Should men and women exercise differently? This question came across my mind when my female friend wants to know what kind of strength exercises would be suitable for women to perform. My answer to her in short was……the same as for men.
I shall elaborate further. I believe that the same exercise should be performed similiarly regardless of gender. I use push-up which is a bodyweight strength exercise as an example. There is no female or man’s version of a push-up. A standard push-up (knees off the floor) should be done in the same way between a guy and girl if they have the same ability etc. However, the type of push-up and its required form should be performed according to the individual’s ability, objective and/or body conditions; and not based merely on gender differences. Generally most women do the knee-assisted push-ups while most men perform the standard push-ups (knees off the floor). However, there are guys who can only do knee-assisted push-ups while some girls can perform standard push-ups or even tougher kinds just as well (think of Demi Moore in the movie “GI Jane”) through regular and serious training.
Conclusion: The same exercise should be done the same way unless you have some inhibiting conditions that don’t allow that such as a bad shoulder or elbow in the case of my push-up example. Everyone should try to use good form and choose appropriate exercises to suit their individual objective and ability.
There is abundant literature on the positive benefits of physical activity. However, research on the relationship between physical activity/fitness and different aspects of sexuality is limited. Research shows that there is a relationship between a physical active lifestyle and the individual’s sexual performance and satisfaction (Krucoff & Krucoff, 2000; Stanten & Yeager, 2003).
Sedentary men could greatly reduce their probability of having erectile dysfunction by being more active (Stanten & Yeager, 2003). Aspects of fitness such as endurance and body composition contributed to the improvement of sexual performance (Krucoff & Krucoff, 2000). A study was done by Bortz and Wallace (1999) on more than 500 physically active male and female participants with ages of 50 and above to examine the relationship between physical fitness, aging and sexuality. They reported that sexual satisfaction appeared to correlate with the level of fitness. They concluded that physical fitness and high levels of sexual activity are mutually supportive aspects of successful aging.
A more recent study done by Young and Penhollow (2004) examined the relationship of exercise frequency and self-reported fitness levels on perceived sexual desirability and sexual performance. Data was conducted through a questionnaire on 408 undergraduate students (71% females and 29% males). Results suggested that in spite of differences among different genders, generally those who exercised more frequently and had higher physical fitness level, had better perception of their sexual performance and desirability. The authors suggested that people who were relatively more fit and exercised frequently had a more positive self-perceived body image which may lead to increased confidence in their sexual performance and desirability. They were also healthier which may lead to an increased ability and willingness to be sexually active.
Conclusion: Having a physically active lifestyle not only improves your health and fitness, it can also improve your sex life. So if you want to improve your current sex life or seek to maintain it as you age, make sure you exercise frequently and stay in shape!
Bortz, W. M. 2nd, & Wallace, D. H. (1999). Physical fitness, aging, and sexuality. Western Journal of Medicine, 170, 167-175.
Krucoff, C., & Krucoff, M. (2000). Peak performance. American Fitness, 19, 32-36.
Stanten, N., & Yeager, S. (2003). Four workouts to improve your love life. Prevention, 55, 76-78.
Young, M., & Penhollow, T. (2004). Sexual desirability and sexual performance: does exercise and fitness really matter?. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, 7.
Tabata workout is a great conditioning tool that can be done at the end of your workout or as a workout itself. You can include a combination of different types of exercises instead of just using the same exercise through the 8 rounds..
For example, you can perform kettlebell (KB) swings and burpees alternately (4 sets/exercise). Doing 2 exercises instead of 1 add variety to the workout and also enable you to perform it at a higher intensity. You can "recover" better for your next set of KB swings while performing burpees and vice versa. In this case, I prefer to start with the tougher exercise first.
1st round - KB swings
2nd round - Burpees
3rd round - KB swings
4th round - Burpees
5th round - KB swings
6th round - Burpees
7th round - KB swings
8th round - Burpees
The National Health Survey 2010 reported that only 19% of Singaporeans aged 18-69 years engaged in regular exercise (any forms of sport and exercise; at least 20 mins/session; 3 or more days/week) during their leisure time (Ministry of Health, 2011). Why are we not active enough during our leisure time? There are many factors involved which are beyond the scope of this article. I will only discuss about which type of activities (sport or exercise) would be more ideal for long term adherence for those thinking of being more active.
