14 habits of people who always stay fit

Don't just work out so you can fit into a tight dress — make it a habit with these tricks.
© Cosmopolitan // © Cosmopolitan

Exercise even if you only have 15 minutes

A short gym routine is better than nothing if you're really strapped for time or just plain exhausted. If you don't have time to get to your gym but have 15 minutes before you have to shower to go meet your friends for dinner, do jumping jacks to Taylor Swift or something. You'll feel better, especially if you spent your day sitting at a computer listening to Taylor Swift and thinking about how you should really leave work in time to get to the gym. (But then, well, didn’t.)

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Stick to your plan

You know that feeling of planning to work out and then NOT working out? The WORST. Usually, working out just to avoid the feeling of sitting around in gym clothes watching Bravo and eating snacks and never actually going for your run is worth it.

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Invest in a fitness tracker

They're not cheap (plan to spend around $100 to $130), but — they really do make you walk more, especially if you're the type of person motivated by goals. You'd be surprised how little you walk in a day if you have a desk job. (You're supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day but if all you do is get up in the morning, go to your cubicle, walk to and from your meetings, and then go home, you probably only rack up about 4,000, 5,000 if you're lucky.)

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Mix up your routine

Do yoga one day, interval training the next, and a light jog the following day. If your fitness routine doesn't bore you, you're more likely to stick to it. If you enjoy trendy workouts (Who doesn't?), definitely hit up Beyoncé-themed spinning or barre burn. Always barre burn.

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Focus on how great you'll feel

Working out isn't always fun while you're doing it, but the endorphin high you get after — or the myriad other benefits, like a sound night of sleep — are.

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Don't wait for an occasion to get in shape

If you only rush to the gym six weeks before you have a tight dress to wear to a party (or your wedding or somebody else's wedding) you'll kill yourself trying to meet unrealistic goals and feel miserable and down on yourself and be no fun at all. Then when it's all over, of course you won't want to go back to working out! Fitness is a lifestyle, not an exercise in vanity.

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Eat real food

Don’t swear off alcohol or sweets or bread. (Especially don't swear off chocolate — that's too cruel.) You'll be miserable and binge and feel bad, and then swear off all that food AGAIN and the cycle will repeat and you'll feel worse every time! Don't do it. Everything in moderation!

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Keep weeknight drinking to a minimum

Weekdays are exhausting enough without alcohol. If you get smashed on Tuesday, you're less likely to get up in time for your 7:30 barre class on Wednesday or even Thursday — studies suggest a night of drinking can make women sleepy in the days following. So drinking on a weeknight can really sap your energy level for the rest of the week, especially if you don't have time to make up for lost sleep.

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Work out at home if you can't get to a gym

If you have cable, it probably comes with a whole slew of secret workout classes you can do on-demand. This is a great option for when you want to be active but don't want to leave your house. Get a bright pink workout mat and have fun.

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Buy a foam roller

For $18 you can get a little device that, when used for less than a minute before exercise, can increase your range of motion during exercise. Used after, it can greatly reduce soreness.

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