Written by Susan Kaempf
After spending all this time isolating at home, some of us are chomping at the bit to get back to working out more consistently. There are definitely some important things to consider and put into practice to make the most of your time working out! To celebrate Men’s Health Month in June, here are five tips to encourage and motivate all the men out there:
1) Work on Flexibility
It’s important to remember that men’s bodies differ greatly from women’s in this respect. In many cases, men’s hamstrings, shoulders and lower backs can be tighter and need special attention during workouts. By stretching, you can reduce tension and stress, relax your muscles and help to reduce injuries. This is especially important when returning to working out after a break. Both Yoga and Pilates, as well as the use of resistance bands and foam rollers, can be wonderful modalities to utilize for this.
2) Take a Holistic approach
There are so many fantastic fitness programs out there that engage the user physically, mentally and emotionally. You may not think you need to address all three, however taking this approach has many health benefits. There are some studies showing that holistic training techniques can improve overall fitness, dramatically decrease stress levels and lower cortisol production, which is the hormone that contributes to belly fat.
3) Move Slowly
Faster isn’t always better, especially when it comes to weight lifting. Taking the time to insure you’re executing with proper form is crucial for the prevention of injuries and getting results. When lifting weights slowly, you increase the amount of time your muscles are tense and increase blood flow at the same time. The result is an increase in muscle mass. When you slow down and focus on the concentric and eccentric contractions, you’re working much more efficiently.
4) Try something new
Boredom and trouble getting started are both issues that can stall anyone’s fitness goals. Trying new things and rotating your workouts is a great way to stay motivated. It also will expose you to workouts you may never have tried. One of the best ways to stick to a workout program is to find something you love and look forward to doing. Cross Training is defined as an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness. So don’t hesitate to jump into that Pilates or Spin class!
5) Rest and Recover
This last tip is especially important if you’re just jumping back into a fitness regimen. Your instinct may be to go all out and workout every day doing back to back sessions. You may want to rethink that approach; taking time to let your muscles rest and recover will help to prevent burn out and loss of motivation. In addition, taking a rest day every two to three days will mean that when you train again, you’ll be able to train harder. Not letting your body rest can do more harm than good.
During Men’s Health month – and any month! – it’s important to stay dedicated to your workout routine, stay well hydrated and remember the physical and mental health benefits when you need a little motivation!