Many men are put off exercise by the image of men with bulging muscles lifting huge weights or pounding away on the treadmill. They may have had bad experiences with sports trainers at school or college.
They are afraid of looking foolish alongside more athletic men. They have suffered humiliation and bullying so many time before in relation to sport that they avoid fitness training.
This is very short sighted because unless we take exercise our bodies deteriorate and we suffer ill health. Exercise is vital for men who want to avoid the common diseases that occur in middle age and later life.
Heart disease remains a major killer among men in middle age. Regular exercise can help to avoid it by maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. High blood pressure is another common problem. Cardiovascular exercise can help to reduce it.
Obesity is widespread and not just among older men. Most men do sedentary jobs and seldom get enough exercise. It is essential to take some form of exercise to combat obesity. Gaining just a few pounds a year may hardly be noticed but can lead to a serious problem over the years.
Diabetes is becoming increasingly common in middle aged men. Exercise can help to prevent it because it prevents the body responding to the insulin it produces.
As men live longer so senile dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease will become increasingly common in men. Studies have shown that exercise can delay the onset of dementia.
Fitness need not be about competitiveness and comparing yourself to other men. It should be about setting your own standards and being confident in your own body.
The aim of fitness training is to improve your own levels of fitness not to attain some absolute standard. Every man begins from a different level of fitness. Every man has a different health history. Every man progresses at a different pace and every man has a different physique.
Physique is not a good guide to fitness. Some fit men are lean and lightly built others may be heavily muscled. Some men will never build bulging muscles no matter how hard they work out on the weights.
So put the stereotypes out of your mind when you want to get fit. Take an objective look at your own body and accept its shape.
You can expect to burn some fat by exercise and careful attention to diet. You will achieve better muscle definition by weight training. But you may not achieve a perfect six pack even with persistent abdominal exercises. A man can still be fit without a perfect six pack.
You may chose to go to a gym or fitness center but there are many other ways of maintaining your fitness. Many men with busy schedules prefer to exercise at home. Professional standard equipment can now be bought for home use.
Perhaps the best single piece of equipment is the elliptical trainer. It gives a full body work out and many different levels. The main advantage of the elliptical trainer is that is involves no impact and so does not pose the risk of injury to joints.
If you are family man then you can use your own fitness program as an opportunity to spend time with your children. A family bike ride every week end will benefit every member of the family.