Fit people aren’t born, they’re made. They’re the hard bodies that get up early, hit the gym, work full time, and still have the energy to volunteer at the animal shelter and make Pinterest-worthy fruit cups for the PTA meeting. You see, millions of small, healthy choices can result in big healthy habits. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, and here are 3 habits that suck up time and keep many people from getting fit.
1. “I only work out when I feel like it.” You just got home from work. You feel sick, you didn’t get much sleep last night, you’re tired. If these excuses sound familiar, it’s time for your wake-up call. The more you do something, the more you’ll feel like doing it. It’s how you build a good habit instead of a bad one. If you think working out when you’re tired will only make you more tired, think again. In a study published in Psychology Bulletin, researchers found that over 90% of people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue and focus. In fact, the average impact of exercise on a person’s focus was comparative to stimulant medications, like those used to treat ADHD. If you keep missing your late afternoon workouts, try exercising earlier in the morning, before work or school. You’ll be amazed how much more focused you are. Try some of these tips to find the time to workout.
2. “Weekends don’t count.” If you’ve been good all week, working out and eating clean, doesn’t that make up for a few lazy days? News flash: Everything counts. Yes, a cheat day can help your overall program, but there are limits. Fitness should be incorporated into your everyday life. Yes, that means weekends, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend every sunny Saturday afternoon in the gym! It means that instead of relaxing by binge-watching Arrested Development on Netflix, go explore a new park, get a Groupon for a new kayaking place or take a bike tour of your neighborhood. Being fit and active will open up new weekend activities that you’ll end up loving, plus they’ll help keep you on track to your weekday fitness goals.
3. “My friends are couch potatoes.” Does the leader of your wolf pack plan most of your gatherings? Do you find yourself sitting for hours at the movies or restaurants, talking while eating cheesy apps and sugary drinks? Does everyone complain about packing on the pounds? Maybe it’s time to take the planning into your own hands and suggest active group activities, because if your friends are chubby, chances are you will be, too. In a study from the New England Journal of Medicine that followed people for 32 years, investigators found that people were more likely to become obese when a friend became obese–57% more likely to be exact! Now I’m not saying it’s time to get new friends. All it takes is one friend to suggest something new. Instead of going out for half-priced apps, go out and toss around a Frisbee. Join a fitness class with a friend, then teach your new moves to the rest of the group. This weekend, try some fitness dates with your friends. Friends that get fit together stay together!
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.