Guys, we know you might be hard up to change your daily habits, but we promise just a few little tweaks can make a world of difference. We referred back to one of our favorite magazines, Men’s Health, to learn more about some basic lifestyle musts.
1. Wake (and Stay) Up
Hitting snooze once isn’t a sin but if your alarm goes off for the first time at 5:45 a.m., and again every 10 minutes until 7, it’s a total waste of time. You’re not getting good quality sleep but you’re not starting your day, either. Doctor’s advice? Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room—next to a window or a light switch. When it goes off, open the blinds and turn on the lights. A bright environment will make it easier to wake up because the light suppresses your brain’s production of melatonin, which triggers sleepiness.
2. Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Knowing that you need A.M. protein to fuel your day is easy. Getting up an extra 20 minutes early to prepare a sausage-egg-and-cheese omelet? Not as simple. That’s why Men’s Health nutrition advisor Alan Aragon makes this ultra-efficient breakfast: A shake with two scoops chocolate whey protein powder, 12 ounces cold black coffee, a frozen banana, 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa, a handful of walnuts, and a cup of ice. In barely more time than it takes to fill up your travel mug, you’ll have the ultimate energy booster.
3. Stay Hydrated
It’s easy to get caught up in your day and forget to drink water. But when you’re low on H2O, you’re more likely to be in a bad mood, get confused, or feel tired. Make your go-to snack something spicy, suggests Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Sports Medicine. If you keep a stash of habanero almonds or wasabi peas in your desk, you won’t forget to fill up your water bottle.
4. Work Out — Even When You’re Not in the Mood
On days when you don’t feel like moving, make the only requirement of your sweat session a single set of your favorite exercise. “It’s likely that once you’ve started, you’ll finish,” says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S. If you still don’t feel like being in the gym, go home. This way, you never actually stop exercising—you just have some gaps in your training log.
5. Get Some Peace of Mind
“Meditation is a great stress buster, but a lot of guys are put off by the concept,” says Men’s Health mental health advisor William Pollack, Ph.D. Try this instead: Sit in a quiet space for 5 minutes. Think of a fond memory—a childhood triumph or recent adventure—and replay it in your mind. Doing this once a day can yield benefits similar to those of meditation.