I know the title of this article seems a bit partial to men but the honest truth is all the points made here apply just as much to women over 40 as it does to men over 40. I just wanted to use this article as a basis for focusing a bit on the men because we (or perhaps should I say I) often focus on our health concerns more from a women’s perspective (understandably) than from the men’s, so I guess this is just my way of giving the guys a bit of TLA (tender loving attention).
We live in an age where problems like diabetes, obesity and a plethora of other medical issues are at epidemic levels. Most of these problems are the result of poor dietary choices, a sedentary or inadequately active lifestyle and too much stress.
These can be all avoided or the risks at least minimized if one takes positive steps to address these problems before they worsen or even show up. However, in these current times it is so easy to make excuses for keeping unhealthy and unfit rather than rising up to the health challenges we all face as we grow older. The problem is that developing a healthy lifestyle and eating habits is a discipline that needs to be cultivated, nurtured and stuck with and that can be hard if you are disinclined to for one reason or the other.
Health and fitness is not about the presence or absence of a six pack. It is more fundamental and though the discipline of cultivating a healthy lifestyle might be difficult, taking this lifestyle journey in small manageable steps can be easy, each step at a time as you learn to gradually incorporate small healthy lifestyle adjustments to habits and routines on a daily or weekly basis
The repercussions on your health when you ignore your body’s health needs (particularly your internal body make-up) can cost you in the long run. For instance, most men with abdominal fat are exposing themselves to many possible health risks. The belly is one of the first places where men and women over forty particularly gain weight. For men, this easily translates into a paunch and for women you develop layers of fat around the belly and having a waistline rapidly becomes a myth!
You must be aware that there are two kinds of fat in the body. There is subcutaneous fat which is fat under the skin and there is visceral fat, which is fat that builds up in the spaces around your organs such as the intestines and stomach.
It is this visceral fat that causes your body to store toxins and also causes inflammation. The dangerous part here is that even with a body that doesn’t seem morbidly obese, you might have quite a lot of visceral fat stored in your organs.
This sets the stage for problems like diabetes, heart disease, inflammation and all the other problems that are just waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
Always bear in mind – prevention is better than cure. I know I sound like a boring old school teacher but I would not wish the affliction of a chronic disease or serious ill-health on anyone. I went through my bout of chronic ill-health many years ago and in my write-ups, I never forget to reference the horrors of what I went through for five years. So if I sound like a boring old fart (pardon the crudity), please bear with me. At least now you know why.
Anyway, back to my health lecture; high blood sugar levels, high cholesterol levels, unexplained aches and pains all over the body, lethargy, depression and many other problems are the result of a poor diet and an inactive lifestyle. You can keep many health problems at bay just by watching your diet, making the right food choices and getting daily exercise. As much as possible, avoid processed foods, consume alcohol sparingly and not as a habit. Please avoid smoking if you can at all help it and if you can’t then just get help and quit! Basically, I am encouraging you to please take an active interest in your general health and there are many ways you can start to do that. Don’t think you have to do all these things at once. It would be great if you did but you probably would not be human if you could.
Aging is a slow process and most men forget that with time, their bodies just can’t cope with the ravages of an unhealthy lifestyle. In your forties, you’re not old but you aren’t that young either. Certain unhealthy habits were fine when we were young but can have lethal health consequences for us if we continue in the same vein without making serious efforts to transform these bad health and lifestyle habits.
The sooner you do, the better. The foundation of all happiness is good health. Eat clean. Be active and live well. Look out for my next article in the series of tackling health issues and concerns for men over 40!
From my heart to yours, always,