Recently I wrote a post responding to the rather ridiculous article titled Dear Men: Please Stop Working Out (which to note, the original has now been deleted).
This was written by “Journalist Katie” with the rather weak argument that physical fitness in men was responsible for so called “Toxic Masculinity”.
I never expected my response to take off the way it did, but it has become the most read post on this site within two months. With anything I write that gets popular, I start thinking about ways I could have made my work better.
I realise now, I should have presented more arguments around the reasons why men should work out.
Therefore, today I share facts, why men working out is a good thing!
Fact One: Working out helps mental health
In England, 1 in 8 men have a mental health issue, yet they maybe more reluctant to seek out support.
Exercise can help as it helps pump out endorphins, is a good excuse for “you” time, and the other benefits of working out (i.e. looking good) help you feel more confident in yourself.
Fact Two: Working out ACTUALLY reduces so called “toxic masculinity traits”
Despite Katies concerns, having an exercise routine has been shown to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in young men.
I like this example from a boxing club in Anfield where they are helping the community tackle crime, and have even started programmes to help out body-conscious females. “Toxic masculinity” indeed…
Fact three: Working out gives you a sense of purpose
It’s hard to explain, but when you get into a routine doing something you love, you find a sense of purpose.
Whether it’s getting faster, fitter, or stronger, no matter what else is going on in your life, you become passionate and driven to be better at your task.
When you get results in your workout, this gives you a sense of self-belief to achieve other things in your life.
Fact four: Working out fights against the biggest killers of men
Cancer, heart disease and diabetes are some of the most common causes of death in men.
Physical exercise is the answer to reducing the impact/eliminating these illnesses – it’s no wonder the British Heart Foundation recommend some sort of fitness regime.
So, whether you prefer the gym, cycling, running, walking, something else… keep active.
Fact five: Working out gives you a longer, higher quality life
When people talk about exercise, they mention one of the benefits is living longer.
Arguably, even more important is that the life you live (no matter how long) is of a higher quality – regular exercise slows the aging process and allows people to live more vigorous lives.
Whether you want to play with your kids, enjoy time with your wife, or travelling, your health really is your wealth to create more special memories.
Fact six: Working out is an opportunity to be social
In my opinion, one of the biggest issues impacting men today is loneliness, brought on by a variety of issues in a changing world where men struggle to find their place.
Men typically aren’t as good at socialising as women – connections based on health and fitness allow men to develop new networks, often in male exclusive spaces.
Fact seven: Working out sets the example
As I delve further into fatherhood, I continue to realise the importance of being the example, my young children are easily influenced by what I do.
Research indicates how a child will treat a doll based on how their parents react. If treated with aggression, they will be aggressive in their interactions, if treated with kindness, then they will mimic this behaviour.
During lockdown I observed this power as I performed my home workouts, my three year old would copy my movements, getting into squat and press-up like positions.
Dear Men: Please Keep Working Out…
I was inspired to write my response, as gaining physical fitness in my adulthood has been the best thing to ever happen to turn my life around – all Katie’s article did was provide false information to belittle men who care about their health and fitness.
I can say there is nothing wrong with caring about your health and it certainly doesn’t make a man “toxic”.
So, Dear Men, whatever you enjoy doing – please keep working out!
Good luck in your goals!
These are other pages that helped write this article: