Exercising is important, and many experts argue this importance increases as we age. A sedentary lifestyle exacerbates the deterioration already caused by natural, environmental, and genetic factors. Men can undergo significant muscle loss and weakness as they reach middle age; incorporating the right exercises into their fitness routines is essential. Most exercises work for men and women, but a few are especially effective for the male body.
Cardio is a vital exercise for all men. More than just a weight loss tool, it does more for muscle development than most may think by building and strengthening muscles in the thighs and calves. Since the heart is a muscle, cardio can help men make great gains in heart health. Male fatalities from heart disease are higher than females and men are more likely to have heart attacks, so keeping this muscle strength is vital to good health.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises
Prostate surgery can weaken important muscles on the pelvic floor, including those around the bowel and bladder. Relaxing and tightening the muscles that control urine flow is one of the primary pelvic training exercises. Though these internal motions can be practiced throughout the day, they should not be done while passing urine or stool.
Deadlifting is an important testosterone releaser for men. Testosterone affects numerous aspects of men’s health, from fertility to sex drive to energy levels. Because deadlifting affects large areas of muscle mass, it releases large amounts of testosterone both during and after a workout. Reduced testosterone affects men in the long term, leading to irritability, hot and cold flashes, and infertility.
Planks are a full-body strengthening exercise that targets another large body part: the abdomen. Planks also help improve posture and decrease back pain, a problem for many men who spend long hours at a desk each day. Incorporating planks into a regular exercise routine can help improve posture in the long term, but only when done consistently.
A study conducted on a group of 102 sedentary men measured numerous hormone levels, including testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). DHT is partially responsible for the start of puberty and the development of other male characteristics. The latter two hormones showed significant increases when the subjects incorporated aerobic activity into their workouts over the course of a year. Aerobic exercises also help improve overall blood flow.
Kegel exercises are another type that can improve the strength of muscles in the bladder and bowel, which can help aging men and men who have had prostate surgery or nerve or brain damage affecting their bladder and bowel control. These exercises, when continued over time, will improve muscle strength and bowel and urine control. They must be repeated on a regular, long-term basis to maintain their effects.
Low-Intensity Resistance Training
One study shows that low-impact resistance training has positive impacts on men at risk for knee osteoarthritis and can ease knee pain. Double leg presses are one of the exercises the study used to measure the effects of this type of training. While high-intensity exercises are beneficial, the research showed that even moderate exercise can help men, especially in building joint strength.
Progressive Resistance Training
Another study shows progressive, weighted resistance training increases testosterone. Both older and younger subjects saw significant gains in strength, though improvements were smaller in the older group. Weighted resistance training exercises include weighted lifting, squats, powerlifting, deadlifting, and bench-pressing.
Jumping rope is another exercise that can help increase joint strength in men with sedentary lifestyles. The exercise affects almost the entire body and is especially useful for quick weight loss. It can target areas when men gain weight after years of little to no regular exercise, such as the abdomen and oblique areas.
Box Squat Jumps
Another great exercise that burns fat is the box squat jump, which combines the aerobic activity of jumping rope with the strength training of a squat, targeting the legs, abs, and entire lower body. It also burns significant calories and tones areas with excess fat. Box squat jumps can help tone calves and improve balance and can be modified so that people in middle and older age can continue to reap the benefits.