Real Men Touch Their Balls Regularly!

Did that get your atttention?

Usually my fitness posts focus around women, the majority of clients are women. Yet the health of men is clearly a priority for me, being married with two boys, I strive to make good choices and focus our family time around fun activities and eating well. For companies like Tommy John the comfort and well being of men is their main focus. Whether it’s through their partnership with the Testicular Cancer Foundation, or with their comfortable base layers supporting the men in our lives is always a priority. Inspired by this, I decided today to focus on the men in our life, and show how they can be proactive about their health through different stages of their life and maybe we can give them a kick start too.

The focus of working with my clients is always to make them feel the best they can. Whether that is through movement, exercise, nutrition or lifestyle changes, looking and feeling good, with fewer injuries, disease and stresses is a goal that I help them achieve.

The holidays are around the corner, which is a time to kick back and relax, a time for celebration and a time to take your foot of the pedal. This does the body good. The worst thing anybody can do at a time like this is to feel guilt around food and drink, to feel bad about not exercising as much as usual, this type of guilt and shape will ultimately make you feel bad about yourself. Then the rush to get back into shape for the New Year, with drastic dieting and overexercising comes, setting our sights too high on an unachievable goal that will ultimately fail 2 weeks in.

So today I am going to give simple lifestyle advice that can be adapted easily into your normal day, most of which can be continued through the holiday with relative ease and ultimately will give big impactful benefits for your overall health long-term.

 


Men’s Health by Age

Age 20-29

What are the concerns?
Typical health issues at this age are mood swings, depression and lower productivity. A solution to these areas might be to focus on your sleep. Most 20 year old’s like to burn the candle at both ends, but in reality men of all ages still need 7-9 hours sleep each night. Easier said than done I realise, but if you are struggling with sleep, try these few simple tricks to help you out.

What to do?
Set a time each night to go to bed and try to make that a routine.
Aim for 7 – 9 hours a night
Prepare for sleep by relaxing, reading a book, taking a bath, meditating, or relaxing.
Try to minimise the things that will stimulate you before bed: such as screens, caffeine or alcohol.
Stop the late night food cravings by upping your protein intake. On those days when you do end up short on sleep, stay full and fight cravings by eating a higher than usual amount of protein, as well as piling on the fruits and veggies.
Minimise afternoon naps which may disrupt your evening routine.

In addition to this men of this age are at risk of testicular cancer, yet the survival rate is 99% if caught early. This is a time to encourage the man in your life to do regular monthly checks, it literally could save his life!  For more information about Testicular Cancer, head over to the Testicular Cancer Foundation.

Age 30-39

What are the concerns?
During this age range we often see decreased flexibility, this may be from our sedentary lifestyle or sitting for too long each day, this may also impact a man’s aerobic capacity and possibly we see a few pound creeping on. The extra weight gain might also be a product of our decreasing muscle mass as we age, typically around 3-5% per year after the age of 30.

What to do?
One of the best ways to kick start the weight loss is to start strength training. By building lean muscle through an intelligent exercise protocol that involves lifting heavy things, you will help kick-start your metabolism.
Mix this up with some yoga classes to help with flexibility and mobility to start feeling more mobile again.
If you sit at your desk all day, set your timer so that you get up and move every hour.
Pack some healthier snack options or lunches to stop the munchies kicking in.
Drink plenty of water.

Another tip would be to see your doctor to get your lipoprotein (LDL) checked. This is your cholesterol level that is closely associated with heart attack or stroke. Keeping an eye on that could mean that small dietary or lifestyle changes can be made that will reduce this level and decrease the risk.

Age 40-49

What are the concerns?
Unfortunately as men age, they will see an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure, lifestyle choices a typically the cause here, be it lack of exercise, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, too much stress or maybe something you are genetically disposed to. Either way, go and see your health professional for advice. Another problem may be that joints are sore from years of overuse or osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease might start surfacing. Stop! It’s not time to throw in the towel yet, you can do things to feel better!

What to do?
There are so many studies now that are showing the huge power of walking for our mental and physical well being. One study demonstrated that a brisk walk 30-60 mins, 5 times per week, can reduce your stroke risk profile by 24-50%. Now is the time to either go out and buy a pedometer or a dog! If you can walk 10, 000 steps throughout your day, which should take you 1.5 hrs average to complete, your body will thank you.
If you have maintained your strength workouts from your 30-39 age bracket, you are already helping to support your joints against injury, soreness and inflammation, yet if you are still struggling with joint pain, try hopping on a bike. Another study has shown that cycling as little as 25 mins per day, 3 times per week, will yield significant improvement in your pain levels.
Studies have also shown that riding a bike every day, just makes you more awesome than the general population. (clearly that one is made up, but still, it’s true!)

Age 50-59

What are the concerns?
The dreaded 50’s!
If you have future-proofed yourself up to this point, by following a healthy and active lifestyle, there is a good chance you won’t be at high risk for colon or prostate cancer and diabetes II. Yet this is a time in a man’s life when the risks of these diseases are at their highest.

What to do?
You have probably worked it out by now, eating nutritious food and exercising are more important than ever at this age. It is important to keep your weight at a healthy level, while eating a healthy diet to reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
For colon cancer, get your man to schedule a colonoscopy every 5-10 years with their doctor.
Yearly screening for diabetes II by your doctor is recommended, combined with lifestyle choices that continue to be exercising, eating a healthy diet and maintaining healthy habits that includes reduced stresses and adequate sleep.

 

 

So there you have it! It’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, I hope I have highlighted the importance of good food, exercise and lifestyle strategies, of keeping a check on your health by regular check-ups with their doctor, regular self-checks (real men touch their balls regularly), reduced stress and adequate sleep for living a healthy, wholesome life.

If there is a man in your life who you care about, get him to read this. If you are a man reading this, pick one small thing to chance that you aren’t currently doing. Now start doing this small change every day for 2 weeks and suddenly you will see that you have created a habit that is easy to maintain.

Enjoy the holidays. Enjoy your health. Enjoy the choices you make.


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