Exercise is an integral part of a man’s life. Whether he is 15 or 50, a proper workout routine provides a wide variety of benefits. First, doing regular physical activity increases longevity and quality of life. Second, it provides a person with the necessary energy to go through the many tasks of everyday life. Finally, it supplies a much-needed physical and mental respite from the hustle and bustle of work, family, and personal responsibilities.
Yet, there are certain precautions men should take when engaging in exercise. These vary based on age, availability, and body condition. In this sense, it is very similar to another one of man’s passions in life, his car.
When the car is brand new, you can use it to its full extent. It often means driving a bit faster than normal and revving up the engine every once in a while. Once the vehicle has more than a few miles under its belt, the issue becomes more about maintenance, including regular visits to the car body shop and proper interior and exterior cleaning.
Having said that, here are useful pointers on health and fitness habits all men should look into in their twenties, thirties and forties, fifties, and beyond.
Your Twenties: The Fitness Foundation
For most men, their twenties is the time in their lives when they are at their physical peak. Usain Bolt clocked a mind-boggling 9.58 seconds in the 100 meters at the IAAF World Championships in 2009. At the time, he was 23 years old. Michael Phelps was the human fish who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. When Michael Jordan broke the laws of gravity and physics and jumped from the free-throw line at the 1988 NBA All-Star Game Dunk Contest he was only a few weeks removed from his 25th birthday.
From a physical perspective, your twenties is the time to build the fitness foundation that will define the rest of your life. As such, it is vital to work on strength, cardiovascular stamina, and flexibility. Exercises like squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, as well as a proper post-workout stretching routine, will ensure there is enough money in the bank for the later years when you are not as fast or physically strong.
Your Thirties and Forties: All About Tweaking
200 years ago, the male life expectancy rate in most countries around the world was less than 35 years. Needless to say, this isn’t the case any longer, and there is a reason why many people believe a man’s forties are his new twenties. Advancements in medical, exercise, and nutrition technology have allowed people to maintain strength and energy levels and muscle endurance.
But this doesn’t mean that you can go as hard as you did when there was still a two on the left side of your age. Instead, your thirties and forties are a time in which you hopefully know your body better. You are aware of what works for you and what doesn’t. At this stage, your body starts nagging you with little physical ailments here and there and recovery is slower.
The key lies in finding balance by incorporating an all-encompassing fitness routine that strengthens your body while at the same time elongating your muscles.
Your Fifties, Sixties, and Beyond: Functionality Above All
If two words should define your fitness regimen once you hit 50, they are functionality and maintenance. No matter what you do, your muscles will not grow further, and you will never have the energy levels you once did. Thus, you should focus on maintaining the foundation you built 20 years prior and having the functionality to do everyday tasks.
Another critical aspect to consider at this point is nutrition. Many of us might remember indulging in exorbitant amounts of junk food in our twenties and thirties, only to have a flat, table-like stomach the next day.
Sadly, the metabolism of a 55-year-old man is not the same as his 35-year-old counterpart. While you can still enjoy some comfort food after a long day at the office, everything should be done in moderation, and nutritional quality is far more important than quantity.
The knowledge you have acquired in decades past should help you decide what kind of physical activity to engage in and the level of intensity.
As we have seen, when it comes to health and fitness, different stages in your life need different approaches. Your twenties are all about building the right foundation. In your thirties and forties, you customize to what suits you best. After that, it becomes about balance, maintenance, and functionality.
So choose the right fitness program for your age and follow these and other valuable tips. And make your life the best possible one it can be.