But there’s hope for us mere mortals: By stealing the everyday habits of these uber-fit people, we can improve our own quest for better fitness.
Keep a schedule.1 of 11
Truly fit people make time for their workouts, even if that means scheduling a specific time on their calendar each day. To incorporate this habit into your own life, block out non-negotiable time on your calendar and set a reminder on your phone or computer 30 minutes beforehand.
Having a set time and schedule will hold you accountable and eliminate the, "I don't have time" argument. If you're worried things will pop up and infringe on your planned workout, try exercising first thing in the morning so there are no interruptions.
Find your tribe.2 of 11
Having reliable fitness buddies can turn spotty and lackluster workouts that you dread into consistent sweat sessions that get you results. In addition to providing accountability, workout partners can motivate you to push harder than you would on your own.
Struggling to find a good match? Ask trainers at your gym if they know of anyone with similar fitness goals, check with friends and colleagues or give online groups like November Project and Meetup a try.
Set (and celebrate) goals.3 of 11
Even the fittest among us need extra motivation now and then, and nothing lights a fire faster than a having a goal race or target milestone on the calendar—like achieving your first pull-up or completing a half marathon. Whether it's running a marathon or trying to complete three strict pull-ups in 30 days, having a clearly defined goal (and end date) can help you find that extra energy to get out of bed and tackle your workout.
And once you achieve your goal, make time to celebrate your accomplishment. Enjoy some well-earned rest, celebrate with family and friends and then set your sights on your next endeavor.
Take those rest days.4 of 11
When we start exercising, finding motivation is a challenge. But once we get into an exercise groove, surprisingly, the opposite can be true—we have a hard time taking a day off. However, working out stresses your body and breaks down muscle tissue, and rest is critical to allow bones, muscles, tendons and tissues time to rebuild, resulting in the positive adaptations and fitness gains you desire.
Though it can be tempting to skip a rest day in favor of an extra workout, your body will benefit more from incorporating scheduled rest days into your training.
Record your workouts.5 of 11
Pros know that logging workouts is key to being able to see progress. As you spend more time working out, it becomes difficult to remember what weight you once used or how fast you did those track intervals. By recording your workouts, you can see your progression over time and challenge yourself as your fitness improves. Recording each session on a social site such as Garmin Connect or Strava can also give you the added boost of connecting with an active community.
Mix it up.6 of 11
Humans are creatures of habit, and we often find ourselves stuck in the same fitness routine for months on end. And while regular exercise is definitely good for you, your body and mind reap benefits when you try new activities.
Mixing up your workouts gives overused muscles, joints and ligaments a chance to rest and recover, preventing injuries and allowing for greater strength gains. Changing up your routine with new exercises can help you break through a weight loss plateau, build new muscle groups and reinvigorate your routine.
Never miss a Monday.7 of 11
Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but a surprising number of super-fit people start each week by making sure they get their Monday workout in the books. We know it's tough getting back into the swing of things after a relaxing weekend, but exercising each Monday sets the tone for the week, helping you feel confident and accomplished.
Get your shuteye.8 of 11
Sleep is a crucial recovery tool for anyone striving to be fit. When you lead an active lifestyle, your body desperately needs that downtime to recover so it can repair broken down tissues and rebuild muscles. Active adults can benefit the most from a consistent sleep schedule that allows them to get 7 to 10 hours of rest each night. Not to mention, lack of sleep raises the level of cortisol in the body, which has been associated with increased appetite, cravings for sugar and weight gain.
Eat breakfast.9 of 11
Yes, we've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But fit people take this advice to heart by making sure they eat a balanced breakfast each morning. Skipping the first meal of the day can result in increased cravings for high-calorie foods, which means you're more likely to cave and eat that donut at work. Break your fast and fuel your body by aiming for a mix of carbs, protein and fat each morning to keep you energized all day.
Make it fun.10 of 11
When people complain, "I don't like exercise," what they usually mean is, "I don't enjoy the particular kind of exercise I have in mind." But here's something that fit people understand: If you don't like a particular kind of exercise, DON'T DO IT.
Hate to run? Don't run. Hate to lift weights in a gym? Don't. The key to staying active for life is to find activities that you actually enjoy that allow you to move your body every day. Find the type of exercise that lights you up and makes you excited to get out the door.