A while back, The Huffington Post published an article titled “8 Habits of Insanely Fit People,” and it was awesome. It pointed out a few gems such as how insanely fit people make fitness a priority and find a way to make it fun. After reading the article several times, I decided that it is extremely useful–and not just for insanely fit folks, but for people of all fitness levels, from the mildly sedentary to the ridiculously athletic.
The more I thought about it, the more items I wanted to add to the list, items that I felt would be useful to discuss.
So here is my addendum to the article–four tips I emphasize in almost every fitness discussion I have.
Fit People Dress Out.
If there’s one thing that really gets under my skin, it’s when people hit the gym or head to the track in their work clothes or jeans. I want to reach out and slap those jeans-walkers every single time I lap them because there’s a reason you don’t see professional athletes in this year’s most fab denim styles.
Everyday clothes limit mobility (strike one), they can cause chafing because they’re tight and don’t generally breathe well (strike two), and they are probably not durable enough to withstand the elements, sweat, and intense movements working out requires (strike three). I know I wouldn’t want to try a back squat in my favorite pair of jeans–my body would feel like it was being cut in half until that moment when the material gave way and split, finally offering some sweet relief.
On top of the physical irritants, dressing out can help out psychologically, too. There’s just something about throwing on a pair of running shorts, lacing up my Asics, and slipping on an UnderArmour shirt that makes me ready to go. I look like an athlete, which makes me feel like one. This was true long before I even considered myself an athlete. I would never want to leave the house to work out if I was in my work clothes or PJ’s, but the moment I put on a technical shirt, I was good to go.
And fit people take advantage of that motivation. After all, fitness and health is more about mindset than physical ability.
Fit People Take Care of Minor Issues (Before They Become Major Ones).
Fit people understand the signals their bodies send them. They know what normal exercise pains are (tingling legs from odd circulation while running, for instance), and they know what pain comes from undue stress (such as the rawness and burning of a newly formed blister). Fit people understand that there’s always a chance that minor issues can turn into major ones, so they take steps to prevent that.
If they feel a blister coming on, they might slap some New-Skin anti-chafing spray on the area to promote healing and prevent friction. Goodness knows I’ve done this enough this summer. And just this morning, my hip was really hurting, so I cut my expected 6 miles down to 2, made plans for taking it easy the rest of the week, and looked up major causes of hip pain while running.
And as much as waiting for New-Skin products to dry sucks, and as aggravating as not running for a week is, both are preferable to limping around with an injury or infection that could have been prevented with a few simple steps. Newbies push through the pain (and into injury) because of stupid mantras like “No Pain, No Gain,” while insanely fit people have learned to discern between pain and effort.
Fit People Have Lives Outside of the Gym
I’ll admit it: I’m a fitness junkie. I’m always reading about ways to take my fitness to the next level. I enjoy that. I love research and learning, and part of the fun of fitness is seeing the science behind it. But I don’t live in the gym, and the track is not my second home. I spend a lot of time there, but when I leave…I leave.
I go home and play Guild Wars 2. I read books. I watch movies, write sci-fi novels, and spend time with my friends and family. So do major athletes. So do fitness professionals. Insanely fit people might be seen as gymrats, but that is an unfair stereotype. They put in their hours to be fit and are fully rounded people outside of the gym.
Think about it this way: if you did one thing to the exclusion of all others, you’d be a boring person. Whether that one thing was eat cake, work out, read books, write novels, play with cats, or herd goats. If that’s all you did, you’d have no life–on top of burning out so hard you’d end up hating that activity. So if you think that being fit will require you to give up all other avenues of living life, think again.
All things in moderation, grasshopper. Even waxing on and waxing off. #Booya #KarateKidReference
…are fit. Obvious, right? Just like everything else, boiling down “insanely fit people” into a specific list of habits can’t be all inclusive. I mean, there are exceptions to everything, and not every fit person does everything we’ve listed. Just like not every successful writer does everything the same as every other successful writer. There are patterns, though, and if you’re looking to increase your daily dose of fit, I think the HuffPo article (and this one, obviously) is a good place to start.
So go grab some New-Skin to stave off those blisters, get yourself out of those freaking jeans when you’re moving around, and don’t think you have to live in the gym to be healthy.
And most importantly, enjoy yourself. That’s what fitness is all about, really.
New-Skin® has been providing active skin protection for over 100 years. New-Skin® Liquid Bandage can be used to help prevent bacterial contamination in minor cuts and scrapes and New-Skin® Anti-Chafing Spray prevents and soothes chafing and blistering from friction or rubbing.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of New-Skin. The opinions and text are all mine.