People with fitness results either have superior genetics, have mastered the three components of fitness, or both. Whether consciously or unconsciously, people with long term results all practice these fitness habits.
1. Recovery Time
People with lasting fitness results make time to recover by taking days off, rotating certain types of exercises out, and getting plenty of rest. They also understand that too much exercise could potentially put them in ‘over training’ mode which often leads to reduced results, fatigue, and a negatively affected metabolism. None of the symptoms of over training lead to fitness results.
Some of the most fit people I train, those of all ages, have the ability to stay consistent year in and year out. Even when life gets busy they make time for a few short workouts per week. In doing this, these people reinforce the habit of dedicating time to fitness and maintain a higher level of health than those who are on again off again exercisers.
I think we all have the tendency to fall into a routine, whether it’s in or out of the gym. It’s just easier sometimes to show up to the gym, hop on the treadmill and not have to think. Unfortunately this isn’t the best way to get fitness results. As the body is highly adaptive. In order to get consistent and long term results, you must change your workout on a regular basis.
4. Having Fun
If you hate your workout routine, it will never last. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and use it as a basis for building a long term routine. You can’t build a lasting routine off something you hate, it’s basically psychologically impossible.
5. 80% of Workouts Are Very Challenging
Easy workouts are a necessary part of any long term plan. At times, it may even be ok to go easy a few times a week when life is stressful or you’re under time constraints due to other life factors. You can usually maintain your current fitness level doing this for a short period, or at least prevent rapid decline. But in order to get results, you should be working within your target heart rate zone and challenging yourself 80% of the time.
6. Understanding Caloric Value of Foods and Liquids
People who have mastered their fitness level and body weight realize that beer, milk, orange juice and even Gatorade have calories that need to be accounted for as a part of their daily intake. If you want to control your weight over the long term, you should educate yourself on the caloric values of food and food categories. A free resource to help you do this is FitDay.com.
7. Mastering the Psychological Component
The psychological aspect of health and fitness is the most important thing to master if you want long term or high level results. It doesn’t matter how much you know about fitness, if you have psychological blocks you’ll be yo-yo dieting for life. Psychological blocks can be caused by anything from childhood obesity to life tragedies which are buried in your consciousness. If you keep running into a wall and don’t understand why, you might have a block. Check out the resource to the right for help and greater understanding.