Now is the time, during Men’s Health Month to commit to a healthier you. After the age of 35-40, men begin losing muscle. Progressive loss of muscle leads to a condition called Sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is related to a higher risk of disability and fragility, and is associated with a higher rate of death (mortality) in every age group beyond forty.
There are many reasons why muscle loss occurs, including lack of exercise, poor nutrition, loss of testosterone and hormonal imbalance, chemical and toxin exposure, among others.
Exercise affects Men’s Health and Fitness
Exercise has benefits at any age, and it is never too late to begin an exercise and muscle building program. Doing this will slow the aging process. Certainly, if you have not been exercising, or working out and not getting results, a certified trainer, or physician specializing in age management and/or wellness medicine, should be consulted. These experts can also help prevent injuries, both flaring up old injuries, as well as new ones. Attention should be paid to other deficiencies such as poor balance, and weaker smaller muscles, such as those in the back, and around the rotator cuff. Exercise is a vital component affecting men’s health and fitness.
Muscle increases metabolism; every pound of muscle gained will burn 1500 calories more per month. This can be the difference between being a diabetic or not, and clearly weight gain vs. weight loss. Exercise and muscle building have other silent effects: improvement in depression, better sleep, lowering blood pressure, and naturally raising testosterone levels.
HIIT Workouts for Men
Muscle gains can be achieved with very little exercise, especially for men who have not been working out regularly: high intensity interval training (HIIT) for as little as 25 minutes three days weekly will add muscle. Now HIIT may sound ominous, but simply involves a high intensity exercise, followed by a one-minute rest, or several minutes of low intensity movements, allowing the muscle groups to recover. The low intensity intervals can be up to 60-80% of a workout. HIIT workouts for men have the added benefit of raising metabolism for anywhere from 12-24 hours after the workout, and HIIT muscle workouts also offer a cardiovascular benefit. All workouts should be preceded by stretching and warm-ups, and followed by some further stretching. Off days from muscle work can be light cardio, simple stretching, use of foam roller, and other activities such as yoga and Tai Chi, as well as exploring other new physical skills. As long as you keep on moving!
Of course, nutrition is paramount: Unless you are a body builder or well-honed athlete, supplements are not necessary. You do NOT need protein shakes and muscle supplements. Focus on good “macros”: whole foods with one ingredient, varied fruit and vegetables. some whole grains (the more fiber the better). Muscle growth requires good protein (meat that is grass fed, no hormones, plant sources of protein, organic if possible). Protein should be consumed several times daily, including with breakfast. Hydration is important. Search for good quality water, the higher the pH (over 7.0) the better for muscle.
During Men’s Health Month, our Team at Elite Digestive and Integrative Healthcare can help you achieve your health goals. If you are interested in HIIT workouts for men or want to attain a higher level of men’s health and fitness, please call 732-254-1003 and schedule an appointment today. Interested in learning more? Please register and attend one of Dr. Allan Plumser’s upcoming seminars. MORE INFO HERE