Dennis Quaid looks like he hasn’t aged since 1998, boasting a physique that’s hunkier than actors half his age. But how does he stay in such impeccable shape? It’s all about the long game.
“I used to box when I was in my 20s,” Quaid told Men’s Health while promoting his upcoming film, “I Can Only Imagine.” “There was this guy at the time at the Hollywood Y who was in incredible shape in his 50s. I asked him that same question. ‘How do you do that?’ He told me, ‘You take care of yourself in your 20s and 30s and the rest will take care of itself.’”
So the “Parent Trap” star took the older boxer’s words to heart.
“He was right,” he says. “It doesn’t mean you have to be there every day, but you do have to live your life with that in mind. Because if you let it go, every time it gets a little harder to get back. So I’ve always stayed with it.”
Great philosophy! So what exactly is Quaid’s health and wellness routine? Let us break it down for you. While consistency is a mainstay of Quaid’s fitness philosophy, he has steadily adjusted his routine over the years as his body has aged.
“I was a runner for about 35 years, but that gets hard on the knees and the joints. At least for me,” he says. “So I turned to cycling, which I’m currently doing. That and yoga. Along with that, you got to still get into the gym and lift. Do the sit-ups.”
You would think that after being in the industry for 30 years, Quaid would have some sage advice of his own for up-and-comers like Michael B. Jordan and Tom Holland. But when Men’s Health asked him for some pro tips, he downplayed his relevance.
“That’s a very difficult question for me, because it’s not the same place that it was,” he says. “There’s new rules that they probably know better than I do.”
Of course, there are a few principles that will always be useful.
“My advice would be to do something every day that is proactive,” Quaid says. Before his time was booked with filming and gym sessions, he would spend his empty afternoons scanning the upcoming films lists in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and then cold-call casting directors. “Nine out of 10 would say no, but one would say yes.”
“So that’s my advice,” he says to both aspiring actors and wannabe fitness junkies. “There’s always something you can do. Be proactive.”
Quaid leaves us with a positive message about fitness: You don’t have to be a total gym rat to be in great shape when you’re older. By staying consistently active — whether that means going hard in Spin class or biking through the park with a friend — you can avoid burnout and crush your fitness goals.
Read more: 5 Times Celebrities Reminded Us How Important Workout Buddies Are