How long has it been since you checked your phone? A question that is likely irrelevant because you’re probably reading this article on it.
If you’re not, then you might have found it on a PC or Laptop. In any case I’m not writing for a newspaper here, so you’ll be carefully and digesting this on some form of screen.
Ask yourself then, how often do you look at a screen? If it’s your job to be glued to one for 8 hours a day, do then spend another 4 hours glued to another? I know I do.
Screens are a habit of mine. And an annoying one.
The impact of this habit affects so many other parts of my life too. The amount of time I spend active goes down, which affects my health. My stress levels go up, which again, has a negative impact on my health. How productive I am goes down, which affects my bank balance. Even as I’ve crawled to the 100-word mark on this article (pat on the back Eddie) I probably checked my phone twice.
Screens distracting me from screens. Like some sort of, sleek and shiny bevelled paradox.
This is a habit that me and other Americans do up to 46 times per day. With a combined total of around 8 billion looks at photos of a stranger’s lunch, cat memes and sports results per day across all ages.
As a habit it’s a little more accepted than picking your nose though. Or slightly less expensive and unhealthy than smoking. Unless you always must have the latest phone.
We’re used to all these unhealthy habits and addictions. We’ve accepted that we’re addicted to phones, eating crap foods and cutting our lives shorter overall. And it’s not great. Whatever though, work is crap, life is hard, and a few beers or smokes can make that night a little better.
But, my nose picking, phone scrolling, beer drinking, cigarette smoking friend, there are good healthy lifestyle habits you can take on if you simply just can’t bear to ditch your old ones.
How guys can start implementing healthy habits
This purpose of this article isn’t to get you to drop any of your old habits. I certainly won’t be stopping habitually going for a few beers on a weekend or convincing you that your relationship with your phone is destructive.
I’m not your mum or girlfriend. So, I’ll leave that to them.
But what this article can help with is incorporating some new, ‘better’ habits into your life. Hell, you might even push out some of the old nasty ones.
Just for the record we’re going to be talking some baseline stuff here. These aren’t all the healthy habits for men, but just some easy ones. Don’t be offended if you read something that you already do. But also, don’t congratulate yourself too much, because you’re feeling unhealthy enough to read this amazing article in the first place.
A lot on the internet suggests it only takes 21 days to create a habit. The sad scientific reality is that can take a lot longer. In the interests of not making you want to cry at the thought of having to drag yourself along doing something you’re not even sure if you like, for the benefit of your future self, we can stick with what the wide spread motivational memes say. It’ll only take 21 days! Wahoo!
(Sadly though, the real length of time it takes to form a new habit depends on what that habit is. If it’s something big like going for a 10-minute jog every morning, it could take 21 days, it could take a painful 200. The key is don’t give up.)
Remember, if you want something to become a habit, you need to stick at it. Penalize yourself for not doing it that day. We’re not talking about breaking out a cat o’nine tails and lashing your own back, but instead just put money into a pot or even go as far as getting rid of something, anything you might have been looking forward to.
Think of your brain as an unruly child. It’s going to go fucking crazy when you force something new on it. If it misbehaves, then give it a cutting red cross on the calendar or make it sit on the naughty chair rather than head out with mates. It really is you vs you. And you’ve got to be a bit of a bastard to win.
Tell other people too. Because when they ask, ‘How’s that new habit going?’ you’ll have to either hang your head in shame or puff your chest up with pride. Obviously telling other people is habit dependant. If you do something gross or slightly criminal, then maybe keep that to yourself.
Key in this list of habits you should be adopting are fitness related habits. If the word fitness is conjuring up some pretty scary images in your mind don’t worry.
I’m not going to sit here and write about how you should be habitually going to the gym every other day. It’ll only improve your self-confidence, sleep pattern, concentration levels, physical appearance and overall lifestyle. And who needs that for $30.00 a month?
It’s a big habit and one that some people just can’t fit in to their day or afford to do. So rather than changing your life with the gym here is a couple of simple daily habits that’ll improve your health and fitness.
#1 Exercise first thing
As soon as your phones stock alarm screeches into your slumber, crashing around in your brain and trying to ruin your comfort, you need to start thinking about exercise.
I’m not talking about getting up sprightly and running out the door to the gym either. You don’t even have to leave the room, let alone change from your birthday suit.
Just take 2-3 minutes. Perform simple bodyweight exercises like Push-ups, squats and hold the plank for a bit.
