12 Days of Fitness 2011 – Day 3: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Fit People

download(This is Part 3 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful fitness tips over the holiday season)

One of my favorite books of al time is Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. If you’ve never read, might I suggest you put it on your holiday wish list.  But not to give the book away, I’m going to put my own twist on that title and give you today what I call the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Fit People.

Over the years I have been asked on numerous occasions what is the quick and easy way to get fit. Beneath my smile I want to say “don’t waste my time” because I know they are hoping for a simple answer. But there is a quick and easy answer: fitness is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Following is the more elaborate answer to that question.  See how many you follow and/or are capable of following to get the answer to your own question.

Habit #1:  Don’t Buy Junk

I am human and from time to time I eat or crave things that are not so good for me.  But that is an exception, not the rule. Keep junk food in the house it will land on your waist sooner or later so don’t buy any. Even buying junk food for your kids or spouse is not advised since 1) you’ll likely eat some of it eventually, and 2) your loved ones shouldn’t be eating that junk either. It’s called junk for a reason.

Habit #2: Fitness Is A Priority

Along with family time, keeping a job, paying the bills and going to the doctor, exercise must be an important part of your life, not something you hope to make time for. Treat exercise time with the same importance that you would a business meeting.

Habit #3: Stop Eating When Full

Sounds simple enough, but how many times have you stuffed yourself simply to clear your plate? Or how many times have you eaten another helping despite being stuffed? The next time you feel full, take it as a sign to stop eating.  Often times, we eat so fast that our stomachs don’t signal the brain in time to alert us that we are full.  I recommend what I call the 3 “S” Method: Slow down, Savor, and Stop.

Habit #4: Work Hard

Not only make time to exercise, challenge yourself during each workout. While it is easy to simply go through the motions while exercising, you’re cheating your body out of great results when you don’t push yourself. Exercise should make you sweat, make your muscles burn, and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.

Habit #5:  Don’t Eat and Watch

Eating in front of the T.V. is mindless eating. When your attention is on your entertainment and not on your food, then you’ll be less tuned in to what and how much ends up in your mouth. Eating in front of the T.V. is also very habit forming. Ever notice how you crave munchies just as a reflex of sitting in front of the T.V.?
Pay attention to what and how much goes into your mouth.

Habit #6: Drink Water

Water needs to be your main drink and all other drinks are to be occasional treats. Calorie-filled drinks are one of the quickest ways to consume excess calories which quickly turn into fat. Consider calorie free water your beverage of choice.

Habit #7: Have Support

Never leave your motivation to chance. Whether it’s a workout partner, personal trainer, family member(s), or friend(s) you are less likely to skip a workout. It takes the option of skipping the workout out of the equation.

See you tomorrow for Day 4 of the 12 Days of Fitness

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.



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