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All Entries For habits of fit people

The Tough Daily Decision I Never Regret


Exercise is an important part of my life.  It makes me feel good, both physically and mentally.  When I know I’ve got a stressful day ahead, starting it with exercise makes me feel like I’ll get through it successfully.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. 
 
Because of my schedule, mornings are almost always when I need to work out.  If I don’t do it before my kids get up and the day gets going, I’m much less likely to do it- or, I stress about it all day, wondering if my husband will be home on time or the kids will take a nap so that I can exercise later on.  I stress out about enough silly things throughout the day that I don’t need to add squeezing in a workout to the list.  So most mornings (somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m.), you’ll find me exercising.  Even though it’s a habit and I’ve been doing it for a long time, the choice is never simple.  This is kind of how it usually goes:
Posted 3/6/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Jen Mueller : 67 comments   15,921 views
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9 Little Tricks that Make Working Out A Lot Easier


I am not a morning person, but a few times a week, I make myself a morning exerciser. It's the only way I'm guaranteed to fit in my runs. A couple weeks ago, I was too darn tired to wake up early to run, so I decided I'd do it during the workday instead. I packed up my gym bag with my running clothes, then scrambled around the hall closet looking for travel size toiletries and a towel; packed a change of clothes (going over my mental checklist of underwear, socks, deodorant, oh yeah and a hairbrush), and headed to the office with a mental plan to run and shower during lunchtime.
 
I realized that by the time I packed up all my stuff, I could have been well into my run—or even finished a short workout (since 10 or 15 minutes of exercise is always better than none). And even with the best intentions—and a supportive work environment that encourages exercise—I never found the time to sneak away to run (let alone shower afterward). Before I knew it, my day was over, and my plans to exercise were foiled.
 
I enjoy exercising and make it part of my daily life—yet even I have trouble getting to it all the time. So I can only imagine how much harder it is for someone who doesn't like it and isn't quite in the habit. The whole scenario got me thinking about all the little things I do that have a big impact on my ability to stick with my exercise plans.
Posted 9/7/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 81 comments   47,163 views
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Habits of Fit People: Listen to Your Body


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Listening to my body. It may seem counterintuitive to the "no pain, no gain" philosophy so that so many subscribe to, but listening to how you feel really makes a difference in your workouts. How?
Posted 5/13/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 107 comments   107,031 views
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Habits of Fit People: Work Out Like It's Your Job


For most of us, work is a reality of life. Whether you love your job or hate it, working for a living is something that you know you have to do, and probably don't have much trouble motivating yourself to show up to each day. Wake up, get ready, arrive on time, do a decent enough job to not get fired (maybe better!), rinse and repeat...day after day, week after week. As responsible adults, we make our careers a priority out of necessity. We work to make money, which helps us live the lives we desire. You can complain about it, think it's boring and wish you didn't have to do it, but ultimately, the rewards we get from working outweigh the "rewards" of not working (like sleeping in or having more free time).

So why do we treat other areas of our lives as so much less important? You can hate your job but still show up 40+ hours a week for decades. Even if you don't enjoy exercise, couldn't you muster enough motivation to spend 10 or 15 minutes a day on it? After all, the benefits of exercising—weight management, stress relief, stronger bones and muscles, a healthier heart, less depression, higher self-esteem, a sense of pride and accomplishment, a decreased risk for countless chronic and debilitating diseases—far outweigh the temporary "rewards" of skipping it (more couch time or a few extra minutes of sleep).

What would it look like if we all treated exercise like our jobs (or at least our second jobs)? Doing exactly that can help you make fitness part of your life once and for all.
Posted 4/15/2011  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 113 comments   29,316 views
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Habits of Fit People: Share Your Goals with Others


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: telling other people about my goals. This is a technique that I've used for years (and still use today) when I'm not feeling motivated to exercise. So how should you do it—and why does it make a difference?
Posted 2/4/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 36 comments   15,633 views
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Habits of Fit People: Put On Your Workout Clothes


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Getting dressed in my workout clothes This is especially helpful on the days when I am just not feeling motivated to work out.

I previously shared another similar tip: sleeping in your workout clothes. I still use that habit to this day—especially in the fall and winter months. But I don't always exercise in the morning, and if you don't either, well, that tip really isn't going to do much for you.

A couple nights a week, when I do not teach any fitness classes, I need to find the motivation to work out on my own after I leave the office. Trust me, it is not always easy. Like many of you, I don't always want to exercise, especially after a long day at work. Sometimes, even when I have the best intentions, I often get distracted with other things: planning dinner, tending to the dog, running a quick errand, talking on the phone. So to help me stick to my evening workouts, I have to keep my workout on my mind—and my body. All I do is take the first step: I put on my workout clothes. So does it really make a difference?
Posted 11/17/2010  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 78 comments   15,537 views
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Habits of Fit People: Surround Yourself with Active People


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: surrounding myself with other active people.