There is a difference between exercise and sport participation. Exercise is defined as a form of physical activity involving exertion of sufficient intensity, duration and frequency to achieve or maintain fitness or athletic objectives (Neiman, 2003). Examples are jogging, aerobics and gong to the gym. Sports participation is defined as a form of physical activity governed by formal or informal rules that involve competition against an opponent or oneself (Lumpkin, 1998).
Literature examining motives towards exercise and sport suggest that sport participants were more intrinsically motivated as they were driven by their own satisfactions and exercise participants were more extrinsically motivated by external outcomes. It is likely that people who engage in sport are more likely to persist in their sporting activities compared to exercise participants regardless of gender (Kilpatrick, Hebert & Bartholomew, 2005; Rintaugh & Ngetich, 2012).
Conclusion: If you are thinking of being more physically active and have no preferences for either exercise or sport activities, consider taking up a new sport or going back to your sport again. But ultimately, you should select the type of activities based on your preferences for best adherence results.
Kilpatrick, M., Hebert, E., & Bartholomew, J. (2005). College students' motivation for physical activity: differentiating men's and women's motives for sport participation and exercise. Journal of American college health, 54(2), 87-94.
Lumpkin A. Physical Education and Sport: A Contemporary Introduction. 4th Ed. Boston, Mass: McGraw-Hill; 1998.
Ministry of Health, Singapore (2011, November 29). National Health Survey 2010, Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/Publications/Reports/2011/national_health_survey2010.html
Neiman D. Exercise Testing and Prescription: A Health-Related Approach. 5th Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2003.
Rintaugh, E. G., & Ngetich, E. K. (2012). Motivational gender differences in sport and exercise participation among university sport science students. Journal Of Physical Education & Sport,12(2), 180-187.
Recently, I gave some advice to a guy who appears to have a chronic wrist injury due to his bboying activity. My advice apart from him seeking medical advice (which he probably will ignore till it gets worse), was for him to strengthen his wrist and forearm while avoiding movements that aggravate his injury.
Exercises such as squeezing a tennis ball or wringing the water out of a wet towel are convenient and easy to perform. Just wring your wet clothes or towel during a bath. You don't even have to sweat to have a good wrist and forearm workout!
If any of you are interested in taking online courses from reputable institutions for free, check out https://www.coursera.org/. From the info on the website, Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.
I took a course on “Exercise Physiology: Understanding the Athlete Within” by Mark Hargreaves (University of Melbourne). On my own, I find reading up on this subject challenging from a recreational reader’s point of view. Either the reads contain too much info or they are too specific. However, this course allows me learn specifically on key topics/issues such as fuels, heat and fluids.
Hope you guys find something that interests you in there!
Designing an exercise regimen
Some of you may have heard or seen the Valslide and the exercises that can be performed with it. For those who are keen to purchase one but find the prices to be unfriendly on your budget like me, you may consider using furniture sliders instead. They function similarly to the Valslide and only cost a fraction of its price.
I have been using the Supersliders By Waxman and it works fine with me (though I have never use the Valslide before). To make some money to realize my dream of having my own training facility, I am selling the sliders for SGD 6/piece, meaning it will cost you $12 if you want to own a pair (to dummy proof your understanding).
It will be featured in the store section in time to come. Meanwhile, pop me an email if you are interested. Happy Sliding! Here is a picture of the one that I'm currently using.
One of the best and most common way to test for muscular power is the vertical jump test. The NFL uses the vertical jump test to test potential NFL drafts on their muscular power.
You can measure and record the best of 3 attempts on your stationary and maximum vertical jump.
To gauge on how good these results are, you can use the vertical jump calculator on http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/VerticalJump.html
Or alternatively, you may refer to this website for information
The following table is extracted from the above mentioned website for adult athletes (20+)
All information presented on this site is meant for general purposes. It is not meant to replace health and medical advice from healthcare professionals.