Fitness Basics for Young Men

Developing your body’s flexibility, endurance, and strength through regular exercise is an essential part of being physically fit. If you want to stand out in a sport, or you just want to look and feel your best, exercise will make it happen. It’s important to develop your body to its full potential.

Many young men, for example, are mainly interested in building up their muscles. But building only muscular strength and ignoring flexibility and endurance is not the path to physical fitness. Just playing basketball, for example, won’t make you physically fit. To play basketball well, you need to develop your flexibility, endurance, and strength. That’s why coaches insist on stretching, aerobic, and resistance exercises. Remember that:
  1. Stretching exercises help you perform your best and avoid injury and muscle cramps. They improve muscle and joint flexibility.
  2. Aerobic exercises help you run and run and run without getting out of breath. They build up endurance by increasing heart and lung capacity.
  3. Resistance exercises tone your body and strengthen your muscles. They increase muscular strength and conditioning.
Here are some tips on how to start exercising and keep your exercise program going:
  • Decide on your exercise goals. What do you want to achieve? For example, if you want to improve your endurance, emphasize aerobic exercises. If you want to tone your body, emphasize resistance exercises. Make your goals reasonable and realistic.
  • Develop an exercise plan based on your goals. Be sure your plan includes warm-up and stretching (flexibility), aerobic (endurance), and resistance (strength) exercises. To excel in any one requires work in all three.
  • Set up a regular exercise schedule and stick to it. You are more likely to continue exercising when you have a schedule to follow.
  • Begin slowly and progress little by little. If you’re just starting a program, start with easy exercises. Gradually work up to more advanced exercises.
  • Keep track of your progress by writing it down.
  • Get a friend to exercise with you. Consider working with a coach or trainer to motivate you and provide instruction.
  • Try to exercise three to four days a week for about 30 to 45 minutes each time. It’s important to allow your body time to recover between workouts. Don’t overdo it.
The Boy's Fitness Guide: Expert Coaching for Young Men

+The Boy's Fitness Guide