Category Archives for "Men"

How Do Your Personality, Luck, and Gender Affect Your Health?

By Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Do you believe fate or luck is a critical factor when it comes to to enjoying a healthy lifestyle or losing weight? Or is your personality a better predictor? Perhaps even more interesting — how does your gender affect your ability to make healthy choices?

Personality and Gender Affect Healthy Life Choices

Healthy Woman Chooses to MultiTask

Researchers from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research looked at data about the diet, exercise and personality type of more than 7,000 people and discovered that personality definitely has an effect on weight loss and good health. Those people who, like “The Little Engine That Could,” believe they can change their lives through their own actions eat healthier food, exercise more, smoke less and stay away from binge drinking.

People who are more like Eeyore, (the donkey from Winnie-the-Pooh), believe that luck or fate are responsible for their situation. These people tend to be less healthy because they don’t see themselves as fully in charge of their own lives.

Simply said, a “can do” attitude leads to a healthier lifestyle. Join us now in a chorus of “Anything you can do I can do better!”[youtube][/youtube] Men and Women Differ in Weight Loss Motivation

Arnold Will Pump You Up

Interestingly, the motivation for leading a healthy life differs for men and women. Women are motivated by the desire to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, while men want physical results. Pump me up! Go Hans! Go Franz! Go Fun! Go Fit!

What Do Leading Experts on Obesity and Overweight Research Say?

Dr Jim HillWe asked the number one obesity expert and our go-to-guy, Dr James Hill, Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, for his take on this latest twist. (Get more of his insights on weight loss and obesity here: Lose 2 Pounds in 2 Days.  You may also enjoy Lose Weight or Maintain Weight? prompted by another Anschutz professor, Dr. Holly Wyatt).

It totally makes sense that expectations about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle would affect outcomes. Interesting that men and women have different expectations. I definitely believe we need different weight management programs for men and women – and not just for different expectations. Men and women approach weight loss very differently. Women have to have a comprehensive experience while men just need to understand what they need to do and do it.” Dr. James Hill

Aren’t we all lucky to have optimistic personalities so we can control our own health and weight outcomes? Info and education alone don’t cut the mustard … or pounds. The belief in our ability to make change is the ultimate tool to a healthy life at any age or either gender.

Photo credits: –  infomatique (multi-tasking woman)

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Weight Gain & Injuries & Strength, Oh My!

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: I’ve been hearing (do) weights first before cardio, etc. Confusing me…salad after dessert or before main course? I have limited time in the gym, 1 hour, I get there at 5:30 am and have to leave 6:30 or 6:35 at the latest. Otherwise I turn into Jabba the Pumpkin Hut. My weight has been at 180-85 for 33+ years but lately I’ve been up to 190-200 lbs. I’ve been injury prone too: both rotator cuffs repaired, then 2 years ago had hernia surgery, plus a recurring hamstring pull (micro-tear).
My goals are:
A) toning…want to look good/feel good
B ) losing gut and 10 lbs
C) strengthening muscles to prevent injuries and wrestle my teenage sons
D) keep energy levels up all day (I have long days)
What do you suggest my approach be?

Joe Ray, Phoenix, AZ

It's so fun to wrestle with kids

I'm winning now, but it will be harder to wrestle the kids when they're teens!


Alexandra: The best approach is to sleep in and get someone else to do all that early morning exercise for you. Sadly, that only addresses #D – energy level. Let’s go in order because that’s the way we swing at the start of the week – the whole salad, dessert, main course thing is only reminding me that I’m writing when I could be eating breakfast. Luckily, we addressed the question of weights or cardio first right here.

