Men and women are built differently physiologically. For example, as men have a higher percentage of muscle mass than women do this allows them to burn an increased number of calories and fat. This means that they don’t need to put in as much effort – as women do – in the weight-loss arena to achieve measurable results.
However, what happens if a man just wants to keep up his state of physical fitness and isn’t interested in losing weight at all? How much should he exercise? In this article, we’ll take a look!
What is a healthy amount of exercise?
The Department of Health and Human Services (DoHaHS) in the United States of America has set down a number of recommended guidelines for adults – either men or women – to adhere to in terms of exercise. The length of exercise will depend on the specific exercise type.
It’s recommended that the average adult does approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity on a weekly basis:
- Experts at Harvard University define ‘moderate physical activity’ as exercise that gets you moving fast enough for you to burn three to six times as much energy than you do when you’re at rest. Examples of this type of physical activity include brisk walking and swimming.
- These same experts define ‘vigorous physical activity’ as when you burn off more than six times as much energy than you do when you’re at rest. Examples of vigorous exercise include running and Zumba.
In terms of strength training, the DoHaHS recommends that the average adult performs strength training at least twice a week. The department recommends that you:
- Use a weight that is enough to tire your muscles out (which means that the stronger you are the more likely it will be for you to be using heavier weights),
- Do at least one set per muscle group, and
- Perform between 12 and 15 reps in a set.
The type of strength training that is popular among men is weight training either using free weights or weight machines.
Pilates is also seen as a form of strength training that uses your bodyweight as the resistance in the same way as weights are used in weight training. We are now seeing more and more men in Pilates classes as they see the benefits that this has for one that strength training or cardio doesn’t necessarily provide. For example:
- One of the key focus areas of Pilates is developing core strength. And this is not just developing a sexy six pack. Pilates develops the strength of the inner abdominal muscles which help to – for example – support your lower back. As most of us spend our lives chained to our desks, in front of our computers, if we’re not careful we’ll suffer from lower back pain. By strengthening the abdominals, our lower backs are supported which means the incidences of pain in this area of our bodies decreases.
As we said before, men and women’s physiology is fundamentally different. This means that a man is less flexible than a woman is. This doesn’t mean that men have to resign themselves to a life of not being flexible! There are steps that they can take in order to remedy this situation.
Yoga is an exercise modality that’s been around for thousands of years. The focus of this is to help practitioners of this art form become more flexible – among others. Thirty years ago, you would only see women in yoga classes but nowadays men have started joining women in class as they see the increased flexibility that this exercise type offers. As men’s muscles are tighter than women’s are, they will find certain positions more difficult than others however there are workarounds for these.
So to answer the question that we asked in the title of this article, men and women have to exercise for the same amount of time if they want to remain physically fit. If they have a certain fitness goal that they want to achieve, they will have to consult a personal trainer for his or her advice.