As we discussed in our last blog post, there are actually many more similarities than differences between training for men and women. Traditionally, strength training was dominated by men, while women tended to prefer more cardio based exercise options. Our trainers love to mix it up for everyone and prescribe a mixture of both types of exercise for all genders.
In this post, we’re going to focus on exercise for the blokes: what types should they be doing, and how often should they be exercising. Plus in our next post we’ll give you some tips and tricks for the bigger, more complex lifts that are fun to do and great for your overall strength, yet easy to get wrong and can therefore cause problems such as back pain. Remember, it’s always important to seek medical advice from your GP before commencing any exercise program!
Are There Specific Types Of Exercise Men Should Be Doing?
In short, no. Any exercise is good exercise, however getting the right amount of different types of exercise can be crucial for your health. According to a study conducted by the Harvard school of Medicine in 2017, a balanced exercise regime including aerobic, strength and balance exercises (particularly as you age) are the best way to remain healthy.
Aerobic exercise, which speeds up your breathing and your heart rate, helps to improve all round fitness, as well as heart and lung functioning. Aerobic exercise can also help burn body fat, lower blood pressure and sugar levels as well as increasing “good” cholesterol levels in your blood stream, as well as boost your mood and reduce stress. If you’re unable to walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, it’s time to start increasing your levels of aerobic exercise! We recommend getting in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise every week, through either swimming, jogging, cycling or some other form of activity!
Strength training helps build back up the muscle we lose as we all age. It is a great form of exercise for improving your ability to perform everyday activities such as carrying groceries or picking up your kids off the floor, as well as building up your muscle tone. Strength training won’t just make you stronger, it will also help stimulate bone growth, reduce stress, lower blood sugar and help reduce joint swelling and pain. While strength training won’t necessarily help with losing weight, it will assist with keeping off weight once you’ve lost it, so it’s still critical for assisting in weight loss! A strength program designed by an Exercise Physiologist or Strength and Conditioning coach that involves 2-3 sessions a week, targeting all your major muscle groups is absolutely ideal!
Balance Exercise Training
Balance training is one area of exercise that is often overlooked and despite what some people think, much more complicated than just standing on one leg! Balance training is a great way to help you feel steadier on your feet and help to prevent falls, but it can also help with sports specific tasks such as jumping, landing and change of directions. We like to incorporate plyometric exercises into our exercise programs for this very reason! As always, its very important to get a professional program targeting these exercises before attempting them, especially because they often involve higher impact landings and fast muscle contractions.
How Can I Lose The Beer Gut And Keep In Shape Over The Christmas Period?
The Christmas/ New year period is always a difficult one for exercise and weight loss. Everyone is busier than normal, people are going away on holidays, and after a long year you just want to spend some time relaxing. This often makes it more difficult to make time for the gym or keep on top of your eating habits, but with some small tweaks you can manage to make it through the Christmas period without undoing all that hard work you’ve put in throughout the year.
Alcohol And Weight Gain
One of the easiest ways to avoid gaining any excess weight over the Christmas period is by limiting the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol can cause weight gain in four main ways: it prevents your body from burning fat, it’s high in kilojoules, it can make you feel hungry and it can also lead to poor food choices, making it a big offender in the battle to maintain a healthy weight. By limiting your alcohol intake, you’ll be able to control your weight in a much more manageable fashion, whilst also making healthier meal choices!
Everyone knows the New Year is a time of indulgence, making it even harder to eat healthily and make smart dietary choices. During this time, portion control becomes more important than ever. Sometimes by trying to cut out those delicious foods you enjoy so much can have the opposite effect, so by limiting the amount you eat, you get the best of both worlds – you reduce the amount whilst still enjoying Christmas lunch! Keeping well hydrated, adding higher levels of protein to your meals, making sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating slowly are all highly successful methods that can be used to limit your snacking throughout the day, a key to maintaining a healthy weight. The Christmas and New year periods are so busy, we recommend trying to maintain your weight rather than focusing on losing weight. Having achievable goals is always best!
Finally, making time for some sort of exercise is crucial to keeping in shape throughout this time of year. Again, we’re not saying go out and run a marathon on Christmas Day, rather take some time each day to get out of the house and move. Walking, running, swimming or cycling are great ways to get in your 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise. Aim to do this 3-4 times each week.
Exercise Help And Advice From Our Exercise Physiologist Team
If you need help with starting or progressing your exercise program, our exercise physiology team are here to help. From weight loss to increasing muscle definition, sport-specific strength and conditioning to recovering from an injury, Chris and Kay have the knowledge and experience you need. Our fully-fitted gym has all the space and equipment you could want, with tailored programs and step-by-step pathways designed specifically to help you reach your goals.
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