away from your bank. So, 10 dollars is taken away from saying no to your morning muffin, 5 dollars for taking your coffee black instead of light and sweet, 50 dollars for not checking Facebook during a 9 hour work day, 15 more dollars for putting that extra hour in your work day, 10 dollars for folding laundry instead of watching TV when you get home, 10 dollars for having a salad for dinner. Suddenly, you notice you pint of Ben & Jerry's hidden back in the freezer. But you have no willpower dollars left...what do you think is going to happen?
If you allow yourself indulgences not only will you be giving some of your willpower for the other annoyances of our lives but you won't feel guilty having the indulgence. Besides, the guilt cycle with food is a slippery slope.
6. All muscle groups get love
No muscle goes unnoticed. That's right. It's not just about the abs or the butt or the biceps. It's about knowing that everything in our body works together. While, I may personally dislike burpees, I know they are my friend. They are working my arms, my abs, my legs while providing cardio with one move. Something as simple as a squat and press, works three muscle groups.
7. Protein, protein, protein
I'm a vegetarian and I preach the power of protein. I don't care if you get it from red meat, lentils, or quinoa; you need protein. Yes, protein fuels your day and supports muscle growth, but it does a whole lot more besides that. Proteins are present in every single cell in our body, and serve as messengers between cells, help fuel the processes that keep our bodies working. You know the “enzymes” people rave about in raw green juices? Yup, those are proteins. You should try to eat at least 1 gram of protein for every 2 pounds of body weight each day, and more if you’re working out a lot.
8. Cardio is key
I hate the term "burning fat" because that's not what you’re doing when you exercise. You're burning calories, which causes your body to burn existing fat stores for more energy. There is no such thing as localized fat burn; cardio reduces fat everywhere. That lower abdominal pudge you’ve been wanting gone? Well, that's going to be mighty hard to get rid of without some cardio. Cardio also helps with a healthy heart, endurance, lower blood pressure, extended mobility, and a lot more. There are tons of fun ways to get cardio in your day. I'm not a runner but I do recommend some old school rap and a jump rope.
9. They know their superfood & digestive aids
Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Healthy people eat superfoods, such as Goji berries, kale, almonds and wild-caught salmon, all day every day. It doesn’t matter how you eat them, it just matters that you do, as the beneficial nutrients will keep your body functioning at peak levels.
Digestive aids like prebiotic and probiotics help keep your stomach's microbiome balanced, aiding in proper digestion of nutrients and keeping things moving (lol). There are many ways to get probiotics in your diet, such as capsules or Kefir (a probiotic yogurt drink), but my favorite is Kombucha!
10. No excuse, play like a champion
You're tired. You had a long flight. You have work. You have a sniffle. You feel sad. YOU WORK OUT. People committed to a fit lifestyle are just that, committed. That means that they wake up early for dates with the gym, they do their HIIT after a long flight, or they find that yoga class on their business trip. It's a ritual. It's a practice. It's a routine. It's a lifestyle. A lifestyle for a healthy, happier life.
P.S.- The women in these photos did happen to win the genetic lottery, but they also are committed to healthy lifestyles.