Men’s fitness programs are often designed differently than women’s fitness programs. Where women are mostly interested in weight loss, toning and improved health, men’s fitness programs are focused on adding mass and ‘bulking up.’
Men’s programs usually have two options – a solid buff body or a lean healthy body. Either reason that men choose to be in a fitness program they will receive many different health benefits. Research has shown that exercise will decrease cholesterol levels, decrease body fat, decrease risk for stroke, heart attack and cancer and improve circulation and an improved sense of well-being.
Before undertaking a fitness program men should consult with their doctor. Although this may be against their basic feeling of immortality and ‘I can do anything’ attitude, it is always better to check with the doctor to be sure that the planned activity will not interfere with a known medical condition or medication.
Men’s programs can be accomplished at home or at a gym. This is a personal choice for men. There is no right or wrong answer. At home fitness programs are more convenient, take less time (no travel time to and from the gym), no membership fees and very private. You do have to purchase a couple of pieces of equipment that will do the job to achieve your goals.
At a gym you give up privacy and convenience for trainers, top-notch equipment and other men for motivation and socialization. If you do decide to join a gym for your men’s fitness program be sure to evaluate your options thoroughly. Look at convenience of drive time, price, the number and quality of trainers, equipment, services, childcare if it’s needed and the hours they are open. Also check with your employer since some have agreements with gyms for cheaper fees. Men’s fitness programs benefit your employer as well since a healthy company often pays cheaper insurance fees.
If you want to use a home gym be sure to evaluate the equipment to meet the needs of your men’s fitness program. Look at the price of the equipment, the space you have available for use and storage, reliability of the machine, function, and the number and variability of the exercises that are available on the machine.
To be successful, a men’s program must be made a priority in your fast paced lifestyle. This can be hard to accomplish, especially at first. Other commitments are vying for your time and energies. There are work and family commitments as well as friends and relatives who all want a piece of your life. Sometimes men complain that after a long day at work the thought of working out is too tiring. But, interestingly, working out will actually give you more energy! You have to make a commitment to your health and fitness program to be sure that it is successful.
Fitness programs are also successful when they incorporate sports or activities that you enjoy. Most men feel out of place doing aerobics or yoga but a good game of basketball, raquetball or tennis is just what the doctor ordered.
If you enjoy these sports don’t depend upon the occasional game (1 x a week) to meet the needs of a fitness program. You should also include other activities to prepare your body for the one time a week all out effort that these sports require. Without preparation and conditioning there is a higher risk of injury and a higher health risk since you won’t be involved in a program that prepares your body but rather doing activities that create stress once a week.
A good fitness program will engage your mind and your passion and give you a reason to continue to workout week after week. This is a lifetime commitment to health and wellness that will decrease your health risks and give you a whole new outlook on life.