Sometimes it seems like making time for physical activity in your life requires a superpower. After all, who has time to work and work out? But the truth is that striking a balance between exercise and productivity can actually make your life easier, not harder. We’ve outlined the top nine habits that help highly productive people stay physically active, too.
- They make movement a part of everyday life. You’d be amazed by how easy it is to keep moving once you treat it as a natural part of your everyday life. Anything you can do to make it a habit helps, from walking to work to using a sit/stand desk or a balance board at your desk.
- They schedule. That doesn’t mean eliminating spontaneity—but it does mean taking your time for physical activity seriously. Productive movers often block time out for workouts, just as they’d block time out for meetings.
- They find the fun. Keeping active is easy when you choose an activity that’s so much fun, you enjoy it for its own sake. So if going to the gym feels like a drag, try something else. Hiking, swimming, joining a soccer or softball team, and dancing are all great ways to stay active and enjoy yourself.
- They practice self-care. Sure, your most active friends or fitness heroes might post lots of gym or sports selfies—but when they’re not on camera, they’re also eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and getting lots of rest. All those healthy habits translate to more energy and motivation to stay active.
- They treat food as fuel. Don’t get us wrong: food should be about fun and good taste, too. But the most productive movers out there recognize that what they put into their bodies has a direct effect on how they feel and on their activity levels, so they eat with that in mind.
- They backslide sometimes. That’s not to say that you should aim to miss a workout, indulge in not-so-great-for-you foods, or have an off day. But the most active people know that nobody’s perfect, so instead of beating themselves up about occasional mistakes, they forgive themselves and move on to the next success in progress.
- They take the long view. If you’ve ever had to struggle through the aftereffects of a sleepless night or “bad food day,” then you know it can take several days to feel like yourself again. Highly productive movers recognize that, too; they know that what they eat or drink and how they sleep today not only affects their energy levels today, but for the next few days as well.
- They challenge themselves. This one comes with two benefits. First, the more you challenge yourself with physical activity, the faster and further you’ll progress. Second, once you build that sort of habit into your workouts, it might just transfer over to your work and personal life, too. Plus, crushing those challenges one by one is incredibly satisfying.
- They feel the benefits. There’s a reason that physically active people are almost always motivated to stay that way: when you feel and see tangible proof about the great ways physical activity is changing your body, it’s easy to get hooked. Just a few weeks of activity can be enough to start seeing reduced stress, more energy, increased strength and endurance, and a better mood. So get out there and #keepmoving!