Exercise has been seen as having many benefits for the human body and overall wellness since ancient times, especially in ancient Roman times when the emphasis was put on physical activity not only to improve the body but also the mind. Exercise has also been related to survival and as a means to prepare for any physical combat or wars. By the 19th and 20th centuries, gymnasiums and aerobic exercises were established as a way to train British military officials. It was also around this time that sports became popular as a means of exercise. Mass exercise and training movements also came about through the early 20th century as both women and men's workouts. This started after many scientific studies were performed in the 1900s regarding the health benefits of exercise and daily workout regimens. Some of the key research that leads these movements included the studies of Dr. Morris, who determined heart attack rates for those with more sedentary work such as bus driving versus more active work such as bus conducting. Other key research included measuring the rate of oxygen intake and consumption as related to muscle energy use, which determined the importance of aerobic exercise and cardiovascular exercise such as running and walking.
Exercise can come in different forms of physical activity for men and women that help to increase strength and stamina as well as overall fitness and health. One type of exercise is aerobic exercise, which engages larger groups of muscles and is a cardiovascular workout that gets blood and oxygen flowing more rapidly and freely throughout the body. Examples of aerobic exercise include calisthenics, swimming, running or jogging, or dancing. Exercise can also be anaerobic, which is where more specific muscles are targeted for strength training. Anaerobic exercises can be bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups and butt and leg workouts like resistance band squats or weight training exercises with weight loading machines or dumbbell and kettlebell use. The last type of exercise is flexibility, which targets the lengthening and stretching out of certain muscles. Stretching to improve range of motion can be achieved by simply performing different poses, like daily stretches or yoga positions, and aids such as a wall, block or various devices and stretching tools can be used for a better effect or an even deeper stretch.
The largest benefits of exercise are direct health benefits. Exercising not only improves physical fitness and a body's range of motion but can also help with improving muscle strength, regulating digestion and the immune system, managing a healthy weight and bone density, and reducing health risks such as diabetes or the need for surgery later in life. The flow of blood and oxygen has major positive effects on all internal organs, particularly those that are part of the cardiovascular system. Those who exercise also tend to have a reduced level of mortality rate than those who do not exercise or don't exercise enough.
Exercise has also been proven to help with mental skills as well, including cognition and overall brain function. Studies on exercise in children have shown improved motor skills, which is the combination of the mental and learned skills that produce muscle movement. Other studies have shown that daily aerobic exercise can improve memory for students and adults and improve cognitive function for the elderly. Exercise also has positive short term and long term effects on mood, such as decreasing the body's acute psychological response to stress. It can be both an antidepressant and sleep aid and can boost self-esteem and mood while also combating central nervous system disorders.
As much of the world has shifted to work that is less physically demanding, especially with the development of computers and internet functionality, there have been many changes as far as the trends of exercise. Exercising in gyms or taking classes such as HIIT workouts for men have become very popular ways of getting the needed amount of weekly exercise.
Working out more cheaply at home or with DIY techniques such as running outside or hiking have always been popular as well. With the development of technology, at home workouts went from VHS tapes or TV network programs to the eventual rise of fitness apps and internet videos. Now it is easier than ever to not only get the correct routines that will help to reach specific fitness goals, but it is also possible to physically track your health such as weight, heart rate, and daily steps with the use of smartphones and fitness watches.
Since men and women tend to have different body types and different body goals aesthetically, there are options available to have more focused training such as male workout routines. For example, it is possible to find core and ab workouts for men that can help for barbell training and even lower ab and pelvic floor strengthening exercises. Men can also find routines for fat burning and strengthening muscles in the chest, arm and shoulder, bicep and back that will give them the best results for their body shape.
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