We all know that one person who’s in amazing shape.
You know who I mean. They rock a beach body year round, train 5–6 days a week and have energy coming out of their ears. We’re tired just thinking about them.
Truth is, there’s not much separating us. These people weren’t “born lucky” or gifted with the best genetics. They work their butts off. They think ahead. They have a vision and execute accordingly.
And most importantly, they maintain good habits.
Here are 4 of those habits.
The most obvious, yet the most difficult.
Consistency is the key to success. I know it, you know it, your amazingly-in-shape friend knows it. You must put in the work long-term.
Problem is, our lives are busy. There are many demands on our time. Time is our most valuable currency and we never seem to have enough of it.
The fittest people we know suffer from time shortages as well, but they find a way through. They make sacrifices, they make compromises. They make decisions that don’t interfere with getting up in the morning. They make decisions that give them the best chance to win.
They understand playing the game regularly is the key to winning.
To become the fittest version of yourself (and finally have energy coming out of your ears) training consistently is essential. And consistency only comes from purposefully making the time.
They don’t stop when they reach their goal
“Can’t stop, won’t stop” is their motto.
The fittest people we know didn’t cease activity once they lost those 20 pounds. Fitness is their lifestyle. Training is second nature. Stopping isn’t in the realm of possibility.
Maybe that isn’t the case for you. Perhaps you don’t place exercise up there with breathing. And that’s ok. The idea is to continue practicing the skills and habits that got you to your goal in the first place. To find a happy medium between staying fit and living other parts of your life.
Not letting off the gas, but not flooring it either.
Life is about balance. Fitness is no different. Finding that equilibrium will keep you fit, healthy and sane in the long term.
They have dynamic eating patterns
And not in the way you think.
You’ve probably seen the fittest people you know house a pizza or inhale a pint of ice cream. I know I have. And I think to myself, “How on earth are they able to do that and still have abs popping out of their shirt?”
Well for one, they do it strategically.
They don’t adhere to the “X amount of calories per day” methodology. Their intake fluctuates. On training days they eat more, on rest and recovery days they eat less. While they might average a set amount of calories per week, daily amounts vary wildly.
And second, they don’t do it that often.
You don’t see these people all the time. You don’t see the amounts of fruits and vegetables they eat. You don’t see the amount of water they drink. You don’t see the amounts of junk they don’t eat or the times they don’t snack. You see the outliers.
Don’t feel locked into a specific amount of calories each day. Your caloric needs are different if you run 10 miles versus relaxing on the couch.
Do what they do. Eat based on need.
They focus on N.E.A.T.
N.E.A.T. stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
In other words, the energy expended for everything that isn’t sleeping, eating or exercising.
Think moving furniture. Playing the piano. Mowing the lawn. Doing dishes. Anything that elevates your metabolic rate above a state of rest.
It is estimated N.E.A.T. may account for as much as 30% of our daily calorie burn. This is not a trivial amount, especially considering most people tend to overestimate how many calories they burn during exercise.
The fittest people you know take advantage of this.
They’re always on their feet, always on the go. They walk everywhere. They engage in social activities centered around movement of some sort. They have a hard time sitting still, and it shows.
By placing more emphasis on N.E.A.T. not only are they burning more calories, chances are they’re living a more fulfilled life. Movers and shakers bult this world.
Isn’t that who we want to be at the end of the day?
I think I have finally nailed consistency thanks to wearables. At 67, today is day 1500 of closing Apple Watch rings streak. I also have 1750 day streak of morning HRV readings and now 450 day Peloton workout streak. But I love your N.E.A.T. I need more incidental moving. I am a sitter - a reader, writer etc. Love your short sharp Substack pieces. #AgewithAttitude