Let’s face it: the “Quarantine 15” has a lot of men’s self-esteem in the toilet right now after a long past year of sheltering in place and social distancing.
Approximately 64% of men said their current state of health or appearance negatively impacts their confidence, according to a recent survey of 1,000 US men ages 30-65 conducted by Vault Health. In addition, 90% said their current state of health or appearance could be improved.
But that doesn’t mean it has to remain that way– especially with a post-Covid return to normal as we settle into the beautiful summer months.
Dr. Myles Spar is the Chief Medical Officer for Vault Health, the first men’s telehealth startup to offer direct-to-consumer prescription treatments such as testosterone replacement therapy to optimize their physical, sexual, and cognitive health.
He has some sage tips for shedding unwanted belly fat, gaining lean body mass, and getting in shape for what will hopefully be one of the best summers ever.
- Diversify Your Workout.
Incorporating different training styles into your routine can help you achieve better results while avoiding the boredom that comes with a stale and repetitive workout plan.
This means changing up your workouts with activities like HIIT training, cycling, lifting, hiking, or yoga.
Whatever workouts you enjoy, make a plan to rotate between four specific types of activity throughout the week: cardio, core, flexibility, and resistance.
- Incorporate Cardiovascular Exercise.
Studies show that combining cardio and strength training, sometimes called cardiovascular exercise, into your regimen has proven not only to have the best effect on cardiovascular and overall health but to be one of the best techniques for fat loss.
- Listen to Your Body.
Not every day is for breaking records. Your stress, sleep, diet, and emotional health can affect your workout readiness for the day.
If you wake up feeling tired or drained, pay attention to those signals. If you haven’t had a rest day in the past week, consider taking the day off from strenuous activity.
Otherwise, you can try jumping into your regular workout routine—but if you’re not feeling re-energized within 10 minutes of the workout, there’s a good chance your body needs to take it easy.
Wearables can also offer important metrics when it comes to registering your body’s recovery and readability.
- Prioritise Nutrition.
Though exercise is key, supporting your workouts with a healthy and balanced diet will enable you to achieve better—and longer-lasting results.
Whether you’re already a healthy eater or starting from scratch, now is a great time to refocus on your nutrition.
First, establish your goals. Is your top priority to build muscle mass? Then you’ll need to ensure that you’re consuming adequate calories and plenty of healthy protein.
If your top goal is losing body fat, you may want to experiment with intermittent fasting or reducing simple carbs and sugar from your diet.
- Celebrate Small Wins.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your body is no different. Losing fat and building muscle mass will take time, determination, and follow-through.
It’s not uncommon for people to get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results, but just remember that it usually takes much longer to get your body back into shape than It does to fall off the bandwagon and get out of shape.
The key is to celebrate the small wins like completing your first full week of training, losing 5 pounds, gaining a half-inch of muscle, and so on.