Fitness for Man
Fitness can be performance-related or health-related. Performance-related fitness is a measure of an athlete's agility, balance, power, and speed. This topic focuses on health-related fitness, which you can achieve through regular physical activity. The benefits of both types of fitness are a healthy heart and lungs (cardiorespiratory fitness), increased flexibility, and muscular strength and endurance.
Health-related fitness helps you feel your best and reduces the risk of heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Being fit helps you to have more energy throughout the day for work or school and energy left over to enjoy your leisure time.
How much physical activity is required to become fit?
Experts recommend: 1
Activity at moderate intensity (equal to a brisk walk) for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week or more.
Vigorous exercise for 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week or more.
Vigorous exercise is done at a pace that increases your heart rate to 70% or more of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is the fastest your heart can beat at a maximum activity level.
To find your target heart for exercising, use the target heart rate calculator.
Children and teens should be active at least 1 hour a day.
What types of physical activity improve fitness?
Most experts agree that there are three kinds of fitness:
Flexibility is the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion. Stretching is a flexibility exercise.
Aerobic (cardiorespiratory) fitness is the body's ability to use oxygen efficiently and depends upon the condition of your heart, lungs, and muscles. This type of fitness increases the amount of oxygen that is delivered to your muscles, which allows them to work longer. Walking is a type of aerobic exercise.
Muscular fitness includes building stronger muscles and increasing how long you can use them (endurance). Resistance training through weight lifting and body movements such as push-ups can improve muscular fitness.
Keep in mind that you may be fairly fit in one area (perhaps aerobic fitness) but just getting started with another (such as flexibility or muscle strengthening).
5 Pillars of Fitness
Everybody has the potential to do extraordinary things. Here's how to unleash your stronger, swifter, more powerful self.
Have you ever truly tested your athletic limits? If you're like most men, the answer is no. Sure, you go to the court and dribble till you're winded, or to the track and run till you're dripping wet. But you won't find your limits there ? team sports and workout routines are all about, as the adage goes, "playing within yourself." Testing your limits is about playing beyond yourself. It's about actively seeking your physical boundaries, pushing down those walls, and raising your game to a level you never thought possible.
On the following pages, you'll meet five of the world's best athletes, each representing a pillar of peak performance. For these men, success would never have come had they stopped pushing when they met resistance. Learn their strategies and you'll soon be busting through your personal barriers. You may not earn a ticket to training camp, but you will end up in the best shape of your life.
SPEED: THE GREAT EQUALIZER
You might say it's better to be fast than good. If you're too slow to beat your man, you'll never have a chance to showcase your skills. (Remember Damon Bailey? Didn't think so.) And for those short on talent, speed can level the playing field. But sports speed isn't just about maximum velocity. It's also about how fast you can accelerate and decelerate ? that is, go from standing still to your top speed, and vice versa. And because every tenth of a second matters, even small improvements can make a major impact on your performance.
For many people this time of year is about excess -too much eating, drinking, sitting around, and too little exercise. Here at Men's Health we've put together a simple 6 step strategy called Get Fit. With these techniques you can pace yourself and reduce the chances of failure. Getting fit is a lifestyle change but it doesn't need to be massive. So, check out 6 Fitness Steps for Men:
Ideas for improving health & fitness
Quit SmokingIf you don't smoke you can pat yourself on the back. Smoking is the number one enemy for undermining any fitness program. Around one in every six deaths in the US is related in some way to smoking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in the U.S. in 1999 295.5 deaths per 100,000 were 'smoking-attributable'. Circulatory problems caused by smoking can lead to amputations, heart disease and strokes. Breathing problems, like bronchitis and emphysema, are caused or made worse by smoking. It's never too late to stop smoking even if you've tried and failed before. If you only pick one fitness step from this list, pick this one.
Get Fit with Daily Exercise
You don't need to look far to find a world of information about exercise plans. Some magazines and websites talk of little else so an exercise plan may seem like a complex and unappealing option. Stripped to its bear essentials you really need a system that gets you working for about 30 minutes, three times a week. Exercise need not be a formal activity, it can be built into your normal everyday life, such as walking briskly rather than strolling, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Anything that is aerobic, such as walking, running, jogging, swimming, rowing, rope skipping, dancing, racket sports, and cycling, helps keep the heart healthy. Ideally, build up to a point where your exercise breaks you into a sweat but not so hard that you can't hold a conversation.
If you are overweight, or have a medical condition, it is a good idea to seek medical advice before you embark on any exercise program. Exercise, combined with weight loss and a good diet, is the most effective way to get healthy and stay fit.
Get Fit with Tooth Care
You may think this a strange addition to a get-fit plan but consider for a moment the impact good dental hygiene can have on you and other people. Regular check-ups help to prevent dental decay and gum disease. Good dental routines, such as brushing and flossing, helps prevent bad breath and reduces the chances of extractions. One of the first things people look at during a meet-and-greet is teeth. Great teeth can make you a more appealing person to talk to and look at.
Fight the Flab and Get Fit
You've been away a long time if you haven't heard that we're generally overweight and eating the wrong stuff! Even of you're not overweight you might consider whether your diet is as balanced as it might be. Obesity puts pressure on the heart and is implicated in cancers, varicose veins, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure and strokes. Reducing fat, sodium, sugars and calories and increasing fiber through vegetables and fruit are good basic guidelines. Coupled with exercise, you are on a sure path to losing weight and getting fit.
Increase Body and Health Awareness
In general terms men are pretty unaware of their bodies and how health and welfare work together. Many men have no idea of their current health status, how to measure it, what to look for or where to turn to for advice if they need it. Men will put up with levels of discomfort or concern that most women find extremely puzzling. The fact that you are reading this suggests you may not be in this category. Keep it up - knowledge is power.
Dealing with Tension Tactics and Fitness
When the pressures of life outstrip a person's abilities to deal with them, we call this stress. Stress is a normal fact of life but if left unchecked can lead to psychological and/or physical illness. Understanding what causes stress may not make it go away but it can achieve a sense of mastery and therefore control over your life. Stress can have the effect of exaggerating problems and making them appear too complex to manage. Some people find relief from stress reducing methods like relaxation, yoga or exercise. You may need to speak to your doctor for some guidance. Avoid tobacco, alcohol or drugs.