While taking a recent lesson at the local golf range, it was evident by the number of men at the range that golf was predominantly a male-dominated sport. Flexibility and core strength is an essential part of the golf game, especially during the swing. While observing and learning the different techniques of the swing, the pendulum of some men’s swing was hindered by their vast waistline.
It was evident during successive weeks of observation that men struggled with lower back pains, knee and hip pain but most commonly with an expanding waist.
In observation as well as statistically speaking, one in every four men die of heart disease and 70-80 percent of the cases are from sudden cardiac events. Contributing factors include poor diet, lack of exercise, high stress, and obesity.
What is obesity? Obesity is a medical condition of accumulated body fat that has a negative effect on an individual’s health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. The simplest and most common indicator of obesity is waist circumference. For men with waistlines of 40 inches or more, this is a leading indicator.
Some complications arising from obesity are high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome (combination of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low HDL), stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, arthritis, skin conditions, and gout. Over the past 15 years of practicing nutrition, studies have revealed men tend to overeat and indulge on high fat, sodium, and processed foods.
Typically, men tend to put off doctor appointments and do not take as rigorous attention to physical needs until it is a persistent annoyance, disregarding minor pains and thinking “everything is OK.” Women are generally much more health conscious, keeping up with health appointments.
The new middle-aged man silhouette has changed, but it can change back. They can address the stress by taking time out for themselves. Recognize the stress levels by trying meditation or participating in a favorite class, like yoga or karate, as opposed to overindulging on food and alcohol.
Secondly, men need to keep up with medical doctor visits and get regular physicals and stress tests. One of the simplest steps to help change the shape of today’s man is to improve their diet.
Here are some lifestyle changes and particular foods to include in your regimen on a daily basis to increase muscle mass, burn belly fat, enhance performance, and increase strength and endurance.
- Grilled chicken breast
- Black beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Steel cut oats
- Olive oil
- Green tea
- Organic peanut butter
- Cultured foods
In–addition, it is important to eliminate foods that create ill health such as sugar, soda, and trans fats. This is in addition to drinking eight glasses of water a day to help you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Not only can men improve their health by adding these foods, they can enhance their performance in sports and recreational activities. Men have a big responsibility with providing for the family and it is important that they have harmony and realize that life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.
Maria Dello, CN, is a certified medical nutritionist and owner of Dellonutritionals in Manhasset. Visit www.dellonutritionals.com or call 516-365-1222 to learn more.