Maybe it sounds obvious, or maybe it sounds impossible, but either way, I believe that it really does matter. As much as we like to think of ourselves as unique individuals, able to make our own decisions, able to resist the influence of others, it turns out that we are actually very similar to our friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances. Whatever is the norm in your social group, usually becomes the norm for you, too.

This isn't just my opinion. Research supports the idea, too—that obesity is "contagious" and that when we eat with other people, their food choices affect us—how much we eat, what we eat, and how we feel about it. We are always making decisions based on other people's thoughts, actions and habits, which is why it's so important to surround yourself with people whose values and habits support your healthy lifestyle.
Posted 10/20/2010  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 89 comments   18,462 views
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Habits of Fit People: Turn Off the TV


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: turning off the TV.

Sounds simple enough, but most people I talk to aren't willing to give up the guilty pleasure of their favorite shows. I get it: TV is an ideal downtime, a mental and physical respite that we welcome at the end of a hard day's work. But besides freeing up boatloads of time that you didn't know you even had, there are plenty of other ways turning off the tube can help you get fitter and healthier.

Even for me, a person who enjoys exercise (most of the time anyway), exercising regularly and consistently is no small feat. It takes time, commitment, and organization. It involves making some tough choices, like waking up earlier than I'd like to or not following McDreamy and McSteamy's latest adventures (sad, I know). If staying fit were easy, we'd all be fit people. But in truth, the most common excuse we use for not exercising is lack of time. Where does all of our time go? We have jobs/school, social lives, and countless commitments, but many fit people maintain all of those same obligations and still make time for exercise. I have an idea for how they do it, because this technique works for me, too: They limit how much TV they watch.
Posted 9/1/2010  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 179 comments   25,189 views
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Habits of Fit People: Don't Make Exercise Excuses


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: not making exercise excuses.

The difference between fit people and unfit ones isn't a matter of intention—it's about consistency. We all have the best intentions to work out, but fit people will find a way to exercise no matter what life throws at them. They are committed to following their fitness plan day in and day out, even when long work hours, childcare, holidays, travel, and other unforeseen circumstances throw a wrench into their plans. They don't confuse "being busy" with being active. Fit people plan their workouts, maintain a backup plan, and even commit to a shorter workout if that's all that time allows. Put simply, they don't make exercise excuses. So how can you be more like them?
Posted 4/30/2010  7:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 139 comments   25,222 views
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Habits of Fit People: Set a Fun Fitness Goal


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Shooting for a fun fitness goal. So why does something like this matter?

Sure, exercise itself can be fun, especially when you really enjoy doing something so much that it doesn't even seem like a workout (for me, that's tennis). But to keep at it day after day, week after week, year after year…you see where I'm going here. Over time, what was once fun can seem monotonous and your motivation to exercise can drop faster than a skydiving elephant!

All of this changes when you set a fun fitness goal. I'm not talking about "exercise 5 times a week" either. Set a goal that inspires you to train so that you can reach it. This way, your desire to reach your fun fitness goal will motivate you to keep exercising consistently. So what kind of fitness goal is fun and motivating enough to help you stick with a workout routine?
Posted 12/4/2009  2:54:02 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 186 comments   28,656 views
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Habits of Fit People: Sleep in Your Workout Clothes


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Sleeping in my workout clothes. This is especially helpful this time of year, when it's darker and colder when I wake up to run in the morning.

I may not be a morning person, but I'm working on it. Two or three times a week, I like to run in the morning because I love getting it out of the way and having my evenings free. That's not so difficult in the spring or summer, when the sunlight wakes me up and the temperature is inviting. But during the fall and winter? Forget about it! Dark, dreary and cold mornings make want to stay in bed as long as possible. So to stick with my morning runs, I have to keep my workout on my mind—and my body—the night before. So does it really make a difference?
Posted 10/23/2009  10:44:13 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 413 comments   57,375 views
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Habits of Fit People: Leave Your Gear at the Gym


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Leaving my fitness gear in the gym locker room. I don't mean paying extra for a locker where you can stash your stuff overnight. I mean leaving it at the gym so that you have to return to get it—and therefore work out. So why does something like this matter?
Posted 8/26/2009  11:30:04 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 78 comments   16,860 views
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Habits of Fit People: Add Activity—Not Just Exercise—to Your Days


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Adding more activity to my days. I'm not talking about exercise or planned workouts, either. You might not think about it often, but there's a lot more to a fit lifestyle than the time you spend in the gym. So why does something like this matter?
Posted 7/3/2009  5:29:18 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 114 comments   47,080 views
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Habits of Fit People: Keep Fitness Equipment at Home


You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Keeping exercise equipment around the house. So why does something like this matter?
Posted 6/19/2009  5:50:18 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 141 comments   11,642 views
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Habits of Fit People: Mix It Up!


You want to be a fit person, right? Now that I've made fitness a habit in my life, I'm sharing my own secrets to keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Mixing up your workout routine. So why does something like this matter?
Posted 5/15/2009  5:43:30 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 63 comments   23,240 views
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