Men's Fitness and Nutrition:
All in the Mind

Men's fitness and nutrition are intertwined. I think men tend to understand that.

Were you looking for the magazine Men's Fitness?

Cartoon Muscle Guy
We get that nutrition, fitness and health require an ongoing commitment. That makes sense to us.

It's a lifestyle commitment. So what it comes down to is whether we want to make that commitment.

And how big a commitment we want to make.

Fitness and nutrition are about mind over matter
I live a pretty healthy lifestyle. It wasn't always healthy. It's gotten healthier over time.

That's because I understand that men's fitness and nutrition are about making small, sustainable changes.

It's about knowing myself, about knowing what I'm capable of - in both the good and bad senses of the word.

Cartoon Racketball Player
I know I like competition. (Most men enjoy some kind of competition.) There's a one-on-one sport I love to play. (Racketball.) I'm pretty good at it. I play hard, and it helps keep me in shape.

I've also learned that I can play only so much before my body starts protesting.

As I age, I've learned not only how much I can play, but what other kinds of workouts I can do to help maintain or increase my skill level, my strength level, my endurance...

...and to keep from getting injured every time!

So let's break that down.

1) I have a sport I enjoy and that I can compete in. (And I'm definitely not good at all sports. I had to find this one.)

2) I've discovered other men's fitness regimens that help me succeed in my sport. I don't love them, but now I have a reason to want to do them.

Weightlifting Businessman
Voila! I now have a fitness lifestyle that's painless to me because it revolves around something I want to do.

Doesn't that sound like an approach you (or your man) could handle and benefit from?

Remember men's competitive nature

We can even learn to enjoy competing against ourselves. That means measurement.

Whether running or walking, we can measure speed and distance and take pride in our improvement over time.

If weightlifting, we can journal our growing strength and take pride in it.

Another important measure is a man's target heart rate. There are a number of different formulas out there, but here's the most commonly cited. Got a calculator? To determine target heart rate:

Subtract your age from 220. Target heart rate is the
range between 70% and 85% of that number.

So for instance: a 50 year old man's target heart rate is 70-85% of 170. That is, between 119 and 144.5 beats per minute.

(Google target heart rate if you want to learn some other methods of calculating.)

If a man hasn't worked out in a long time, he shouldn't go shooting for 85% right away. 50% might be more appropriate. But monitoring one's improved fitness with this number can be satisfying.

As can measuring a man's resting heart rate as his endurance improves.

The key to men's fitness is a sustainable workout regimen

That will mean something different to each individual, but finding something he won't hate - and might even enjoy - is key.

Other ways to make working out more enjoyable:

  • Add music to the mix
  • Add a workout partner

The added benefit of a workout partner is you can keep on each other to maintain the regimen.

Men's fitness comes easier if it's enjoyed and fits into a regular schedule. And if weight loss is an objective, one mind over matter trick is to schedule a workout at a time of day when minds turn to food. If a man gets hungry in the mid-afternoon, that's a perfect time for a workout.

You can't be at McDonald's and the gym at the same time!

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