Life goes by in a flash. One minute you are hanging out in your frat house drinking beers the next you are signing a check for a mortgage payment. Though we will all age it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves and try to stave off diseases.
A recent survey from the CDC has found that 26 percent of men had no office visits to a doctor or other health care professional in a year, in comparison to 13 percent of women.
Although exercise is one of the most important things any of us can do to support a healthy lifestyle there are other precautions that can be taken as well. Remember if you don’t love running on the treadmill find a sport that you may like such as softball or basketball; just get moving.
Here are five issues that men face and the things that Dr. Tom and Anne Kleeman MD, creators of the Fitness The Doctor’s Workout believe can be done stave off or slow down age related problems.
Heart disease is still the number one killer of men after the age of 50. Plus there is about a 33 percent that you will die from heart disease. Although our genes play a major role in our risk factor, smoking and obesity certainly contribute tearing down our arteries. In fact you have a one in three chance of dying from heart disease. Genes certainly play a role but so does diet and lifestyle. Smoking and obesity are major risk factors. It was once thought that Saturated Fat was the nutritional culprit but recently that has been questioned. Simple or Processed Carbohydrates are the real enemy. Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle are the other causes.
Avoid simple carbohydrates like the white stuff. Add more fiber to your diet because it helps to rid your body of cholesterol. Eat with your eyes by choosing brightly colored fruits and vegetables. The color indicates they are higher in antioxidants that fight heart disease. Get moving by working out at least 150 minutes per week.
Cancer claims over 300,000 male lives a year. With 241,740 cases of prostate being diagnosed annually. Though it has a very strong genetic link it’s also been shown that what is eaten plays a role. It has been reported that men who have a diet high in red meat or high fat diary have an increased risk. Of those men they also consume fewer fruits and vegetables. The jury is out on which of these factors truly affect risk.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, arugula, collards, bok choy and kale contain compounds that can provide a protective effect.
The number one epidemic in this country is obesity. The rate of men being terribly overweight has doubled since 1980. There are some experts who estimate the risk of death from carrying extra weight especially in the tummy has surpassed the number one killer which was smoking. By some estimates the risk of death from obesity has surpassed the number one killer, smoking. Once men hit their mid years (40), they start gain up to 4 pounds per year that has been shown to lead to cardiac disease and strokes.
It may seem simple to just say eat less and exercise more but sometimes we have to examine what we consume as well. Eat fewer calories and get more exercise you say? A protein calorie and a simple carbohydrate calorie are not the same when it comes to their relative effects on fat storage. Simple carbs (like white sugars), are the culprit. It seems no matter what else you eat, if you eliminate simple carbs you can prevent obesity. Plus if you add an exercise program like walking thirty minutes daily you will not only be slimmer, you will live longer.
In our twenties we start to lose muscle mass but speeds up after 40 at a rate of 8% every decade. If you have seen someone older trembling, shuffling gait, and stooped posture, they are probably exhibiting signs of Sarcopenia. This condition can lead to loss of coordination, falls, and fractures all of which deprives us of our quality of life and shortens our life span.
Muscle is largely made of protein thus you need a diet that is high in protein. Fish is an excellent source of healthy protein are low fat dairy products, legumes, nuts and eggs. One super-food Quinoa packs 8 grams of protein per cup while supplying all nine essential amino acids. Exercise is the best way to prevent Sarcopenia especially strength training with light weights.
Studies show that we all function better on 7-8 hrs. of sleep nightly. Those who get less than 6 hrs. per night are more at risk for health problems such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and depression. Plus as we age our sleep cycle changes naturally.
Make sure to maintain a regular sleep schedule including on the weekend. Try to stop watching TV or working on a computer at least an hour before bedtime. Skip naps longer than 20 mins during the day as well as alcohol right before you retire.