Fitness doesn’t come from just working out at the gym a few nights each month. It comes from all the little habits you develop throughout the years. Some people seem to be able to eat whatever they want, never go to the gym and still look fabulous. Part of the reason may be that they did win the genetic lottery, but most of the reason is the habits they have developed throughout life. While they might “pig out” on chocolate cake and pasta with creamy sauce, they probably normally eat healthy with loads of fresh fruits and veggies. They may not go to the gym, but it doesn’t mean they’re not active. When you learn the habits that get you healthier, you can stay fit your entire life without any effort.
Move more every day.
Try this experiment for two weeks and see if you end up feeling more energetic when you’re finished. Add exercise to daily tasks. Do exercises while you’re brushing your teeth. It doesn’t take extra time to do a few squats as you brush. Wet your toothbrush, turn off the water, start brushing and do your first few squats. While you may leave the water running normally as you brush, turn it off after you use it and back on again when you need it. It adds some arm movement to the squats, but most of all, it saves water. When you’re working at your computer at home, switch out your chair for a big stability ball for a while.
Make it a habit to use the bike or walk as much as you can.
If you’re going to a friend’s house that’s relatively close, hop on the bike or walk there. Grocery shopping can be an opportunity to hop on the bike or walk a bit. Make sure you get a backpack or have a bicycle basket if you’re getting more than just a few items, especially if you’re not in shape. Of course, if you’re buying heavier items, like kitty litter or 50 pound bags of dog food, don’t be a hero, especially if you haven’t exercised for a while. Drive to the store, but don’t circle the lot to get closer, park immediately so you have a bit of a walk.
Create a menu of healthy eating for a week.
This can actually save you money. If you’re making steamed vegetables one day, use each of the veggies you bought in another dish throughout the week. How many of us have opted for frozen pizza or carryout because we weren’t sure what to make for supper? It’s more common than you think. You can even prepare all the meals on the weekend and freeze them, so all you have to do when you get home is pop them in the oven or microwave to heat.
- Healthy people have habits that keep them active. If you’re a couch potato and love a specific TV or Netflix show, make that program your reward for taking a 20 or 30 minute walk.
- Turn up the music and boogie your way through life. Healthy, active people are always moving more than the average person. Dance your way through house cleaning, the laundry or any other household task.
- Laugh and smile more. Studies show that people who smile more live longer. Laughter also burns extra calories. Smile while you’re working at the computer and laugh, even if there’s nothing funny. (I found that this is best done when you’re alone!)
- Experiment with healthy recipes. You’ll probably find loads of them that you’ll love and want to repeat, plus a few out there that just “taste healthy,” that you’ll never want to cook again. Try a new one every week and before you know it, you’ll have a whole stockpile of healthy dishes.