As a personal trainer and someone who enjoys finding a balance in my own definition of healthy, I tend to notice habits of physically healthy people. I’ll likely follow up with a post about mentally or emotionally healthy people, but for today, these are some of the common denominators I try and practice in my own life and what I’ve observed in the lives of others.
1. They understand it’s a lifestyle
Living a physically healthy life doesn’t mean “I’m going to eat well for 2 weeks so I can fit into ____ .” Many people fail to grasp that health requires maintenance and isn’t something that you turn on and off. It can often feel daunting to think about making a total wellness change, but ask yourself if you can just do it today. Projecting into the future is scary for any kind of change, so just concentrate on doing the best you can one day at a time.
2. They plan and commit to their workouts
Weekly, my workouts are scheduled on my calendar. I tend to keep the same routine, so I know not to schedule clients during that time. If I absolutely have to, then I make sure to block off another time on my calendar that will ensure I sweat 4-5 times a week. Not only is exercise important to my physical health, but it’s something that starts each day off on a positive note so that the rest of my day usually follow suit.
I find that morning workouts are my favorite because it’s the first part of my day and there’s little to get in the way of me showing up. If you can consistently make it to afternoon or evening workouts, then more power to you, but if you’re having trouble going because of schedules, last minute interruptions, or you’re just too tired, you may want to consider carving out time in the morning.
3. They get enough sleep
Sleep is SO IMPORTANT. I can’t emphasize that enough. People vary in the amount of sleep they need, but chances are that you know what your body needs to operate at its best. Don’t make excuses as to why you are skimping on the shut eye and actually make it happen. You’d be amazed at how much better you feel.
4. They listen to their bodies
Whether we’re talking about fitness or hunger cues, physically healthy people take the time to listen to what their bodies are telling them. This may mean putting off a workout due to a high level of soreness or starting to feel under the weather or learning to stop eating when they’re full. Figuring out the difference between eating for sustenance vs. emotional eating is also an important distinction that can help keep you on track.
5. They keep positive company
In addition to the emotional benefits, keeping positive company for physical health is a great way to keep you motivated. Surround yourself with people who will help keep you accountable and encourage you to make healthier choices. Friends who pressure you to stay out late, drink more, or give you a hard time for wanting to work out are going to eventually start bringing you down.
6. They drink water
This is one I used to be so good at when I had a desk job, but making sure to drink enough water during the day is something I’m working on improving. While there are varying opinions on how much is enough, the most common suggestion is eight 8 oz glasses (or 1/2 gallon) per day.
7. They eat dessert
It’s important to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, but for most people it’s not sustainable 24/7. Understand that you can still enjoy your favorite dessert or snack, just probably not every day of your life. For me, a well balanced food lifestyle includes salads, lean proteins, and sugar. 🙂