Today’s man is aware of the need for physical activity.
It helps you keep up healthy body weight, lessens the risk of injury and chronic conditions, and hey, you get to flaunt a fine body.
As you create your fitness regimen and hit the gym with fervor, here are five fitness tips you should take into consideration.
Watch Your Diet
Some men believe they can indulge in their favorite fast foods like fries, cheeseburgers, or processed meats, then work off the extra calories.
Well, that’s like riding a stationary bike hoping it will get you up the hill.
Junk foods are high in sugar and fats all of which can affect the quality of your exercising regimen.
They drain your energy, damage your metabolism and contribute to weight gain.
So rather than grabbing frozen ready meals or takeaways, take the time to prepare a healthy meal.
Balanced diets provide healthy nutrients that keep energy levels at optimal levels while minimizing fat storage.
As you prepare meals at home, use healthy cooking methods that include baking, steaming, sautéing, or grilling.
Stick to lean meats such as chicken, turkey, shrimp, and tilapias. These protein-dense foods will help keep your muscles fit and set for workouts.
Use healthy cooking oils, keep salt at a minimum, and season the food with herbs.
Fruits and vegetables are great for men who are getting in shape. Green beans and broccoli, in particular, keep your digestive system clean and operating smoothly.
What about alcohol consumption? Can it ruin your fitness?
Since alcohol contains empty calories, consuming it regularly will hinder your fitness goals.
It is also a sedative that slows down your ability to function properly. In addition, alcohol will leave you feeling fatigued and in no mood to exercise.
Alternate Exercising Activities
Our bodies are good at adapting.
If you work out every day, the body gets accustomed to it, giving you fewer results.
Plus, if you only focus on a specific exercise, you’ll be missing out on other muscle-growing opportunities.
Some men hit a workout plateau, which occurs when the body adjusts to the demands of the workouts. You may find your workout boring or feel unmotivated to even head to the gym.
If you’re feeling this way, it’s a sign that your body is ready to try something.
Keep your body guessing by changing the order of the workouts, combining different workouts, swap days, or varying the tempo within the activity.
As long as you keep challenging yourself, you’ll achieve your goals.
According to fitness experts from Gymnation.com, some ways you can beat the workout plateau include:
- Making small changes to your fitness routine to encourage your body to keep building strength.
- Tracking your progress using a fitness tracker, recording in a journal, or taking timed fitness challenges regularly.
- Using the progressive overload technique to gradually add the stress you place on your body while working out. It will keep your body busy adapting to new stressors.
As you work out, your body loses water (through sweat) as it attempts to return to its normal temperature.
Similarly, breathing heavily during workout sessions also increases the fluids lost from your body.
With the loss of fluids, you may start experiencing muscle fatigue, heat stress, headaches, and dizziness, among other symptoms.
It’s therefore imperative that you replenish lost fluids to ensure your body maintains its performance levels.
We recommend hydrating before workouts and sipping water during the workout.
This will help minimize soreness and muscle injury, improve endurance, and keep your energy levels high.
What should you drink?
Water is the best fluid replacement drink. It’s natural, quenches thirst, and contains no kilojoules.
Fruits such as oranges and melons also contain high proportions of water, so snacking on them before or after workouts can help load up on fluids.
What about protein shakes?
Proteins support muscle recovery after workouts and promote growth, so a protein shake may be a fantastic way to top up your protein intake.
Where does that leave sports drinks?
Some men rely on sports drinks that contain carbs and electrolytes to refuel their bodies during moderate to vigorous exercises.
However, these drinks contain sugar so consuming them may prove counterproductive.
Rest is a critical component of fitness because exercising causes microscopic tears in muscle tissue. The best time for these tears to be repaired, heal properly, and grow is on a rest day.
Rest also helps prevent exercise-induced fatigue.
Your body stores carbohydrates (glycogen) in the muscles and exercising uses up these energy stores.
When you chill out, your body replenishes these stores keeping muscle fatigue and soreness at bay.
Further, exercising back to back with no rest places you at risk of over-training and exposing your body to stress and strain.
Your body will give in at some point, forcing you to take that rest – for more days than you had planned.
Over-training also decreases your performance, leading to poor agility, reduced endurance, and slow reaction times. You may also feel less motivated to go the extra mile.
How often should you rest?
Experts recommend incorporating a rest day for every 3 – 5 days of training. If you’re into vigorous workouts, take more rest days.
What should you do on your rest day?
Rest days are good for getting enough sleep, doing light stretching exercises, and focusing on your nutrition.
It may be a good day to take that protein shake and load up on complex carbs, fruits, and veggies.
Work on Being Flexible
Flexibility always seems like a waste of time compared to weight lifting or strength training
Yet stretching your muscles regularly can help you work out more effectively.
Additional benefits of stretching include:
- Reduce back pain.
- Minimizes tightness, allowing you to use your muscles without risking injuries.
- Provides body balance, improving your posture and alignment. It also minimizes stress on tight muscles that are used more than others.
- Reduces mental stress and aids relaxation.
Here are tips to help stretch safely:
- Focus on major muscle groups like the neck and shoulders, lower back, calves, or lower back
- Stretch muscles that you routinely use during workouts.
- Avoid bouncing while stretching as it can injure your muscles.
- Hold each stretch for around 30 seconds. You may need to hold on longer in problem areas.
- You will experience some tension as you stretch but if it gets painful don’t push any further.
- Remember to breathe as you stretch.