At the commencement of each year, millions of people join the journey towards losing weight and staying fit, but while many start the marathon, only a few often complete it. We all know that exercise offers endless benefits, and yet we find it so hard to get up in the morning, wear our gym clothes, and work out. What is it that fit runners have in them that keeps them motivated to hit the tracks? What do athletes do differently that most people don’t? Here are seven things that I have identified.
They Understand That Physical Fitness Starts in the Mind
Willpower, motivation, determination – what do these three have in common? They are all prerequisite to staying fit and healthy; they also all originate and dwell in the mind. While most people see fitness as a physical activity, fit people understand that physical fitness is a mental game. They don’t just hit the gym or the tracks without a game plan. They understand that if they are to be consistent with their workout routines, they first should develop a mindset of a winner. It takes willpower to get up very early in the morning to jog. It takes determination to stick to your routine week after week and month after month. All these originate in and are developed within the mind.
They Enjoy Being Active
For most people, staying fit seems to be a chore. While staying fit should be a personal responsibility, it shouldn’t be seen as an obligation, but one that should be enjoyed. Fit people understand this and choose to love and enjoy staying active. They understand that if they don’t put a conscious effort to love exercise, they will only last long enough before quitting.
They Stick to Their Workout Schedule
Fit people hold themselves accountable by setting fixed times to work out. They don’t have the mindset that most people have that exercise here and there. On the contrary, they make sure they set a specific time and date to work out. They understand that setting a schedule will help them build a routine, and eventually, a habit. They don’t have the words “lack of time” in their vocabulary, because they understand that unless they deliberately find time to exercise, they won’t get anywhere.
They Possess Self-Discipline and Grit
Two qualities fit people possess that most people don’t are self-discipline and grit. Self-discipline is the ability to overcome one’s feelings and to pursue one’s goals despite the temptations to abandon them. Grit, on the other hand, refers to strength of character and the will to work hard even though the reward seems to be far away. Together, grit and self-discipline help fit people meet their objectives of staying fit and healthy.
They Love Healthy Food
Another thing that separates fit people from unhealthy ones is their love for healthy food. Fit people prefer organic, whole food to processed food. They eat for nourishment and not for entertainment. They avoid food they believe are not necessary and would only harm their bodies. They don’t necessarily go through special diets, but simply make sure they make the right choices when it comes to food.
They Sleep and Get Out of Bed Early
Fit people understand the importance of getting enough sleep at night, and that lack of sleep can wreak havoc on their metabolism. They understand that getting quality sleep is essential if they are to have the energy they need to exercise the following day. Fit people are also aware that lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, poor judgment, and stress. For this reason, they see to it that they go to bed early and make sure they get quality sleep. At the same time, fit people get out of bed early. They know how important time is and how waking up early allows them more time to work out and become more productive throughout the day.
They Know How to Enjoy the Good Life
Finally, fit people know how to enjoy life. Contrary to what most people think, fit people are not boring people who spend most of their time inside the gym. Believe it or not, they also know how to party and are actually some of the craziest people on the planet. They also don’t care if they eat or drink too much occasionally. They understand that life without a little excess isn’t fun, and so they try to break their routine from time to time and try to reward themselves for a job well done.
Staying fit takes self-discipline, but you can’t expect yourself to possess these qualities overnight. What you can do instead is adapt one habit at a time. For instance, you can start tonight by getting to bed early, so that you can get up early tomorrow and find time to exercise. Once the routine has stuck and has become a part of your system, you can move on to adapting a second habit. Overtime, all these habits will also become second nature to you, and you will find working out and staying fit a lot easier.