Kymberly: Dear Joe Ray of Sunshine:  Let’s assume you are willing to work out 5 days a week. Discount rate advice:


  • 1 set ONLY of each weight training move
  • 21 minutes of high intensity interval training, with intervals of 5 mins, 2 mins, 5, 2, 5, 2)

Supreme total package, full price advice (aka = free)
Three of the 5 days do medium intensity cardio training first, followed by resistance training; the other two, switch the order. In all cases, end with gentle stretches, especially across your chest (pick a pack of pickled Pumpkin pecs). Here’s the twist (and not to your rotator cuff, Jabba Joe!): On the two days you do cardio after weights, limit your cardio time to 21 minutes. Aaaaand, make those the most intense 21 minutes you can muster up. Interval train by doing 5 minutes of medium high intensity followed by 2 minutes of super high, all out, “I want to outlast those boys of mine when we hit the WWF mat at home” supreme intensity. Repeat the cycle three times (5 mins-2 mins-5-2-5-2-whew! Notice that adds up to 21 minutes?) The high intensity, interval approach will be most time efficient plus more likely to jump start your energy gain and weight loss.

On the 3 days that you start with cardio, roughly divide your time in half leaving some time for post workout stretches. When it comes to the weight training, aim for one set of each exercise, with about 8-15 reps total per exercise. (Kind of a big range, I know, but I’m advising in semi-general terms here since we are close, personal, best strangers. Avoid fatiguing in fewer than 8 reps as that intensity makes the risk too high for your body). Yes, you heard me– ONE set per exercise! Ignore those multi-set grunters around you as they must have time to kill and different goals. Most training gains come in the first set, so take advantage of every rep with no fluff time in between, get in more exercise variety, and select resistance that allows you to achieve muscular fatigue in that one set. No dilly dally for you Joe Ray Dear, a He-Male Dear, Ray a Drop of Golden Sons. Quick- from what musical?

Too much of a (not) good thing.

One Budweiser Tumor - Coming Up

A: With your concerns about your rotators and the hernia, I’d say you need to be cautious about adding heavier weight to your workout. Is there an experienced, certified (by one of the quality organizations) personal trainer at your gym who can check your form? You could be doing your core or shoulder moves incorrectly. Rather than advise you to increase the resistance, we’ll go with “Keep a food journal.” Time to see where the snackin’ is packin’ so you can ditch any Budweiser Tumor.

K: If guys get hernias, what do gals get? Himnias. Ah haaaa I have been waiting years to throw that one down! Given your prior hernia, make sure you are BREATHING throughout all moves. You will be tempted to hold your breath. I say verily unto you, “resist that temptation and be healed!” Also, drink lots of water the rest of the day as that will help with energy levels.

A: We had a reader a while back who was a bit similar to you, and we recommended High Intensity Interval Training, which Kymberly also advises. Take a look at that post too for more details and stalling. And stop eating so many of those Chicharrónes.

Pork Rinds are just nasty

Chicharrones or Pork Rinds - Extra Calories in any Language

Readers: What ideas do you have for Joe Ray? And if you wrestle with your kids, who wins? Who cheats?

Photo credits: Creative Commons




Gender Bias at the Core with Abs and Weight Loss

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Why do some strength training exercises with equipment (i.e., core board, tubes, large balls) appear to be easier for females than males?

Brad, UC Santa Barbara

Buff, hot guy

Alexandra: Oh, Brad, there is a part of me that just wants to say, “because women are so totally

  • a. awesome
  • b. super awesome
  • c. totally awesome
  • d. all of the above

but that’s more of a Twitter word than a fitness word so I’ll just have to exhale and move along….

Kymberly: And a part of me wants to agree with Alexandra, but just a rare part, mind you. Some of the seeming ease women have with the equipment you list has to do with coordination. Coordination is learned and adaptable. By college age (which I assume you are or your signature needs parental permission), women have more experience, on average, than men with these specific types of balance and exercises. I am referring not only to specific equipment, but also to general activities like dance and gymnastics that require good balance, and torso and hip coordination.

The good news about coordination is that with practice, you and other men about town can achieve similar comfort and neuromuscular adaptation (a fancy way to say “coordination”).

A. I’ll speak from my experience working with thousands and thousands of exercisers over the years, many of them university students. Lots of men, especially the more broad-shouldered ones, tend to work the areas of their body they care most about, which is chest, arms and shoulders. These “mirror muscles” can look “hot” and “buff” fairly quickly, which is exactly why men care so much about them! Take a brief moment to yourself and see if you can figure out which area of the body women most care about. Well? I hope you didn’t come up with “booty” because that’s only in the top 5. Number 1 is abs.

