5 fitness tips for men
Men, work on your flexibility
One of the main differences between a man's and a woman's body is that men are generally less flexible than women. You may not think flexibility is important, but it is. Stretching your muscles regularly will help you to move more efficiently. Stretching is also important for men because it helps you stay injury-free and it can relax your muscles and in turn reduce stress.
Clearly stretching is very important for men and is something you need to work at. Attending Yoga or Pilates classes can help you to improve your flexibility. Remember, as a general rule, men's hamstrings, shoulders and lower backs tend to need to be worked on more than other areas of their body, so pay special attention to these parts of your body in your flexibility sessions.
If you're like most men you'll have a healthy competitive spirit and, whilst this is great for your motivation and for encouraging you to push yourself, it can lead to problems. For example, a lot of men fall into the trap of thinking that in order to be better and achieve more they have to perform all of their exercises at a super fast pace.
Although true when performing some exercises, for others this is just not the case. Take weight lifting for example. When lifting slowly, say for 10 seconds in total, you increase the amount of time your muscles are tense for and simultaneously increase the blood flow. This means that you help to develop and increase your muscle mass. The next time you train, remember that faster is not always better and find out what speed you should be working at.
Try new things
Men are terrible for sticking to the same fitness routine and many don't try new things very often. If this sounds familiar you need to explore new ways to get fit. Doing different types of fitness activities means that you work different parts of your body and by doing this you improve your core strength, your flexibility and your balance.
Working up the courage to try new things is one of the biggest obstacles most men face when it comes to this task. If you don't fancy going into a Pilates class or joining a boxing club on your own take a friend with you or try a DVD before going to a class.
Holistic approach to fitness
Another thing women seem to be better at than men is taking a holistic approach to fitness. This means that they thereby engage physically, mentally and emotionally with their fitness programmes. Taking this approach to fitness has many health benefits.
For example, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that some holistic training techniques could improve fitness. Other benefits of the holistic approach to fitness is that your stress levels can decrease and it is thought that certain types of holistic practises, such as Tai Chi, can improve bone health. To take advantage of these health benefits explore some of the many different fitness techniques that are out there.
Take a break
Another fitness tip men should put into action is resting and recovering between sessions. Doing back-to-back sessions may make you feel like you are doing the best thing for your body, but not giving yourself a break between workouts will mean that you will burn out, lose motivation and do more harm than good. Plus taking a rest day will mean that when you train again you can train harder.
You should be taking a day off from exercising every two to three days as a minimum ideally. Make sure that on these rest days you stay hydrated and avoid doing anything too strenuous. If you're struggling not to do anything on these days you could do some flexibility workouts. Also if you have been lifting weights or exercising certain muscle groups, make sure that you do not train that same muscle group again the following day.
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