Grab your cheat sheet
If you’re hitting the gym hard, it can be easy to neglect the other stuff. And, it’s easy to forget that there are ways of levelling up your health beyond your training sessions.
Building muscle is great—and you should keep going for those epic gains.
But, by focusing on a range of wellness factors, you will become fitter, stronger, and more resilient than you ever imagined. Yes, you will become a living, breathing beast of a human (in the best possible way).
Men's Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to dig deeper than your regular routines and explore creative ways to improve overall well-being.
Hitting the gym is undoubtedly essential (we all love a good pump). But, to help you on your health and fitness journey, we’re going to look at five balanced ways of enhancing men's health.
These top tips extend far beyond the workout room and will see you smashing your health and fitness goals time after time.
Ready? Let’s go.
1. Mindful eating: Nourish your body, fuel your health
We’ve all heard that ‘abs are made in the kitchen.’
But actually, eating and nutrition are about more than aesthetics—what we eat influences how we feel in more ways than one.
Exploring the connection between nutrition and men's health beyond the gym will help you feel stronger in body and mind.
By practising a little mindful eating, you can really make a difference to your health. And, getting on board with this mind and body-boosting concept is easier than you think.
It’s all about pulling yourself into the present moment and taking the time to savour your food. In doing so, you’re more likely to eat slower (which is great for digestion) while feeling fuller at the end of your meals. Engaging all your senses when you eat is also likely to drive down your stress levels—a big bonus.
To help nail mindful eating, here’s a handful of helpful tips for your reading pleasure…
- Whether you’re on the go or at home, take the time to sit somewhere comfortable and enjoy your meal from start to finish
- Look at your plate (or Tupperware box) and absorb the colours before you. As you eat, tune into the various tastes and textures
- Take smaller, slower bites and chew a little more than you usually would
- Stop eating when you feel full
- If you can, stop for a moment to ‘honour the food.’ Think about the journey each ingredient has taken. Doing this will help you to appreciate every meal
Getting into the mindful eating groove may be a little tricky at first. But stick with it, and you’ll feel the body (and mind)-boosting benefits in no time.
Read: Our essential guide to 10 nitric oxide-rich foods and improve your performance in the gym.
2. Quality Sleep: The overlooked key to men’s health
Many men overlook the link between sleep with fitness. But the truth is that along with diet, sleep is one of the most essential factors in overall health, fitness, and long-term well-being.
Did you know? A consistent lack of sleep is known to cause issues including sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, a low mood, and a chronic lack of energy.
On the flip side, if you get a solid seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night, you’ll feel more balanced, energised, and focused. In turn, you’ll level up your performance in the gym. It’s a win-win.
Now, to improve your nocturnal rest game, you have to improve your sleep hygiene. And, here’s how to do it…
- Use an eye mask or earplugs if noise or light disrupts your sleep
- Avoid big meals at least three hours before hitting the sack so you're not too full or uncomfortable when sleep time beckons
- Do a little light activity or exercise in the evening so you feel extra rested at bedtime
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night to keep things consistent
- Ditch the distractions (like smartphone screens) around an hour before bed
- Set your room temperature for around 18 degrees—that’s the ‘slumber sweet spot’
Read: This epic rundown of the best (and most nutritious) foods for bulking up to boost your energy levels while you’re awake.
3. Hydration: The fountain of youth for men of all ages
While it may seem obvious, you’d be amazed at just how many men overlook this simple yet essential point: staying hydrated will improve your health.
Did you know? Topping up your hydration levels will improve your energy and focus while improving digestion and keeping your skin healthy.
Basically, water is life. Make sure you stay hydrated in and out of the gym, and you’ll reap a wealth of well-being-related rewards. As a guide, here’s how much water you should drink in a day:
Around 3.7 litres or 15.5 cups of water a day
While this may seem like a lot, when you spread it out through the day, getting this amount of water is easier than you may think.
Here are some hydration hacks to help you get a healthy amount of water every day…
- Drink a glass of water with every meal
- Carry a water bottle or vessel around with you during the day to keep topping up those hydration levels
- Replace most of your surgery sodas with healthier water-based alternatives
- Eat more nutritious foods that are high in water content, like watermelon (as the name suggests!), cucumber, celery lettuce, strawberries, broccoli, and bell peppers
Read: Our five top hacks for a quicker recovery after workouts to help keep your training goals on track.