So…..while women are getting strong in their core, men can bench-press their best friend (even the burly ones), yet have the strength of 37 butterflies in the mid-section. Stability balls (see the word “stability” there? It is just another way to say “ab strength”) and core boards (“core” is another way to say, “dang, it’s ab strength again, isn’t it?) are all about the mid-section (anywhere the belt touches, unless your belly hangs out and causes your belt to be lower in front than in back, but that’s a story for another day).

K: One more technical point about men and crunch-type exercises in the supine position (lying down on your back): On average, men have more mass distributed waist-up than women. Given men’s heavier and larger heads, wider shoulders and relatively heavier upper body mass, they are lifting slightly more weight than women. Add a destabilizing force, such as balls or boards and men simply have to work harder and get used to it. As for a bias with elastic resistance/ tubing, I have not seen a big gender difference. If there is one, I am tempted to say that women tend to follow directions better than men and tubing use is usually taught by a fitness teacher or trainer giving instruction. Let the wild rumpus controversy begin!

A: I’ll leave you with some heartening information – men tend to lose weight faster than women. Does that cheer you up at all? And Brad!? I suggest you do less of this:

big biceps, big shoulders, muscle beach, bodybuilding

Touch, Don’t Look

and more of this:

planks, exercise ball, core training

Not as Easy as It Looks (unless you’re a woman)

Dear men and women readers: Why do YOU think core training is easier for women? Or do you…..?

Photo credits: Photobucket


TV Tells Us to “Get Off Our Keesters”

Kymberly Williams-Evans,MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: We’d like to pose our own question this week. Yours remotely, Fun and Fit, USA

Alexandra: Can watching TV make you more fit? Watch and learn, grasshopper. Watch and learn.

Watching You Watching Me

Or don’t, because watching TV really can’t do a thing for your hops, jumps or skips. But there sure are a lot of interesting show titles that almost make you want to get off your keester and kick some booty!

Too Much TV = Too Much Keester

Kymberly was left unsupervised with the remote control, and look what happened!

Kymberly: TV is sending us healthy messages, which we at Fun and Fit have decoded for you. TV show titles are  bold, just like us.

Are you 30 Pounds Overweight, want to Relieve Joint Aches or get rid of your Underbelly? You cry out that you want to Lose Inches Off Your Body, though not 300 because you feel Size Matters?! Yes, manly men, you can go from Two and A Half Men (when you should be just one) to Iron Man; from being Easy Prey and The Walking Dead to The Brave One or The Incredible Hulk. Women-personages, time to Stop Your Anxiety and become a DIY Dominator at any age — whether you’re in the Wonder Years, the Girls Gone Wild crowd, or one of The Golden Girls.

What is the The Law of Success? Do you ask yourself “How do I Run My Renovation and Sleep in Comfort?” Stay tuned for the answers next season.

A: Actually, the truth is that I whacked myself in the head today because I forgot to pay attention to the basics of car door-shutting mechanics, so am giving the heavy lifting of this post over to you, dear readers. Here are some more honest-to-gawd, dang me if these aren’t actual titles of TV shows. Your mission, if you decided to accept it, is to make up funny descriptions to go with the titles. No fair using the actual descriptions; yours will be more interesting anyway! Have at it. Once I’ve recovered from my bloody head pity party, we’ll read your comments and laugh ourselves silly. Oh, wait, we already are silly. So, we’ll laugh ourselves into Fits!

1962 TV Set

Healing Foods
Back Pain Solved
Shop Erotic
Anti-Aging Secrets
Best Bra Ever
Carve Abs in Bed
Zumba Dance
The Karate Kid
How to Train Your Dragon
Sports Country
Outrageous Foods
Drink Up
Rise of a Warrior
I Survived
Cardio Fitness
Whacked Out Sports

Forget TV - Beat Up Your Brother Instead

Photo credits: Creative Commons