From visualization to approaching exercise as a privilege, and, erm, zen toilet sessions, these are the daily disciplines that have helped our experts achieve fitness greatness. Follow their advice, and you can too.
The key to maintaining a healthy way of life is getting into the habit of doing so. But you know that. We know that. Everyone knows that. For many of us, prioritizing healthy habits is the very definition of ‘easier said than done.’ So what can we do about it?
When it comes to forming healthy habits, The British Journal of General Practice advocates for “simple and sustainable behavior change advice”. To be effective, the study authors write any change has to be “simple for the patient to implement, and it has realistic potential for long-term impact.” Which sounds pretty good, right?
Meanwhile, a second study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that larger goals, like getting in shape, or running that 10k in record time, often come into conflict with shorter goals, like watching YouTube videos in bed (we know that feeling). Making space for both instead of ditching one entirely is how we achieve balance.
Rather than dictate your entire day, our experts have provided us with the simple – and yes, sustainable – mindset hacks that can make a big difference in your life, and long-term approach to wellbeing. Think of these as starting points, rather than fitness prescriptions.
Be it ditching social media first thing, or carving out space for yourself, these daily habits have helped make fitness a lifestyle for our PTs and athletes. Choose which tips most appeal to you and you might just feel the benefits, too.
"Losing my structured training plan when I stopped competing at an elite level in athletics meant I often felt lost with no purpose. I started a morning routine which involved: reading (10mins), journaling (5mins), stretching, mobility & breath work (10mins) and a morning run (30-45mins). This helped me switch off from work and social media, while giving me time to think, and focus on my weaknesses.”
Lewis Moses, previous British 1500m champion turned INCUS running advisor and lead coach for Runner Retreats
“Breakfast is crucial and it sets me up for the day ensuring I have the proper fuel to smash through a workout. I know my body best, and I know that to perform at my best I need a balanced, healthy, and nutritious breakfast. I’ll always opt for something easily digestible containing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates like scrambled eggs, wholemeal toast, smoked salmon and a little avocado.”
David Wiener, training and nutrition specialist at Freeletics
(And if you don't have time to make breakfast, there's always a nutritionally complete Huel...)
“This may seem like a crazy habit but before I train, I’ll go sit in the toilet for five minutes, not to go to the toilet but to use that time to switch off from everything and to flip a mental switch into gym mode.
“I sit and methodically unpack my gym bag, slowly put my earphones in and select a track to compose me. Everything in those five minutes is done calmly and methodically, removing all the stress that came before and clearing my mind for what’s to come”.
Robert Utley, founder of Real Body Performance
“The most significant habit I have adopted has been visualizing my future by writing down my goals, and aligning my actions to help myself achieve them. When you do this you immediately notice habits that should be scaled back or removed entirely.
“Through visualization and implementation, I transformed my lifestyle by becoming a tactical athlete serving in the British military, launching my own business, and starting a family.
"I had always wanted to have a role model growing up, but in those moments of visualizing my future, I realized I could be the person I always wanted to have in my life.”
Farren Morgan, head coach and founder of The Tactical Athlete
“Everyone has days where they don’t want to train. But, if there’s one thing that makes me move when I don’t want to, it's saying this to myself ‘I am so lucky to have the choice to exercise’. So many people don’t have that choice. I am fit and capable so I need to give my body the respect it deserves and keep it moving.”
Chelsea Labadini, founder of Chelsea Labadini’s Online Coaching
“One thing that has helped me sustain a fitness regimen for a long duration is a three-word mantra: consistency, commitment and accountability. If you are consistent with your training and nutrition you will see results.
“Being committed is staying true to what I said I would do long after the mood I said it in has left; we all get excited when starting a new fitness regime, but you have to stick with it when the excitement dies down. By making yourself accountable for your actions and not dwelling on any small slip ups you’ll give yourself the best chance of success.”
Chris Antoni, founder of Tailor Made Fitness
“I’m a big fan of the ‘Sunday reset’, essentially using my Sunday for self-care and to properly prepare for the week ahead, setting goals and planning my workouts so that I’m motivated and always progressing. For me, the goal of a Sunday reset is to start the week well rested and as clear-headed as possible, and I find this greatly helps my mindset and has aided my physical health and fitness.”
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