Welcome to Men’s Health Week 2017, being recognised this year from 12th to 18th June.
The aim of this charity led national week is to draw attention to key problems with in male health in the UK and each year targets a different, current health concern.
Have you got a ‘Hazardous Waist’?
That is the question that is being asked this year, with the focus being on abdominal obesity, or ‘belly fat’, amongst men.
At Slaters, we know that adding exercise into your routine can be easier said than done as a busy man, so we’ve partnered up with some fitness experts to compile a list of ‘belly busting workout tips’, designed specifically for men.
So, grab your trainers and your sweat bands, it’s time to get moving.
Before we get into the fitness, we spoke with Gary Plumridge, a qualified personal trainer based in London, and he highlighted to us why belly fat is a problem for men and how you should enter the world of fitness if you’re struggling with a big belly.
“Carrying a man belly puts extra strain on the body – not just on knee joints and the back but on the heart as well – which means that running would be out of the question to start with. A big belly also makes it harder to do abs crunches and sit ups due to lack of flexibility, which also means stretching can be difficult. Any fitness regime would have to be carefully managed and structured and should start with low impact exercises to allow for a safe and smooth progression onto a more dynamic and complex workout. If you’re going to the gym then stick to low impact classes or equipment such as the bike or cross trainer, or go for a swim.”
You can hear more from Gary on his website – My Fitness Trainer London.
Tom Bourlet, fitness and nutrition guide for Suit Your Look, has provided us with his top tips for a safe and effective workout in the comfort of your own home.
- Allow for proper ventilation, gyms are air conditioned and becoming overheated while exercising can lead to feeling demotivated, so open a window or train outside.
- Recording your workouts on paper or on a spreadsheet is a great way to track progress and keep your workouts consistent.
- Investing in the right pieces of equipment to support your workouts is more beneficial than wasting money on a whole home gym, Tom recommends adjustable dumb bells as they take up little room and can be used continually as you progress through your workouts.
The time has now come for us to share with you our ultimate ‘belly busting workout tips’.
Chris Simon, a fully qualified personal trainer and blogger for Origym, has provided us with his top 5 workout tips for combatting belly fat.
- The best kind of workout programme for weight loss is one that elevates your EPOC (Excessive Post Exercise Consumption), this helps maintain a high metabolism in the body which works towards burning fat. Exercises that work with this idea include squat curls, Romanian dead lifts and overhead presses.
- Swimming is one of the best aerobic exercises, the number of calories burnt from swimming is dependent on your body weight and the duration of the swim.
- Abdominal exercises target the problem area in question, the belly, and can help burn excess calories in the area. HIIT workouts are a great option for quick workouts to target the abdominal region.
- This exercise is designed specifically to target belly fat, and is popular amongst fitness influencers across the internet:
-Start with your legs apart to the width of your hips.
– Slightly bend your knees.
– Inhale deeply through your knees and push your belly inwards as if it was meeting your spine.
– At the same time, you should roll your hips in the opposite direction
– Do this for seven sets and rest. You will soon see the results.
- Plyometric exercises have a wide range of benefits including weight loss. These movements stimulate fast twitch muscles fibres which helps to burn calories. Exercises include box squat jumps and step up jumps.
If classic exercises such as the above don’t work for you or your lifestyle, we’ve investigated into how Pilates can work for men, and contribute towards weight loss and strengthening of the core.
We spoke to Pilates superwomen, Emma Cranfield, Senior Physiotherapist for Ramsay Healthcare UK and World Ironman Championship qualifier, APPI certified instructor, and she told us all about the world of male Pilates.
“Unfortunately, the image of Pilates is a female dominant one, this is a real shame as the benefits for men are equally as good. Pilates is all about creating good movement patterns and strengthening our local stabilisers, which are essential in creating strong foundations for global muscles to work upon. You often find men work on their global muscles at the gym and not in a great pattern of movement which would be predisposition to injury. Joseph Pilates was an incredible man and he had incredible strength. Glen Withers from the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates institute has many male instructors.”
And if Pilates doesn’t sound up your street, how about yoga? Chris James, founder of Chris James Mind Body, gave us an insight into how yoga and meditation can benefit men’s health.
“Men are increasingly turning to Yoga and meditation to stay healthy and relax. It is a popular choice for those in stressful jobs who work long hours. It is a low impact activity, and it gives a complete workout to the mind as well as the body, rather than high impact gym workouts which are not always conducive to relaxation and can make the mind more active and make it difficult to switch off.
In the last few years, enquiries for meditation from men have increased dramatically, by about 300%. Meditation has been scientifically shown to promote beneficial changes to brain chemistry, mental functions, and cognitive capabilities. By regularly resting in a calm meditative state, clients gain an enhanced ability to change problematic thoughts. The transformative power of meditation is so profound that the physical structure of the brain changes with practice. This is called neuroplasticity.”
We hope all these top tips and tricks for losing the belly fat have been of some use to you, and maybe even encouraged you to try something new like Pilates or yoga.
Happy Men’s Health Week! Please feel free to comment below with any of your own exercise and health tips and as usual, keep up to date with Slaters on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter & Instagram.