Top Five Tips for Men’s Health
The modern man may have swapped his suit for a pair of jeans and a hipster beard but even though the office clothes are more relaxed, the hours of work are, let’s face it, even more demanding. So how on earth do men find the extra time, or energy, to unwind, socialise or commit to a fitness plan? Here are some health and lifestyle tips to help problem solve some common men’s health issues…
1. Mind fit
Demanding careers may certainly have their challenges which may be felt physically, mentally and emotionally. The ongoing pressures associated with long working days, commuting, frequent long-haul travel across different time zones, striving to meet sales targets, pitching to new clients and being responsible for managing and inspiring a team of employees made-up of different personalities could all contribute to a stressful working landscape. Ongoing stress and tiredness may impact on your ability to perform at your best and a common workplace habit is to turn to caffeine to keep you feeling buzzed up during the day. However, the caffeine buzz is often short-lived and may be followed by a significant energy dip. Nutrients such as B-vitamins found in wholegrains, lentils and pulses along with omega-3 fats found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna and trout, contribute to normal cognitive function. The mineral magnesium plus vitamin C and B-vitamins also help to support the body during times of stress. If long working hours frequently make it hard for you to achieve a healthy balanced diet then it’s a smart move to consider supplementing with liposomal B-vitamins and mineral complex and a separate liposomal vitamin C.
2. Super buff
If you’re feeling on the skinny side and would like to explore how to develop a more alpha physique then it’s worth seeking out a local personal trainer who can craft you a realistic weights programme so you can hit the gym with the aim of bulking up on muscle mass. Pumping that iron is a key part of a bodybuilding programme but if you want to focus on getting super buff then it’s a good idea to back up your gym regime with a high protein diet. Don’t forget to balance your muscle workouts with adequate stretching out and relaxation to help prevent muscular strains, sprains and cramps. There are now lots of plant-based protein powders to choose from and these can easily be added to morning or post-work out smoothies. Isolated pea, rice or hemp protein powders tend to provide a good range of amino acids which are the building blocks for body proteins. The mineral magnesium is well known for its role in helping muscles unwind and relax. Foods that provide a natural source of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds so you could start to include these in your weekly shop. However, if your gym regime is particularly intensive then you may benefit from topping up your dietary supply of magnesium with a liposomal magnesium supplement.
3. Belly busters
When it comes to men’s health it’s a good idea to keep a watchful eye on the size of your belly as the ratio between your hips and waist provides a powerful indicator for your risk of cardiovascular disease. As women get older, they may expect to see an increase in weight around their hips and waist but for men the middle-age spread is more typically seen just around the waistline. The larger your waist becomes in comparison to the circumference of your hips, the greater your risk of heart related health issues.
Taking steps to switch to a healthy diet and swap out sugary soft drinks for water is a positive step forward for your general health and wellbeing and a good strategy to help support healthy weight management. Give yourself an alcohol reality check by totalling up the units of alcohol you drink in a week and repeat this for a whole month. You may be in for a surprise as you may be knocking back more units of alcohol than you think. In fact, those beer calories may be making a beeline for your belly so choose your type of alcoholic drink wisely.
When it comes to burning adipose (belly) fat you may find that intermittent fasting could get you the results that you’re hoping for. This diet method involves picking two consecutive days in your week and eating within an eight-hour window, which ultimately means that you are fasting for 16 hours a day. Most of this fasting can happen overnight which helps to makes this style of eating much more achievable. For instance, if you have your first food of the day at 10am and you finish your evening meal by 6pm then the rest of the time you are fasting. The theory is that during the 16 hours of fasting your body starts to mobilise fat stores for energy. Once you have got used to eating within the eight-hour window you can then reduce calories within these two days down to 1000 calories a day, this is the level of calories that research indicates is the most useful for fat burning and weight loss for intermittent fasting days.
4. Supporting thermogenics
There are some foods and nutrients that help to naturally support the process of thermogenics which is the burning of stored fat for energy. Green tea, MTC’s (medium chain triglycerides) found in coconut oil and acetyl L-carnitine all have substantial credible clinical studies and are available as nutritional supplements. When it comes to L-carnitine it’s worthwhile choosing a liposomal supplement as this form has been shown to have better rates of absorption. The good news is that all three of these nutrients compliment the principles of intermittent fasting so may help contribute that extra bit of nutritional support during your two fasting days a week.
5. Watch out for the manopause!
Research is starting to suggest that the manopause is a real thing. As men age levels of testosterone start to fall and this may impact mood, energy, drive, ambition, libido, sleep and focus. It takes time for the body to adjust to the new hormone levels and it’s important to keep your lifestyle and wellbeing in balance during this transition with adequate rest, healthy food and gentle exercise. For some men, the manopause accentuates weight gain so it’s important to keep a check on portion sizes, cut back on starchy carbs and alcohol and lean more towards a healthy Mediterranean style of eating.
- By Jackie Newson
- BSc (Hons) in Nutritional Therapy
Jackie has been writing for a range of health publications since graduating as a nutritional therapist from Westminster University in 2008. In addition to producing health and nutrition workshops, Jackie is also an experienced assessor and enjoys the opportunity to help other students of nutrition to achieve their goals. In her role as an experienced nutritional therapist, Jackie offers individualised advice on a variety of health conditions. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of healthy nutritious food, supported with high quality supplementation to achieve optimal health. Jackie is a great believer in the power of positive thinking and attributes much of her enthusiasm and sense of well-being to the wonderful people in her life, a healthy diet and yoga which she practices regularly.