By Danielle Wirick, MS, CSCS, FMSC

As a Personal Fitness Trainer, one of the things new clients often say is that they want to be like or look like some of our other clients. Although that’s a great compliment to my many healthy clients, what so many people don’t understand is that it’s not just what they do during their training session that gives them their edge; it’s their overall lifestyle that counts. So I started to think of what characteristics my healthiest clients have and I came up with what I consider the top six characteristics of my healthiest clients.

1. They exercise regularly. Well, duh! But I don’t just mean regularly. I mean they workout when they are on vacation, they workout when they’ve had a long day, they workout if they are stressed, they workout when they are traveling half way across the world and in a bizarre time zone. It doesn’t matter – they stick to their routine.

2. They eat all kinds of foods. Fats, carbs, proteins, salt, even sugar! There is rarely a bread bowl that doesn’t go untouched, and if they want a cookie for breakfast they have a cookie for breakfast. BUT… I never hear of them eating until they are “stuffed”. Ever.

3. They cook. Some cook gourmet meals, some are just happy to get something in the oven. But they COOK meals rather than FIX meals that have been pre-packaged, and are overly processed.

4. Fast food? Nope, sorry. Most can’t remember the last time they had fast food.  And even more funny is trying to watch them order at a fast food place…they stumble around the menu, with the deer caught in headlights look and eventually give up and order a coffee.

5. They are very busy! Most have the usual jobs and life obligations. But they don’t just work. They keep moving… they bike or walk, they travel, they volunteer, they take classes and more. The last time they watched TV was their 1-hour show a week or when someone forced them to sit and watch a movie.

Now my all time favorite characteristic…
6. When we tell them something they should do to improve their health, they do it!  They take the advice of those who are qualified to help them improve their health and they actually do what is asked of them.  No excuses.

So if you aren’t already doing these things, these are a great place to start to become the healthiest you this year!