Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
We all have those friends who seem to be in perpetual great shape. Of course we love to keep ourselves active, but like anyone else, we can get jealous of those friends. It’s hard to stay in shape all the time and stay healthy through sheer determination alone. And they make it look so easy!
However, it’s not just magic that’s keeping them healthy. It’s a set of habits that can be built up over time that eventually don’t feel like work to keep up anymore. Aka, they just become part of our lives.
Here are five things that those always-fit friends do differently from MindBodyGreen:
They actually enjoy staying active.
If you’re one of those people who dreads every minute of your upcoming workout, it’s time to find a different approach to exercise. Because most of the time, fit people find a way to actually enjoy—and even look forward to—their workouts.
And while that may not always mean they’re excited to do 100 burpees or run 6 miles on any given day, it does mean that they like the feeling of being fit and value that more than their desire to sit on the couch.
They don’t diet.
Rather than selecting one of the many diets that we see across the Internet, fit people don’t necessarily “diet”; they make healthy eating a part of their lifestyle.
Ultimately, the key to staying fit and eating healthy is listen to your body. What makes you feel good and keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the day? Learn to answer this question and others for yourself, and you’ll soon be on the road to embracing healthy eating as a lifestyle rather than slashing corners (or favorite foods) for a diet.
They spend time with other like-minded people.
You know that saying “you are what you eat?” Well, you are who you eat with (and socialize with) as well!
If all your friends are constantly eating fast food and enjoy sedentary activities over active ones, what do you think you’re going to do? Probably eat junk and sit around all day too.
On the other hand, if your friends are into healthy cooking and enjoy doing active things like going for bike rides or running for fun, you’re probably going to join in and be more active as a result.
This may be tough at first, as we all have friends who don’t share in our joy for exercise, and that’s fine! You can try and encourage them to be healthy too with small changes to your usual activities—and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to new opportunities for meeting other run buds!
They prioritize their sleep.
If you think being fit is only about how often you work out, think again. One the top things active people do to stay healthy isn’t exercise-based at all—it’s getting enough sleep.
Not only does sleep give you the energy you need to work out consistently, but it also helps regulate your metabolism, repair your muscles, boost your athletic performance and more.
They don’t try to be “perfect.”
Most of us need to reward ourselves with a treat sometimes in order to keep our sanity. Aka, we aren’t healthy eaters 100 percent of the time.
Giving yourself permission to enjoy your favorite treat now and then—whether it’s something as simple as a latte or even a chocolate chip cookie—will ensure you don’t feel bitter about your healthy diet. The same is true with your workouts—if you can tell your body is asking for a day off even when you hadn’t planned on taking one, give yourself the rest your body needs and refuse to feel guilty because of it.
Seek balance in both your eating habits and your workouts, and you’ll be a healthier and happier person as a result.