Alex Dobbs, our resident nutritionist, talks about the steps men can take to improve their health this winter and beyond.
Did you know, globally, men die on average 5 years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. But the good news is we can all take actions to live healthier, happier and longer lives.
Looking After Yourself
Looking after your health includes eating well, building exercise into your daily routine, resting and having fun. Let’s face it, the older we get the more important this becomes. I am at that stage in my life where I am starting to look at the annual check-up options my health provider offers. Until now, I presumed that a moderate effort to keep my body (and mind) young and fit should suffice.
With that in mind, daily exercise is vitally important. Countless studies show the importance of gaining fitness for your physical and mental health. Harvard Medical School coined the term “cardiometabolic exercise” (CME) as a measure for how much exercise one needs. It’s based on a points system but basically recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 15 minutes of intense exercise per day. What does that mean?
Mix daily activities, formal workouts, and sports play to get the cardiometabolic exercise you need for health. And for best results, do some stretching nearly every day and some strength training two or three times a week.
Where To Start
How can you make this happen in your life?
Find an exercise you enjoy. One of the best ways to get started is to avail of the fitness assessments on offer at your local gym. Speak to an expert fitness trainer who will help you set goals and design a customised fitness programme for you. In addition to your initial assessment, Gym Plus offers members fitness assessments every six weeks to help you stay motivated.
And when you get settled at the gym, why not try a fitness class to mix up your workout and meet new people?
Two 45 minute classes per week, or 30 minutes a day is all it takes. And you don’t have to be at maximum effort at all to get the full benefits. Moderate exercise is what’s required.
Once you’ve made the decision to go back to the gym and sort out your fitness, it is time to also add looking after your mental fitness to your new regime. Countless studies show the direct link between exercise and improved mental health. So going to the gym is actually the first step in minding your mental health too.
If you have been cooped up at home too much in the past 18 months and may have allowed friendships to slip, now is the time to reignite some social life. We have all been cut off from friendships and social groups. It can feel strange to make the first contact after such a long time. I can assure you, if you haven’t contacted your mates in a while and don’t feel like making the effort – they feel the same.
You be the person to send that first message. While you may not feel like meeting up at the pub at the moment (Covid isn’t quite in the past yet) you can still socialise safely. Don’t be afraid to reinvent your friendships somewhat. Try any of these:
- Meeting up at the local football grounds for a fun 5-a-side match.
- If you’ve all bought bikes during lockdown, meet for a spin.
- Get together for a hike, followed by a pub meal which doesn’t have to turn into a session.
- Ask your mates over to watch a match on TV.
- If you have kids, get the families together or hike in the great outdoors.
Gym Plus is once again supporting the Movember fundraising initiative this month. From fun fitness challenges and classes to coffee mornings, check out what we have planned in club and see how you can get involved. If you want to find out more about Movember and how to look after your health visit the Movember site here.