Getting (and more importantly, staying) fit is a 24/7 job.
Yes, you can relax, take a day off and cheat from time to time—but not very often.
Guys who get lean, and manage to stay that way, are organized, meticulous and focused on their health and fitness at all times.
I know, I know: sounds like a pain in the ass, right? Well, not necessarily.
As with any other form of self-improvement, the key to keeping fit isn’t constantly obsessing over your body. It’s developing the habits that naturally lead to increased strength and health.
Invest the upfront time it takes to cultivate the healthy habits below and you’ll inevitably start to look and feel better—without having to fret about your fitness 24/7.
Healthy Habits for Men Who Want
to Get (and Stay!) Fit
1. Hydrate Like Hell
Let’s build the basics first, shall we? Drinking water is the perfect way to prepare your body for the process of getting fit.
Unfortunately for the majority of the population, not everyone knows that proper hydration can help you become and stay fit; in fact, studies suggest that many Americans still don’t drink enough water.
Don’t make the same mistake. Drink eight glasses a day to fuel your health and your fitness.
2. Don’t Shrug Off Sleep
A lot of young men tend to have a “Meh, I’ll sleep when I’m dead” attitude.
Those men are not in great shape.
If you start a workout plan and keep at it regularly, you’ll become exhausted very quickly unless you get enough rest.
Sleep is crucial for getting a fitter body and you need to establish a healthy sleeping pattern before you can expect to see any results.
Check out this post about how to get out of bed in the morning, which (spoiler alert!) starts with establishing good sleeping habits.
3. Overcome Your Excuses
Getting in shape may not be easy, but it’s not exactly complicated either – you just have to ask yourself how badly you really want it.
Once you set your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t do. The trick, of course, is setting your mind to it.
So stop making excuses, get off the couch, find the nearest gym and start working out.
Check out the motivational videos on the below YouTube channels to get yourself fired up and stop making excuses:
4. Eat Right
You can’t expect to get fit if your daily diet consists of pizza, soda drinks and ice cream. (You can probably expect to get type-2 diabetes, though.)
Having a cheat day every once in a while is alright – even The Rock does it – but don’t make a habit out of it.
Read this post to discover how to eat healthy and fuel your fitness, then follow the 80/20 rule. Make sure that 80% of the time, you’re eating clean, healthy foods. Then, 20% of the time, you can indulge in something sweet, salty or otherwise tempting.
5. Cool Your Jets
Getting proper rest doesn’t just mean sleeping well—you also have to rest up while you’re awake.
Pushing your body to its absolute limit can be helpful in small doses. But if you work to failure every single day without giving your body time to recuperate, you’re much more likely to injure yourself or otherwise start doing more harm than good.
Listen to your body and give yourself time to recuperate. Never work the same muscle group intensely two days in a row. While the exact amount of rest you need depends on each individual, generally speaking, two days on/one day off is a good mix.
6. Plan in Advance
One of the best things you can do to help yourself get fit is to develop the habit of carefully planning your workout schedule and food intake each week.
Sure, life gets busy and sometimes you’ll have to adjust on the fly. But what do you think is more likely to lead to success?
Having a plan and sticking to it most of the time, with a few exceptions for when life gets busy?
Or having no plan and just hoping that you’ll find the time and energy to work out and eat healthy each day?
Guys who want to start working out should set aside time on Sundays to plan your workout schedule for a week. When you can fit in some gym time? Are there any at-home workouts you can do if you can’t get to the gym?
Do the same with your eating. Head to the grocery store on the weekend and load up on healthy food, then do as much meal prep as you can. If you’ve already got clean, healthy options waiting for you in the fridge, you’ll be a lot less tempted to pig out on junk.
7. Above All, Persist
It’s as simple as that – once you start eating properly, drinking lots of water, working out regularly and resting sufficiently, keep doing it. Don’t give up.
The minute you relax too much, everything you’ve accomplished will be put to the test. Don’t put yourself in that vulnerable situation: remember your motivating factors. Focus on why you want to get fit in the first place.
Remember the words of Winston Churchill:
“Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”
If you’re feeling sluggish, go back and listen to those YouTube videos again. Or go check out the success stories on Bodybuilding.com and remind yourself that if they can do it, you can too.
Sometimes the best way to persevere and stay consistent is to remind yourself that you’re working toward a worthy goal—and if your goal is packing on a little more muscle, we can help.
Dave’s put together a list of the six most helpful strategies he used to add more than 10 pounds of lean muscle to his frame. Sign up below to get the free email series and find out how he did it!
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More Health & Fitness Advice from Irreverent Gent:
- How to Start Working Out for Men
- 7 Surprising Things I Learned While Working at a Fitness Magazine
- 5 Things Guys Can Do in Their ’20s to Stay Healthy into Their ’30s
Guest author Peter Minkoff is a men’s lifestyle writer from the UK whose work has appeared in The Beard Mag and High Street Gent magazine. Besides writing he’s also worked as a grooming consultant for many fashion events around the UK & Europe. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.