1) Drink more water
Up to 60% of your body is water. Water is free. Why would you neglect to hydrate yourself properly?
For some reason, the majority of individuals completely forget how important water is in the regulation of a healthy body.
Drinking water will help maintain proper fluid balance in your body, which is essential to facilitating normal everyday bodily functions like digestion, nutrient partitioning, absorption, circulation, maintenance of body temperature, etc.
2) Eat a balanced diet throughout the day
Yes, this means that even though you could be ripped to shreds, eating chicken and rice every single meal doesn’t make you “healthy” even if you’re body looks amazing on the outside.
Vitamins and minerals in your diet are essential in boosting your immune system, as well as protecting you against many different diseases, conditions and even cancer.
If your current diet is lackluster in certain macronutrients or micronutrients I highly recommend you make adjustments to your current intake to accommodate what you are missing. In order to truly eat a balanced diet, you should get the majority of your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Keep in mind, eating in the most “healthy” way doesn’t necessarily always equate to what is best for building muscle or burning fat though, so don’t confuse a bodybuilder’s “clean diet” with what is a “healthy diet.” There is a substantial difference.
3) Read Nutrition Labels
This should go without saying that you need to know what you are putting in your body before you ingest it. It is very common for companies to hide shitty (and potentially unhealthy or even harmful) ingredients in small print deep in the nutrition label.
You need to take it upon yourself to look at the labels of the foods you are ingesting. Another more obvious reason to read nutrition labels is to see how calorie dense, and how much of each macronutrient are in the food you are looking at.
Getting in shape is much harder if you don’t know exactly what you are ingesting calorie and macronutrient wise.
4) Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight will very likely result in an increase in blood pressure. High blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes, and simply walking around with excess weight causes your heart to work harder. As a result, cardiovascular disease is a much higher occurrence in the overweight, and other issues like high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and increased probability of strokes are prevalent as well.
For the record, you can be overweight even if you are ripped as well. There is a reason that so many bodybuilders drop dead as young as their 40’s (sometimes even younger!). And no, contrary to popular belief it isn’t a direct result of the obscene amounts of steroids they use.
It is a result of being “Overweight”.
Holding a body composition of 260+ pounds, even if it’s all muscle tissue, will have an extremely stressful effect on your cardiovascular system, and walking around at a weight that high for years on end will literally wreak havoc on your heart.
The heart actually has to work harder to support muscle tissue than fat because lean muscle tissue requires more oxygen, so the heart has to work even harder in jacked out of their mind huge muscular people, resulting in ticking time bombs just waiting for a premature heart attack.
5) Do Cardio Regardless If You’re Trying To “Bulk”
Cardio is commonly viewed as an activity you do only when you are trying to burn fat. Many individuals would even go as far to say that cardio is counterproductive when you are trying to put on muscle.
While I can acknowledge the logic in that point of view, it DEFINITELY is not the healthiest outlook on cardio, or how it should be properly utilized.
Doing cardio on a regular basis will not only stimulate your metabolism to work faster, it will improve cardiovascular health (hence the name cardio).
Keeping up with a solid cardio regimen even in bulking/off-season mass gaining phases is crucial in maintaining a high level of health and promoting cardiovascular longevity.
6) Manage Stress
Stress is a mental issue that many people don’t take as seriously as it is.
Intense levels of stress can actually lead to heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, as well as many other kinds of debilitating conditions. In addition, coping mechanisms to deal with stress can be unhealthy as well, like binge eating, drinking, or illegal recreation drug use.
Stress can have a nasty effect on your life, and identifying major stressors in your life and formulating a plan to reduce and eliminate how it will affect you can be a major key in the upkeep of your health.
7) Lift Weights and Build Muscle
Not only will lifting weights and building muscle greatly improve athletic performance and improve cardiovascular health in your youth, it will help offset the aging process by preventing injuries and maintaining a higher level of strength even as you transition into old age. This will prove an integral role in determining your healthy longevity in this world.
8) Get A Good Night’s Rest
This goes without saying but a good nights rest will help recover your body physically, as well as improve your mental clarity, focus, and overall cognitive function.
Have you ever tried functioning and getting a solid day’s work done after a couple days of pulling all nighters?
It’s pretty damn hard to say the least. While I don’t believe the “golden rule” 8 hours night of sleep is entirely necessary for optimal function, a half decent sleep of 6 hours (give or take) is certainly a great benefit health wise in ensuring your body continues to function at a high level.
9) Take Vitamins/Minerals (You Actually Need) Each Day
It is rare that an individual’s diet isn’t deficient in at least a few micronutrients that will interfere with their physical performance and health. This is especially true in bodybuilder diets where meals are essentially staples that are eaten several times per day with minor variations or additions ever.
Several important bodily functions are compromised by an insufficient micronutrient intake, and you need to take it upon yourself to make up for this deficiency if you want to make sure you are as healthy as possible.
At the absolute minimum, every single person should be taking a good daily multivitamin to make sure that they aren’t suffering from any marginal nutrient deficiencies and as a preventative measure for some conditions and diseases.
10) Get Regular Blood Work Done
Arguably the most neglected part of being healthy is getting regular checkups. Not just where your doctor gives you a quick once over and then tells you you seem fine and sends you on your merry way.
Getting blood work is the most definitive and accurate way to actually literally see exactly where your health lies. Checking things like your cholesterol levels, red blood cell count, thyroid levels, testosterone levels, etc. are all crucial in maintaining a healthy body, and without blood work, you are pretty much just doing guess work when it comes to your health.
These are just 10 tips, but there are countless more things that should also be taken into account to maintain a high level of health.
Don’t take your health for granted, do your research and make sure you are doing everything in your power to ensure your longevity and quality of life.