I won’t lie, this is a pretty hard habit to get into. But it’s going to start your metabolism, wake you up better than a large black coffee and also take advantage of hormones that were released as you slept.
Once you’ve got into the habit of 5 minutes, move to 10. You could even start to look at throwing in some weights. All whilst wearing only what god intended. Just be careful not to trap things as they swing free.
#2 Cold shower
“Spartans! This morning, we…. shower in the cold??”
Feel free to not even bother reading this one. It is absolutely awful. But it’s very easy to adopt, if you shower every day anyway. You just need to grow a pair, turn the shower tap to cold, then watch as the pair you’ve grown shrink away into themselves.
The Spartans used to shower in the cold. And by doing so build up a tolerance to pain, increase alertness, reduce stress and help get rid of DOMS from the Spartan gym session they might have done.
It’s going to be a tough 21 days getting used to this one, but you’ll see noticeable improvements in loads of aspects of your life.
#3 Move more
Simple. If you want to be healthier, you need to get into the habit of moving. Walking to work, or at least part way to work is one good way to start. Challenge yourself to take the 20 floors of stairs up to yourself 5 days a week. If you don’t work 20 floors up, then just walk up and down stairs 20 times? Make sure you let us know how people react to you doing that too…
By moving a little every day you’ll start to improve your fitness levels and burn extra calories. This applies to absolutely everyone, even people who are at the gym regularly can benefit from a short walk and extra bit of cardio.
Taking screen breaks at work is a good opportunity to get blood flowing and more calories burning. Every 20-30 minutes (whatever you can get away with) get up and wander to the toilet and back. Fake taking a leak if you have to. Just don’t go overboard, or before you know it people will be asking how you deal with your diabetes.
#4 Clean up your diet, one meal at a time
You knew this was coming in this article. And for some people it’s the opposite of what they want to do. Why the hell should you clean up your diet? You could be dead tomorrow?! I hope you’re not, because you’ve taken to the time to read my ramblings for a few minutes now. And, death is pretty awful.
But, by not really giving any though about what you’re eating you’ll be shaving a few seconds off your life every meal.
It really is that simple. You know the clichéd saying; ‘You are what you eat’, well this is pretty much true. If you’re diet is currently spiralling out of control and you’re not paying any attention to what crosses your lips then you need to start bringing in healthy and natural foods, a little green vegetables and fruit every day can go along way in making you feel and even look better. Unless you gorge on so much broccoli you metamorphosize into one.
A tried and tested method to start cleaning up your diet is start by switching one meal at a time. Get a big healthy breakfast with loads of fruit and veg on the go. Then promote yourself up to having a healthy lunch a couple of weeks after. The internet is packed with recipes for healthy foods. If you’re always eating out preparing your own healthy lunch will save you a ton of $$$.
Learn what healthy foods you like and what you don’t. You’re not going to stick to the habit if you absolutely hate the taste of what you’re putting in your face.
#5 Sleep more and stress less
Go to bed. Get some sleep. Make sure you get your full 8 hours.
So many guys short change themselves on sleep and it’s a pretty serious issue. I know that ‘sleeping more’ is easier said than done for some people, but do you know all the points above? They should all help you sleep better on an evening if you can turn them into HAAABITS.
Watch one less episode on Netflix and read from a set time every night. Remember your brain, the angry child desperate to stay up late? Well don’t let the little shit win, have discipline to get them all tucked up at the same time every night.
Set a pre bedtime ritual up. I’m not talking about sacrificing pets, but just doing the same thing, before bed every night. Reading is a good idea. After a few weeks your brain will associate reading with calming down and preparing itself for sleep. The same thing applies to brushing your teeth. Just make sure it happens at the same time every night.
You might not finish books very quickly, but at least you’re sleeping and recovering from the day. By sleeping more you’ll find every aspect of your day to day life improves. Mood, immunity from illness, libido and of course energy are all affected by the amount you sleep.
Healthy Habits for Guys Conclusion
So there you go, a few healthy habits and ways that you can start to implement them into your life. Like any new skill, starting a new habit is all about repetition, repetition, repetition.
While you start the new habits plan on how you’re going to break those old ones. Because like me *checks phone*, they’re loads of little things that will be taking up your time and damaging your health and lifestyle.
You might even start to feel the benefits before your new healthy actions become a proper habit. Visulize the end goal and in In 21 days time you’ll be a giant healthy broccoli taking freezing cold showers, with tiny cauliflower nuts that sleeps loads. And you’ll feel better for it.