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Then (2007) and now: McGraw toned up by making healthy swaps and hitting the pavement to de-stress. (Photos: Getty Images)
In 1999, country star Tim McGraw hit number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles and Tracks with “My Next Thirty Years,” a feel-good jam that lays out his hopes and dreams for the next part of his life. In his next 30 years, McGraw croons, he’ll watch his weight, “eat a few more salads and not stay up so late, drink a little lemonade and not so many beers.” It was a nice dream for McGraw, who was then known for his hit songs and a love of whiskey.
Here’s the thing, though: It all came true. A few years back, McGraw quit drinking and dropped some serious weight; now 47, McGraw is in better shape than most of his 20-something country cohorts. He’s nixed the beer (though no word on whether he’s replaced it with lemonade), and credits a healthy diet and exercise with keeping him in shape and energized enough to keep up with a crazy work schedule — and be there for his family. Now, he’s heading up America’s Diabetes Challenge, helping those living with type 2 diabetes to live healthier lives.
McGraw’s workout of choice: running. (Photo: Getty Images)
So how — and why — did he transform from an out-of-shape partier to one of country’s fittest stars? It began with a decision to do better for his wife (fellow country legend Faith Hill) and daughters. “You look at yourself and you look at your life, and for me, I have a 17-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 13-year-old,” McGraw tells Yahoo Health. “I want to be around, I want to see them grow into beautiful, strong women, and I want to be around to see that.”
There were no crazy detoxes, no overnight miracles — just day after day of making healthier choices, McGraw says. “I just started gearing everything I did to a healthy lifestyle, just working out every day, eating the right foods.” Below, McGraw shares 5 healthy habits he’s picked up along the way.
He makes a point to sweat every day
McGraw makes running a daily habit. “I do other stuff, but if I ever get behind or don’t have my touch time, a run is what I go to,” says McGraw.
McGraw tells Yahoo Health that he got in shape for his family — and himself. (Photo: Getty Images)
While it’s a healthy choice all around (and key to helping to manage diabetes, McGraw points out), working up a sweat helps him to keep a clear head, he says. “It helps me maintain all the things I have to do. It helps me be responsive, it helps my brain function, it helps so many things I have to do. It certainly helps me be active for my kids when I need to be. “
He makes healthy substitutions — but doesn’t cut out everything he loves
McGraw cops to a deep love of cheeseburgers. “I’m sorry! I have to have a cheeseburger,” he spills. “The thing is, though, you do it occasionally, and we really enjoy turkey burgers now. That’s become a big part of our routine instead. But, every now and then… “
Those arms take work! McGraw makes an effort to work out daily. (Photo: Getty Images)
He doesn’t meditate, but he does love a good book
While McGraw’s mastered the fitness game, meditation just isn’t his bag. “I wish I could [meditate], but I don’t know if I could sit still long enough to do that,” he laughs. “A good book is probably my meditation. I like to read, so any chance I get to sit and read, that’s what I like to do. I just finished Lawrence of Arabia, and now I’m onto Wars of the Roses.“
He’s doesn’t do extremes
“Being healthy and having a healthy lifestyle includes a lot of balance,” McGraw explains. “There are ways to balance your life and ways of enjoying it, a way of being proactive about your health and enjoying your family.” Case in point: McGraw and Hill play one-on-one basketball to stay in shape and spend time together. (Who wins these games? That would be Hill. “Of course she wins,” McGraw laughs. “Of course! Come on! I’m not stupid.”)
McGraw and Hill make fitness a habit. (Photo: Getty Images)
Halfway through those next 30 years McGraw dreamt about, it’s safe to say they’re looking pretty good.