5 Inspirational Women Share Their Best Fitness (and Life) Lessons

Are you making the most of each day of your life?

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Fact: The average American woman's lifespan is a little over 81 years. And while many amazing women accomplish incredible things far beyond their 80s (this 103-year-old real-life Wonder Woman, for example), only a handful of people actually reach centenarian-status.

This isn't a sad thing, though. It's a motivational thing: The better we take care of our bodies through a balanced, healthy diet and regular exercise, the better chance we have to bring up that average. In Reebok's latest campaign, #HonorYourDays, it's hoping everyone will do exactly that: Honor the body you were given and make the absolute most of every day you're alive and kickin'.

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At the company's headquarters outside of Boston, we listened to five inspirational women — from Olympic athletes to entrepreneurs — share how they honor their days:

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1. Don't Let Anyone (or Anything) Stop You From Reaching Your Goals

Kathrine Switzer, the first women to officially enter the Boston Marathon, was physically attacked by the race's official for wearing a bib in 1967. Even though he tried to pull her out of the race — which became one of Time-Life's 100 Photos That Changed the World — she not only made history, but went on to run 39 (and counting!) more marathons after crossing the Boston finish line.

"Journalists [and some officials] kept saying I was ahead of my time, but we all know if you're not ahead of your time, the time is never going to come," Switzer says. "What we needed to do is change their attitudes."

To do this, Switzer organized 400 races in 27 countries for more than a million women, which helped convince the International Olympic Committee to include a women's marathon in the 1984 Olympic Games.

"All the old myths went out the window. Women are very good at running long distance. When it gets to be 100 miles, when it gets to be 6 days... we're going to win outright," she says. "Now 58 percent of all runners in the United States are women. It's because it empowers us."

The next time someone or something tries to get in the way of you crushing your goals (fitness or otherwise), shake them off and remember how powerful you really are.

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2. Make Time for Yourself

We get it — it's really hard finding time for yourself when you're trying to balance work, family, and that endless to-do list. But the only way you're going to better yourself is if you make yourself a priority.

"Our lives are hard because of all the external pressures we have," says Payal Kadakia, CEO and co-founder of ClassPass. "[You need to] find time for yourself, because if you don't do that, you forget what you're fighting for and why you exist in the world."

The next time you think about canceling your beloved evening run to check some items off your to-do list, don't. They can wait — your well-being comes first.

"You need to find that thing that's going to get you through your day and that you're excited about," Kadakia says. "No day should ever be lived without feeling like it was a fulfilling day. You need to set yourself up for that."

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3. Push Yourself, But Don't Push Too Hard

World champion obstacle course racer Amelia Boone recently got a stress fracture in her femur while training for her dream competition. That dream has been put on hold, but she doesn't plan on giving up anytime soon. She's just learning sometimes it's good to take a step back.

"What I've come to realize is there's collateral damage with pushing your limits. At a certain point, it's not going to be smooth sailing and you're going to break. You're going to face challenges in the form of physical and mental setbacks," Boone says. "Part of being an athlete and trying to find those new boundaries is to constantly better yourself and challenge yourself, and sometimes you're going to get knocked down. That's whether you're a top athlete or someone trying to run your first 5k. We all go through it."

4. Pursue What You Not Others Love

Just because everyone else is spinning and doing yoga doesn't mean you have to spin and do yoga. Meghan Markle, actress on Suits, humanitarian, and founder of lifestyle site TheTig.com, made it a point to be different and "draw her own box" growing up. And you can too, both in life and when it comes to fitness.

"Whatever self-identification things we grapple with, insecurities... draw your own box and be exactly who you are," Markle says. "Don't feel like you need to conform to anything."

If your version of happiness is swimming, do it. If it's pogo-sticking, hop to it. Draw your own path.

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5. Own Your Accomplishments

When you are successful, don't be afraid to share it. Did you lose 10 pounds or finish running a mile for the first time? Own it. Don't let anything hold you back from being proud of reaching your goals (no matter how small they might be).

"I was always taught to be humble, but, literally, I have a Gold medal. And when someone asks if I'm good, I'm like 'Yeah, I'm so-so.' Then my guy friends aren't even good, and they're like 'Yeah! I'm good!'" says Jessica Mendoza, Olympic gold medalist and the first-ever female MLB analyst to work a post-season game. "I'm not trying to say it's the exact [gender] stereotype, but I still feel that today we're hindered sometimes by the boxes society puts us in."

6. Don't Be Afraid to Challenge Yourself

Yes, trying something new can be scary — especially when you're not sure whether you're going to be able to do it or not. But once you do, you'll accomplish more than you think.

"Every time I take a class I didn't think I could do, it makes me a stronger leader, and it makes me overcome a challenge I'm going through at work or in my personal life," Kadakia says. "Having challenges in your life open doors for you."

Who knows — getting through that first mile could turn into winning an Ironman someday.

7. Ask for Help If You Need It

On those days you're riding the struggle train, speak up: The people in your life will help you get through it. (And yes, it's OK to bring up the not-so-fun things.)

"It's easy to talk about your wins and the good stuff. It's really hard to talk about when things aren't," Boone says. "I really wish more women would open up and speak about that. [But when you do], there's outpouring support and people rally around you."

Kadakia has the same outlook, saying she believes the people close to us are the "reason we make it or we break it."

"At the end of the day, look around you — people will always be giving you thoughts and ideas, so make sure they're pushing you toward where you want to go," Kadakia says.

Want more inspiration? Watch Reebok's campaign video below, then go live every day like it's your last:

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