Consistency is the key to success when it comes to health and fitness, which ultimately boils down to the habits we develop and follow as part of our normal daily lifestyle.
In this regard, some individuals seem to effortlessly maintain a high level of physical activity and follow healthful eating plans. Others struggle to find their groove and stick to the plan!
When people tell you to make healthy living or exercise part of your lifestyle, they are basically suggesting that you create systems in your life that will establish the beneficial habits needed to achieve your goal.
These systems determine what you do every day, which allows you to focus your efforts on the process by doing things you enjoy rather than fixating on an outcome or goal, which generally requires motivation and willpower – two finite mental resources.
READ MORE | 5 Mental Habits For Success
Make These Your Healthy Habits
To help you create the consistent, intentional routines that characterise a healthy lifestyle, consider these 5 habits of highly fit and healthy individuals.
#1. Regular Exercise
Regular activity and exercise forms the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Highly fit and healthy individuals prioritise physical activity, making it a non-negotiable part of their daily routine.
Whether it’s hitting the gym, running, practicing yoga, or meeting up with mates for a game, they find activities they enjoy and make them a regular part of their lives, whether they are working towards a goal race or body transformation or not.
Consistency is key; they understand you build long-term fitness through steady, sustainable efforts.
#2. Balanced Nutrition
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is another crucial habit of fit and healthy individuals. They understand the importance of nourishing their bodies with the right foods rather than fixating on unsustainable calorie restriction and fad diets.
For example, following a restrictive diet to lose 10 kilos is a goal-oriented approach, whereas following a healthful diet by learning about what constitutes appropriate food choices and food preparation techniques is a system that you can follow for the rest of your life. This entails consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.
People who follow sustainable eating plan also practice portion control and mindful eating to avoid overindulging. Hydration is essential, too.
They keep their bodies well-hydrated throughout the day by mindfully sipping on water and supplementing with electrolytes as they understand the benefits for their mind, body, performance and overall health.
#3. Prioritise Recovery
Fit and healthy individuals prioritise quality sleep and regularly include rest days to support recovery. They understand that getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night helps their minds and bodies repair, recover, and recharge.
For this reason, these individuals prioritise healthful sleep habits by implementing a regular sleep routine, avoiding screens before bed, and create an environment conducive to sleep with dark, cool rooms. They also turn to natural sleep aids when they need extra support to get quality sleep.
When it’s time to recover, highly fit individuals know movement is the best medicine. Rather than sit around on the coach, they engage in active recovery sessions to support their body’s natural restorative processes.
They go for walks, hit the pool, foam roll, perform stretching and mobility, or hit the road for an easy session to flush the legs.
#4. Manage Stress
Highly fit and healthy individuals understand that chronic stress can negatively impact health. They incorporate stress-relief practices into their routines, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies that bring them joy. They also create greater resilience to stress with stress support supplements.
By taking steps to actively reduce stress in all its forms – physical, emotional, lifestyle and environmental – they maintain their physical and mental health by keeping body and mind in balance.
#5. Set Goals and Track Progress
Those who master a life of health and fitness, set clear and achievable goals. These goals may be related to weight loss, muscle gain, endurance, or any other aspect of their well-being.
They break these larger goals into smaller, manageable milestones and consistently track their progress. This approach helps them stay motivated and accountable to their goals, which makes it easier to adapt and adjust their routines as they need to.
Incorporating these five habits into your daily life can help you create a sustainable health and fitness focused lifestyle.
Remember that building habits takes time, and it’s important to be patient with yourself. Start small, make gradual changes, and focus on consistency. You don’t need to overhaul your entire life in one day; it’s the cumulative effect of these habits that will lead to a healthier and fitter you. With time and dedication, you too can become one of these inspiring individuals who radiate health and vitality.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.