by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, CPT/Certified Wellness Coach & Owner WickedFiTT

I’m not a very profound thinker when it comes to why I love exercise.  My parents introduced me to gymnastics at four years old, and I was hooked. Fitness was a vital part of my childhood and a practice I carried into adulthood.  But unfortunately, not all of us are exposed to fitness as kids and may grow up without an understanding of how exercise promotes health, self-esteem and happiness.  This got me thinking about the inspirational people in my life.  Some of these people have always been healthy, and others have overhauled their lifestyles to become healthy. But there seems to be habits they all have in common. So, to inspire all of you today, I am sharing some of these habits.

It may not surprise you to know that happy individuals tend to really (don’t freak out) enjoy getting out of bed in the morning.  Fit people work out in the morning, which gets it out of the way early, so they can focus on the day ahead.  Here are a few more habits that healthy, happy people tend to share:

Healthy people love food, and generally don’t “diet.”  There is no under-eating or starving themselves.  It’s never a fad diet; it is a lifestyle.  And that includes drinking lots of water. Water has oodles of benefits and is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong – fit and healthy people can drink too much at a party and eat too much during the holidays. After all, life isn’t fun without a little excess!  But, they have learned food isn’t punishment, nor is it a reward – everything in moderation.

So, we all know lack of sleep wreaks havoc on your metabolism, your mood and your ability to think. This leads me to my next habit – SLEEP! Because fit people exercise, they burn off stress that can keep us up at night. They understand that rest is just as important as movement.

Healthy people make themselves a priority.  That includes scheduling workouts.  Life is unpredictable, so planning is key to sticking to a healthy routine.   They are also ambitious and want to keep improving, so they set goals. And they listen to their bodies.  That includes taking a rest day when it is needed.

#FITFAM is real.  Healthy people surround themselves with other healthy people.  They stay connected through gyms, group fitness and social media.  They build a network of healthy, like-minded friends to share tips, success stories, struggles and just overall accountability.

The most important habit in my opinion is sticking to it when it gets tough.  Some days the snooze button seems like a much better idea than that 5 a.m. workout, and that deep-dish pepperoni pizza or chocolate cupcake screams louder than that healthy meal. But, they always push through and focus on the bigger picture.   It is an understanding that results don’t come overnight, but occur with commitment and consistency.

I have been so lucky to acquire these habits from the inspirational people in my life.  Which of these healthy habits do you already do or do you want to start doing in your life?  Let me know. There is no reason every single one of you can’t create a healthy and happy lifestyle.