Stay fit for life
A lot of people talk about making fitness a long-term lifestyle, but what does that actually mean? And what does it demand? We've seen countless successful transformations over the 16-year history of Bodybuilding.com, and here are four essential lessons we've heard repeated over and over again as to how to make that feeling you have right now last.
Find a fitness passion
Can you imagine what it would be like if you hated the gym but were expected to do that for the rest of your life? It'd feel like a long-term prison sentence! That's why it's imperative to prioritize fitness activities you enjoy. Whether it's the camaraderie of group classes, the challenge of building the technical skills of rock climbing, or just the timeless thrills of pitting yourself against the weights like a powerlifter, choosing activities to match your interests is the most important step everyone must experience. If simply punching the clock at the gym to look and feel great is sufficient for you, great!
You may not know yet which activity calls to you, but stay in the game long enough, and one will. Keep your ears and mind open!
Keep It Balanced
Competing at the top levels of any sport—including bodybuilding—requires a massive commitment of time over the span of many years, even decades. Far too often, we see rising stars who simply flame out, because to succeed, you almost need to be obsessive-compulsive with your diet and training 24/7. That's just not a recipe that works for most people—and why should it?
Being fit and healthy is an incredible accomplishment, even if you never set foot on a stage. To sustain your level of commitment long term, you'll want healthy relationships with your family and friends, and enough time for work and school. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Be a well-rounded athlete first and foremost!
Make Friends Who Share Your Fitness Passion
You don't need to surround yourself with identical fitness personalities, nor are we asking you to discard friends who don't train like you do. But in our experience, having at least one or two friends who are serious like you are and share this interest makes it far, far easier to stay plugged in and accountable long term. Knowing that there's someone you can bounce ideas off of, share inside jokes with, and maybe train with, makes the whole lifestyle far more enjoyable and approachable.
Make Investments in Your Health
It costs big bucks to be sick in America. Investing in your health won't just help you live longer; you'll enjoy a better quality of life and spend far less on health care over the years to come. (Have you seen how much a diabetes diagnosis can cost?) If that isn't worth the $50 or so for your gym membership, what is?
Of course, you can go overboard with fitness expenditures. But in the grand scheme of things, a new pair of sneakers every few months is peanuts. A new bicycle to replace your rickety old one is a no-brainer. A few select supplements that help you train and recover better are icing on the cake. And a few personal-training sessions with a smart, experienced coach can help everything function better.
Consider these investments in your health and fitness, not just luxuries. Trust us when we say they'll pay off in the end!
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