The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Fit PeopleSep 27, 2023
How you feel, and what you look like right now, is a reflection of your habits.
Is that a good thing?
If you’re always tired, always hungry, and finding yourself weaker and softer than you want to be – this episode is for you.
In this episode I’m riffing on that famous book, and you’ll learn The 7 Highly Effective Habits of my clients who have succeeded in becoming super fit, stronger than before, more resilient than ever, and on fire.
See, success leaves clues.
After 30 years as a coach, I know the key habits that will help you:
- become strong and lean
- reduce your risk of the diseases associated with inflammation and aging
- and create the body you need to keep up with the life you love
The easiest way is to get the bod you want is to get specific about your daily habits.
So let’s get into The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Fit People.
About 5 years ago at the age of 46, I was blindsided by some very serious and debilitating health issues. At the time I was in peak shape and otherwise very healthy. Long story short, I was exposed to toxic mold in my LA apartment. It triggered dormant Lyme disease (which I never knew I had), and left me with an autoimmune disorder that I’ll most likely deal with for the rest of my life.
I say this because it made me realize that no one is immune to health issues. I believe that it’s not a matter of IF you confront a health crisis in the future, it’s a matter of WHEN. And therefore, the goal is to make your body as healthy as possible so that IF your time comes, you’re better able to navigate the hard times.
While I wish for you to coast through your life feeling fabulous and free from disease, I know it’s just not realistic. Think about it: how many older folks do you know who are perfectly healthy? Very few.
Lately I’ve been particularly interested in why this is. WHY is it “normal” for people to manage a chronic condition as they get older?
I don’t believe it has to be that way. So I’ve been digging through the research, and it’s clear that systemic inflammation plays a part in nearly all conditions like heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, diabetes, autoimmune issues, and depression.
The best thing you can do to fortify your health, reduce your risk of disease, and create the resilient body you need is choose better habits. And oh by the way, you’ll look and feel better too.
So here is my version of The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Fit People.
These are the habits I see in my clients who are proving that you can be impressively fit, healthy, and vibrant in your 40s, 50s, and 60s.
1. They eat breakfast
The mistake I see other women make is to do sloppy Intermittent Fasting and have coffee for breakfast, and say they’re fasting, but really, they just don’t feel like eating breakfast.
Eating breakfast stabilizes your blood sugar for the entire day, improves stamina, and reduces late day hunger and cravings. It gives your body and brain the fuel it needs to manage the stressors and busyness of the first half of your day. Your brain requires a ton of fuel, and if there isn’t any in your body, it triggers alternate mechanisms for survival. If you want to feel better, have more energy, and reduce hunger and cravings – eat breakfast. This is something is DEMAND my clients do.
2. They prioritize strength training over everything
The mistake I see other people make is to do more cardio than strength training, or lift weights haphazardly, or let it be an afterthought. They think cardio will lead to weight loss, or leanness.
I teach women to make strength training numero uno EVERY week. It should be the focus of your training program, and always take precedence in your weekly schedule. Strength training is the only real way to improve your lean muscle mass. More muscle means a more powerful metabolism, better insulin sensitivity, better management of body fat, better stamina, and protection from aches, pains, and injuries.
3. They eat so as to ensure the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats throughout the day.
These days we hear so much emphasis on protein, or healthy fats. The women who are struggling are blindly eating more protein – without an actual goal. Or generally reducing carbs because they believe it leads to weight loss.
The truth is that all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) are equally important. Protein is not better, and carbs are not worse. You need all three for the “minimum effective dose” of food each day. You need protein for structure repair, you need carbs for energy, brain power, and performance, and you need fats for hormone production and for the absorption of certain vitamins. Eating a strategic combination of each ensures you cover your bases, and it helps for keeping blood sugar stable.
4. They eat regularly according to the clock, instead of according to their appetite
Ultimately, I’d love for you to know your body SO WELL that you can eat intuitively, but unfortunately, most people don’t have an accurate intrinsic sense of what foods they need, how much, and when. Even for me: I’m highly skilled when it comes to managing what my body needs and if I left it up to my intuition – I'd eat Sidecar donuts all day long. If you’re struggling at all, one mistake you may be making is erratic eating.
Despite the headlines, the most immediate way to influence how you feel and how well you manage body fat is by making sure your blood sugar stays level all. Day. Long. Blood sugar (otherwise known as blood glucose) is what keeps your body – and brain – going strong. When your blood sugar bottoms out, YOU bottom out. The best way to ensure stable blood glucose is to eat every 3-4 hours religiously, even if you THINK you’re not hungry. While you may not experience hunger or appetite, your body still needs juice.
5. They fuel up before workouts
You may think that the goal of a workout is to burn calories (so you can lose weight). If so, it stands to reason that fasted workouts would be the way to go. Or, you may not feel well with food in your system during a workout. Quite possibly the biggest mistake of all is showing up for a workout without fuel in the tank.
The real goal of any training session is to challenge your body beyond its current ability. You’ll get higher quality workouts (and recovery) if you get strategic about your pre-workout fuel. I liken it to a high performance race car, like a Ferrari. Do you think the Red Bull team shows up to the Formula 1 grand prix on empty? No way! High performance machines perform best with intentional fuel. And your body is 1000% more sophisticated than a race car.
6. They believe it’s possible to improve their body
Excuses are sneaky because there is a big part of your brain that WANTS to believe them. Women who are struggling often believe that their body has its own operating system, and that they don’t have real influence over it. It’s as if they give up their power to this idea that their body just does what it does, all by itself.
The truth is, your body RIGHT NOW is a reflection of the actions you take each day. That’s it! Your body is incredibly malleable and responsive. Do you really believe “NOTHING WORKS” for YOUR body? If so, I’d LOVE the chance to prove you wrong, lol. In order to be successful, you’ve got to first believe it’s possible for your body to become better (on whatever level you want). Now, it might take time, and it might take some trial and error for you to find the right actions that produce the results YOU want. Every day there are women improving their health, their energy, or their body composition. You can do it too.
7. They are laser focused on building muscle
Some women are still concerned about bulking up and I believe this is a misunderstanding because 1: it’s highly unlikely that you’ll bulk up unless you are obsessed and possessed with it for more than 6 months without even the slightest deviation. It’s just super hard for women over the age of 45 to build muscle and 2: Even if you do believe you’re bulking up (more than you) from lifting, it’s most likely because you’re not doing it correctly or consistently. Inside of 4-6 weeks of lifting, anything that looks like bulk, is really just water redistribution.
Muscle is life. In a large-scale study of over 13,000 people over a 6-year span conducted by the UCLA School of Medicine, researchers found that higher muscle mass was associated with better insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of developing diabetes. Not only that, they found that for every 10% increase in skeletal muscle mass, there was an 11% decrease in insulin resistance. Research has shown that greater muscle mass is a consistent predictor of better bone health in older women. It is your muscles – not your bones – that hold you up in space, and direct the alignment at every joint. In general, the more muscle a client has, the fewer complaints I hear of aches, pains, and joint issues like arthritis, Chondromalacia Patella, and bursitis.
There you have it: The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Fit People as I see in my practice.
You may be tempted to think that you have less and less control over your body as you age – but that’s not exactly true. Regardless of your number of years on this earth, I promise that you always have the power to improve your body on some level. Do you really believe that there is NOTHING you can do better or improve to some degree? I promise, you can.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. I don’t want to leave you hanging...so if you want some guidance for effective strength training so you can feel good and age better, download my forever free 6 Week Strength and Cardio Plan below.
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