Any fans of “The Challenge” are sure to know the competition series regular, Mark Long. Long has been part of the franchise since 1998. As a long-time participant, he has frequently been called the godfather of “The Challenge.” It’s been decades since Long first competed in the series, but even now, at 51, he’s still in peak competitive shape and has recently proven that again by going on “The Challenge: All Stars” Season 2.
During an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Long spoke about continuing to compete in his fifties. Although some people may assume his age would be a detriment, he’s never felt that way. “I’ve never physically felt my age in terms of breaking down, or being less competitive, or not having the energy or motivation to go exercise. If anything, I exercise now more than I did in my 20s because I feel so good after I do it,” he said. While speaking to Health Digest, Long shared some of his best tips and tricks for how you can stay motivated to exercise and how to find a workout routine that can work for you.
When it comes to staying in shape, Mark Long said the only real trick is consistency. “Consistency is the key to anything,” he explained, adding later, “because if you’re not consistent [then] it’s going to go away fast, and you’re going to forget about it.” Long still advised starting slowly. Consistency doesn’t necessarily mean working out seven days a week, especially not if you are just starting to form a workout routine. If you start out with that high expectation, Long said, “it feels like work. Then you’re not looking forward to doing it.”
Instead, “The Challenge” alum suggested starting your exercise routine with small obtainable goals. “Go get a gym membership [and] start going one or two times a week. After you go a few weeks of that, go a third day … as you start learning stuff and feeling more confident with what you’re doing in your body, then you add the days,” he said. By slowly building up, Long said it feels like less of a “drag” and instead going to the gym becomes a fixed part of your routine that you look forward to every week.
Mark Long starts his morning by exercising to guarantee himself a productive day. Although some days are harder to find motivation than others, he said, “Everyone always has a choice when they wake up that day. It’s a 50/50 shot. I’m either going to the gym, and I’m exercising, or I’m not.”
While he sees exercising as the best way to prep for the day, Long knows not everyone has time for a long gym workout every morning. If you’re too busy, he recommended going for a walk at lunch or parking two miles from work and walking in. “Figure out some advantages that aren’t going to the gym, necessarily, but can at least keep you healthy and keep your heart healthy and your cardiovascular performance up,” Long said.
As an example, he shared a story about when he was stuck on lockdown in a hotel room due to COVID and couldn’t go to the gym. Instead of taking those days off from exercising, he set up his hotel room to work out within the space he had. “I turned my entire hotel room into a fitness center,” he said. “I managed in a hotel room to jog four miles a day; it’s the absolute truth.” Long believes that if you want to, you can find an exercise routine to suit your lifestyle and start living as healthily as you can.
You can stream “The Challenge: All Stars” on Paramount+.