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7 Healthy Habits a Former Pro Bodybuilder Lives By

These habits will totally pump you up.

When your goal is to have a fit, happy body, who better to turn to than a professional—someone who knows the ins and outs of boosting strength and muscle? We here at Eat This, Not That! did exactly that and spoke with president at BIOptimizers and former bodybuilder champion, Wade Lightheart, to learn some of the best healthy habits a former pro bodybuilder lives by.

All you need to get started is a fitness goal and solid determination to make it happen. Lightheart shares, "Establishing a healthy daily routine ensures consistency and feelings of accomplishment, creates clear boundaries, eliminates decision-making, and creates discipline/willpower. By pre-determining when and how [you] will engage in fitness activities and choose healthy meals, you reduce the need for daily deliberation. Eliminating decision fatigue and the reliance on willpower which can hinder consistent adherence to healthy habits."

Once you add healthy daily habits to your lifestyle, they'll become second nature. You'll start to see results in no time at all. Just remember—consistency is key. Read on to learn the best healthy habits a former pro bodybuilder lives by. And when you're done, check out A 69-Year-Old Trainer Shares the 7 Fitness Habits That Keep Her Looking 25.

Practicing deep breathing

meditation class

Learning to incorporate deep breathing is essential, as it activates your body's relaxation response, which in turn lowers stress. In addition, it tells your brain to relax, which decreases the amount of stress hormones produced, such as cortisol.

Lightheart shares, "In my busy schedule, this has been particularly helpful in managing everyday stressors. I've also found that it improves concentration and focus by directing my attention to the present."

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Performing weight and cardio training

muscular man lifting weights, concept of the best exercise to build bigger muscles fast

Performing a vigorous workout using weights and cardio exercises five to six times a week is something Lightheart lives by. "Regular exercise, particularly intense workouts, serves as a powerful stress management tool for me while also contributing to overall cardiovascular health by improving heart function, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and supporting efficient blood circulation," he explains. "Regular vigorous exercise also has the added benefit of boosting metabolism."

Staying hydrated with filtered water

muscular man holding water bottle

Drinking three to six liters of well-filtered, Alkalized water every day from an ionizer is another healthy habit Lightheart swears by. "Alkalized is scientifically referred to as reduced water, which lowers osmotic pressure making it be absorbed by the cells of the body better," Lightheart tells us. "It's also an electrical-based antioxidant superior to veggies, fruit, and supplements, and eliminates plastics from bottled water and the xenoestrogens they contain."

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Maximizing digestion


Dietary-specific enzymes, probiotics, and HCL are beneficial in maximizing your digestion and how well nutrients are absorbed. The enzymes he specifies include MassZymes for high-protein, VegZymes for plant-based, kApex for high-fat/keto, and Gluten Guardian for gluten-containing, high-carb, or high-dairy.

Lightheart explains, "As someone who has lived on an all-vegetarian diet, this approach supports not only optimal digestion but also addresses the unique challenges associated with specific eating styles."

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Exposing skin and eyes to sunshine

man in sunshine after workout

Being exposed to direct sunlight in the morning hours, most especially the skin and eyes, can work wonders for the mind, body, and soul. Lightheart reveals you can start small, and build up your time in the sun. That coupled with eating fresh foods that count on sunlight to make them grow, is so powerful.

Maintaining a "systemized routine"

fit man making protein shake, concept of tips for men to lose belly fat and keep it off

Curating an organized regimen you'll stick with all day long is a smart habit to get into. This includes everything from supplements to food to exercise, and even sleep.

"Invigorating self-care with supplements, a high-protein first meal of the day, with either fats or carbs as fuel, depending on which works best for you, exercise, and meditation, visualization with deep breathing," Lightheart suggests. "Rebounding can cover everything if you're pressed for time. Bedtimes and wake-up times are best if regular. Sleep six to eight hours, depending on what's optimal for your chronotype."

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Working toward a goal

two muscular men running

Last but not least, Lightheart always keeps a compelling goal in mind that he's working toward. He suggests working with a coach and/or a qualified expert who will keep you on the right track and assist with any feedback you may need to productively achieve your results.

"Having a goal provides clear direction and purpose in life and serves as a driving force, this helps me stay motivated to pursue my pursuits," he explains. "The clarity a goal provides enables me to channel my efforts and energy efficiently, as well as a sense of determination and focus."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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