Why Macho men need help too

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If the men in your life are anything like mine when it comes to their health then they are stubborn, fatalists who don’t bother worrying about chronic diseases. That they leave for us to do.  Men, I ask you : Is it too much to ask that you not punish us with the future headache of having to wheel your broke-down behind around? I don’t think so especially if what got you there was something preventable on your part. We want to enjoy our future with you, not in spite of you. Women, do what you have to do to get your man, father, brother and sons over 18 to take control of their health. If that doesn’t work then I say it’s better it’s better to wheel them into the doctor’s office now when they’re seemingly well than when they’re obviously not.

Most young men ( 18-49)  think they are invinceable because they have never faced their mortality due to a health scare. Even when something scary happens they often think they can ignore it. Not so. In fact, what happens to us in regards to health is about 65% lifestyle and 35 %  genetics. Our genetic roadmap will tell us if our lifestyle factors will lead us to develop certain diseases. It isn’t always that black and white but in general pain, discomfort or unusual changes in our bodies are signs of disturbances. They aren’t always major issues but more often than not, the major issues sent up warning flares well before the main event.  Here is what you might want to pay attention to:

Heart disease a.k.a cardiovascular disease: Evidence shows that we should start watching saturated fat intake for ages as low as 2. Saturated fat deposits accumulate over years and eventually cause problems. Researchers state that men young and old that smoke and have a high fat diet are prime candidates for the disease. Check out your guy’s complexion ( constant ruddiness may be an indicator), his libido ( low libido may indicate blocked arteries) .Add genetics to that and you may have a ticking time bomb.

Smoking: According to the National Cancer Institute smoking

    Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and diminishes a person’s overall health. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (1).

    Smoking also causes heart disease, stroke, lung disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), hip fractures, and cataracts. Smokers are at higher risk of developing pneumonia and other airwayinfections

    With all that we know now, smoking isn’t cute anymore.

Skin and other cancers: The CDC says that melanoma is the main cancer killer for men ( and women) ages 20-29. If it’s caught early it’s 100% curable, if not then it’s incurable. Wear sunscreen,  try to check all moles regularly and pay special attention to the ones with irregular borders. The American Melanoma Foundation states that 80% of lifetime sun damage happens in childhood and 5 or more sunburns in your lifetime doubles your risk of developing skin cancer. Learn more
Binge Drinking : Why some people can drink and never develop alcoholism and others do is based primarily on genetic factors. One thing that is universal is that too much alcohol is not good for your body and too much alcohol in a short span of time is worse. Your liver and kidneys are your filtration system. They can only do so much at once and when you ingest alcohol they basically drop everything to make sure it leaves your body first. That means any vitamins and rejuvenating nutrients that were in your body with the alcohol get dumped if they’re water soluble and put aside if not. If alcoholism is in your family then yes, you’re most likely to become dependent on drink IF you continue to drink heavily or make it a regular habit at all. **Also remember that alcohol has 7 calories/gram which is almost as much as  fat’s 9 calories/gram count.
Sedentary lifestyle: Humans were designed to go GET their food, BRING it back and PREPARE it to eat. That used to  mean walking up or down a hill and gathering/raking/ or clobbering something before having to prepare it. Now that means driving to the supermarket, walking to the fridge and popping something into the microwave. Convenient? yes. Better for us? not necessarily. We’ve taken all the physical out of our days of activity and it’s the physical that keeps us lean and healthy. Find ways to be active together or with friends on a weekly basis.
Obesity: I know we’d like to believe that our man is just our big teddy bear guy and we love him that way. We should love him unconditionally but there’s a difference between enabling him into obesity and loving him enough to help him. Remember, his future is yours so picture him in a few years. What will you be feeling and doing? Almost everything discussed above is a factor in the development of obesity or vice versa. Add to that a stressful work life and you get a guy who just wants to “veg” out all the time even as the pounds pile on. Watch out for an expanding waistline: anything north of 40 inches is trouble but even getting close to that is a danger zone.
Depression: Men sometimes have a hard time articulating their feelings and will turn to substances, overwork, and overeating to hide them.  Money and job worries, relationship stress can cause your guy to act glum, angry,  tired and distant. Some depression is normal sometimes but weeks of not taking care of himself, sluggishness and inattention are signs that he’s in a hole.  Ask him and if it get s worse suggest he speak to someone.
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Pregnancy: Invasion of the bodysnatcher(s)?

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Okay, I know that’s not a fair title for the miracle that is life but I have never been pregnant so I don’t know any better. What I do know is that the changes that your body goes through as a pregnant woman sound mind boggling. Swollen lady bits, cobwebs of veins, gaseous emissions that rival an 18-wheeler and…ok, I’ll just stop there since I do plan on doing it one day and don’t want to scare myself even more. So, like I said, the changes are major which is all on-top of you getting bigger than you’ve probably ever been. So what’s that like, ladies? how do you mentally give yourself over to this process? I only ask because the topic was raised in in one of my classes : some women have  a really hard time letting go of trying to control their weight even when pregnant. It’s the elephant in the nursery, so to speak, that some women still continue to diet while others completely lose control of their appetites during pregnancy. The result s of both behaviors can have detrimental effects on the underweight (5 lbs and under)  or overweight ( 9 pounds and over) babies they have and on the mothers themselves. Most say that the best way to ensure that you gain the appropriate amount of weight while pregnant is to be active and healthy beforehand and then throughout your pregnancy. Eating for 2 doesn’t really start until the 2nd trimester and even then we’re only talking about an increase of 180 calories per day, people. Of course this doubles by the 3rd trimester but still, that’s 1 extra meal per day not whatever fatty thing our hearts desire. But what about women with disordered eating and borderline anorexic patterns? the ones who workout religiously, skip meals and are very worried about losing their figures? It’s a delicate question but I know that there are many women like this because they sometimes come to nutritionists for help. Personally, as much as I’d like to think that I’m above it all and would just give in to the process, I’m guessing that I will freak out a bit when my abs stop responding to my core workouts and I can’t suck in my gut anymore. So I honestly want to understand:  What was (is ) it like for you to lose control of your body as a pregnant woman?

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