4. Stress management: Finding your calm and focus
For many years, men’s mental health has been a taboo—but not anymore. In the modern age, guys are starting to realise that physical and mental health are equally important—and that they’re linked.
Did you know? On average, 77% of men struggle with anxiety, stress or depression.
The conversation is open and barriers are being broken, especially around stress or anxiety. And, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, there are lifestyle tweaks that will help reduce the symptoms while improving your well-being.
Here at CrazyBulk HQ, we’ve concocted a little stress-busting mantra known as the Triple S.
Let’s take a look.
Seek your stressors
First of all, to manage your stress levels, it’s important to understand the possible causes. Modern life, in general, is stressful—especially when you’re juggling a million plates. But, by taking the time to understand your specific stressors, you can tackle the issue head-on.
Everything we’ve shared in this guide is designed to help you enjoy a healthier, more balanced lifestyle while taking the edge off your stress levels.
To complement these health-boosting lifestyle hacks and dig a little deeper, knowing your triggers will help you take your well-being to the next level.
Take note of the times during the day when you feel most stressed—and you might start to see a pattern emerge.
Is it work-related? Do you struggle during school runs? Is it anything to do with your relationship? Or is juggling responsibilities in the evening (while trying to squeeze in your training sessions) a little too much?
Whatever the stressor, knowing what sets you off will help you get support or make lifestyle tweaks in the right areas.
When you know what’s making you stressed or anxious, you can talk through your issues with someone…which brings us to our next ‘S’.
Share the load
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious and you have some idea of the triggers, speaking to someone can help you release any pent-up feelings while gaining a fresh perspective on your current challenges.
There’s that old saying that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’—and it rings true. Sharing your load with a trusted loved one can release your pressure value, and you’ll be amazed at the invaluable support or advice you might receive.
Talking it out with an unbiased professional will also help you connect with targeted ways of tackling your stress and anxiety, which will have a positive impact on your overall health.
FYI: If you’re struggling with your mental health, you’re not alone. If you need support or an active ear, there are countless men’s mental health services you can access. And, if you need to talk, you can call Samaritans any time, day or night.
Spend time on something new
Another effective way of busting stress and feeling good is by indulging in activities that extend beyond work and the gym.
When it comes to spending time on something new, the sky’s the limit. As long as it’s positive and it helps you relax, it’s worth a try.
There are countless stress-busting avenues to explore here—including…
- Taking a daily walk
- Reading a new book
- Learning a new skill or taking an online course
- Trying some ‘Wim Hof-style’ cold exposure activities
- Doing cross-training exercises like swimming, biking or climbing
- Joining a social club of some sort. It could be anything from reading to running and everything in between
Check out: Our epic CrazyBulk workout playlist for maximum motivation and inspiration both inside and outside of the gym.
5. Building strong Relationships: A healthy mind = a healthy body
Following on from our last point, we’re going to look at the importance of tapping into community.
Reaching beyond the gym to improve your health (both in mind and body) means supporting others—and accepting support when you need it most.
Did you know? Several studies suggest that people with a strong sense of community tend to live happier, healthier lives.
When you think of it, gym goers or bodybuilders like yourself are part of a community. You all share common goals, and you all work out in the same space.
So, next time you’re getting a pump on in the gym, stop and chat with someone or partner up with a training buddy. See if there are any classes on offer (CrossFit or guerilla training, for instance) and sign up. Tapping into community at the gym itself is likely to make your training sessions more rewarding while boosting your mental and physical health.
If you work out at home or take part in regular solo endurance activities, joining a club or going to a weekly social activity will not only give you a more balanced lifestyle, but it’s also likely to make you feel happier and more motivated.
Read: Our guide on how to work out if you work 9 to 5 for extra training, inspiration and motivation.
Level up your gains with CrazyBulk
By taking a more rounded approach to your health, you’ll improve your wellbeing, which, in turn, will improve your performance when you’re in the gym.
Remember, when it comes to health, the mind and body are linked. Take care of both areas, and you’ll be unstoppable.
Try these balanced men’s health hacks alongside the right training schedule, nutritional plan, and supplements—and you’ll feel brilliant inside out.
You’ve got this.
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