Tommy Europe knows what works when it comes to getting in shape.
As well as being a two-time CFL All-Star, the acclaimed fitness coach has hosted “The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp” and “Bulging Brides” reality TV shows.
What has all this experience taught him? “The most important thing is to set goals and make sure they’re realistic,” Tommy advises, adding that this doesn’t have to mean aiming for a specific body weight or bench-pressing a certain number of pounds. Rather, the goals can be about building small, easy habits that lead to better overall health. “Sticking to a schedule leads to healthier habits that then become automatic,” he explains.
Here are three easy goals guys can turn into healthy habits:
Drink five tall glasses of water each day
Space them out throughout the day, starting when you get up and finishing with a final glass a few hours before bed. Drinking water fills up your stomach, making you feel less hungry. It’s so simple, yet so effective for losing weight. Another plus: Your brain and body need water to work properly, so drinking lots of it will also help make you sharper and more energetic. And last but not least, scientists at Loma Linda University found that men who drank this amount of water were 54% less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than those who drank two glasses or less daily.
Walk to lunch three days a week
Walk 10 minutes to a park bench with your packed lunch, or choose a restaurant that’s a few blocks away. Walking briskly for 30 minutes burns around 250 calories, after all, with guys who walk five city blocks in a day lowering their risk of heart attack by 25 percent. As a fitness coach, Tommy often advises his commuter clients to park farther from their offices than they normally would so they can get some quick and easy exercise by walking to their desks. “Then they start pushing themselves to beat their walking time each day,” he explains. “It’s amazing what this little trick can do.”
Switch off an hour before bed
Shutting down your smartphone and other handheld electronics before bedtime has been shown to help you get to sleep more quickly and snooze more soundly, which in turn helps you feel well-rested. As Tommy says, “You need that energy so you’re not always dragging your butt out of bed when it’s time to move around.”
As well as forming healthy habits, staying motivated is an important part of any fitness plan. Here are Tommy’s Top 5 tips for lighting your inner fire.
If you’re thinking about fitting easy exercise into your day, we’ve got your back.
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. He’s been covering men’s health for over 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and National Post newspapers.