When considering starting something new, like a change in my health routine, try to focus on what will have the biggest overall impact. To begin, here are some signs of mental health problems for men:
Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness,
Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite,
Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much,
Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs,
Sadness or hopelessness,
Engaging in high-risk activities,
Aches, headaches, digestive problems without a clear cause,
Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life.
If you feel that you or anyone you know are experiencing any of these, please reach out to someone. If you don’t know where to reach out, begin by looking at the National Institute of Mental Health website for resources.
It’s important to know the specific nutritional needs for your age, and to design an eating pattern that suits you and any goals you may have. If you combine your food plan with some regular physical activity you’re on your way to good health. Illustration by Metro Newspaper Service
A few things that I consider to be essential to good health are fueling my body, how I move my body, and how I let my body recover. As a personal trainer, I tend to be asked a lot about nutrition and diet. Nutritional needs differ with gender and age. A healthy diet for a man is different from a healthy diet for a woman. And what a middle aged male needs for good health and growth differs from what a male baby, child, teenager or elderly person needs.
It’s important to know the specific nutritional needs for your age, and to design an eating pattern that suits you and any goals you may have. If you combine your food plan with some regular physical activity — https://bit.ly/3hJHaKM — you’re on your way to good health.
If you are unsure where to start, an easy resource to begin with is choosemyplate.gov/ to find general needs for your age. If you would like to learn how you should be eating for specific goals, you are more than welcome to reach out to me and I can point you towards some great resources, or contact a nutritionist for specific dietary recommendations.
People usually think they should lift weights to strengthen muscles and run because it’s good for them, but exercise has many more benefits than just that. Lifting weights and cardiovascular exercise also strengthens your bones and your heart and produces certain chemicals in your body that will reduce short-term feelings of anxiety for adults.
Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and help you sleep better. Regular physical activity can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, can lower blood pressure, and much more.
If exercise is something that is new to you, start with 10 minute increments and increase slowly. One of the biggest mistakes I see is people starting too hard, too fast. They get sore and never go back. A basic workout template would be to start with a warmup. Do five minutes of jogging/biking/row machine to get yourself moving, then do a Dynamic warmup (think lunges, high knees, butt kickers) to start activating your major muscle groups and joints. Now, you are ready to get into your workout.
Aim for at least 10-plus minutes. Start slow or with light weights to continue to warm up. Once done with your workout you want to do some type of cooldown to allow a gradual recovery of preexercise heart rate and blood pressure. An easy example of a cooldown would be to walk for five minutes, going from a fast pace to a slow pace. Once done with that, don’t forget to stretch! Stretching helps keep muscles flexible, strong and healthy. It also helps maintain range of motion in your joints, reduce injuries, and prevents falls by benefiting your balance as you grow older.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week (Example, brisk walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week) or 75 minutes of vigorous/intense aerobic exercise each week (Ex: jogging, running). They also recommend doing strength based exercises two days per week where every area of the body gets targeted (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms).
When your day is done, it is important to prioritize sleeping.
A tip for getting a good night’s rest would be to limit caffeine intake to the morning hours so that it doesn’t prevent you from falling asleep. Have a set time you go to bed each night, and try to get between 7-9 hours of rest.
You can already start to implement a lot of the things you just ready now. If this is new to you, start by scheduling a physical with your health care provider to get a baseline of health. Once that is done set some type of fitness goal and come up with a fitness routine that works for you! Communicate your goal with a friend/family member for some extra accountability and get started!