Men’s health is often overlooked – sometimes because activities such as yoga or cardio fitness classes are filled with more women than men; other times because when men think of ways to optimize their fitness level, they default to strength training and/or cardiovascular exercise as the gold standard.
However, a balanced lifestyle, healthy body inside and outside, is equally important to men and women. With the demanding nature of modern day living, balancing work and family life, combined with time constraints to visit the gym and or difficulty in accessing equipment, being fit is often “easier said than done”. Often men just simply don’t have the time to integrate structured physical activity into their lives.
A health and wellness goal can be achieved (managing a healthy weight for example) with some simple daily routine exercises that help you leverage your time while optimizing your fitness. An excellent place to start is to seek out an exercise that addresses the whole body and that can address all areas of physical fitness: muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, aerobic capacity and core stability.
Circuit training: a form of exercise on resistance training using high-intensity aerobics. A circuit usually works each section of the body individually yet each completion of the circuit effectively targets the entire body. This type of exercise burn more calories in the same amount of time (as traditional cardio), stimulate more fat loss, and create a huge metabolic effect that can increase your fat burn hours after your workout.
Yoga: an exercise previously thought only for women. Yoga has become popular because of the whole-body nature of the movements, which train you to relax your body as well as energize and stimulate it. Yoga also calms an agitated or over-worked mind; a great remedy for the stresses of modern living. Yoga can be thought of as a moving form of meditation. Regular practices can even reduce levels of cortisol, which is the body’s stress hormone.
Healthy diet and protein supplements: High-quality, high-protein diets help keep the body strong, improve body composition, insulin levels, metabolism and ultimately provide the building blocks of most cells in our body. Functional beverages (i.e. smoothies) for breakfast or post workout are excellent ways to add nutrient density to the diet as well as fuel the body and optimize energy levels.
Movement: When it comes to health and optimal fitness, explore new approaches that are not gender specific or age specific (such as yoga). Physical activity should be primarily about movements that are structured, balanced and most of all enjoyable.
Ryan Corrigan, Holistic Nutritionist
Hooper’s Pharmacy & Vitamin Shop, 2136 Queen St. E.