Physical activity is crucial for men but all too often they get caught up in the business of work and feel that exercise should take a back seat, or in some cases think that exercise isn’t even necessary due to the fact they already do physical work. Without exercise, or some form of resistance work, your muscles may let you down. This has a knock on effect to your joints, consequently impacting your ability to perform those duties at work that are stopping you from attending the gym in the first place.
Did you know: Despite the benefits of exercise, less than half of men aged 18–64 are sufficiently active, and this drops to 1 in 4 for men aged over 65. In addition, 7 in 10 Australian males are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
The Australian guidelines recommended for exercise are as follows:
ADULTS AGED 18 – 64
- Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
- Be active on most, preferably all days, every week.
- Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1¼ to 2½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
- Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
OLDER ADULTS 65+
- Older people should do some form of physical activity, no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities.
- Older people should be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
- Older people should accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.
- Older people who have stopped physical activity, or who are starting a new physical activity, should start at a level that is easily manageable, and gradually build up the recommended amount, type and frequency of activity.
Living longer with a high quality of life is the goal of most, and for older men, strength training is a vital part of remaining “healthy” in those later years. It’s important to remember that ‘health’ is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. That’s where strength training is crucial.
WE LOSE MUSCLE AS WE AGE
The natural aging process leads to distinct muscle mass and strength loss, with a 15% loss per decade over the age of 50. Studies show that strength training (aka weight lifting, progressive resistance training) can improve muscle mass and strength which will in turn combat the musculoskeletal issues associated with aging. This is why your gym program covers all bases from head to toe.