What’s Aging You?

Many men ignore simple ways to keep their bodies strong and youthful. Here are the main culprits for aging:

  • Heart disease: It’s the No. 1 killer of men in the U.S., due largely to unhealthy habits (e.g., smoking and eating a diet high in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar).
  • Cancer: This is the second-leading cause of death. Diet plays an important role in preventing cancer, as does avoiding common carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke.
  • Chronic stress: It hinders your immune system response, making you more susceptible to infection and disease. It can also cause wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.

Follow these easy, live-Younger strategies:

Eat Foods That Prevent Heart Disease

 Include fish in your meals each week. Choose cold-water fish (e.g., salmon, haddock, mackerel, or tuna), which are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that eating fish two or three times a week may reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating at least one serving of fish per week can make your RealAge up to 1.8 years younger. Be sure to meet your daily requirement for magnesium, too. Research indicates that men who get adequate magnesium from their diets have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t get enough. Aim to get at least 400 milligrams of magnesium each day. Good sources include spinach and almonds (1 ounce has 20% of your magnesium for the day).

Prevent Heart Disease with Exercise

A physical activity program that builds stamina, strength, and flexibility can make your RealAge nearly 3 years younger. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym. Studies show that people who often engage in leisure-time physical activities, such as taking a bike ride or a brisk walk, have a lower risk of heart disease compared with those who spend their free time less actively. Two hours per week of easy fitness activities may decrease your heart disease risk by as much as 61%. That’s right: Playing like a kid can help you stay young.

Get Enough Vitamin D to Prevent Cancer, Reduce Inflammation, Enhance Immunity, Brighten Mood and Keep Your Bones Strong and Healthy

This lack of the “sunshine” vitamin has been linked to colon cancer, and studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to other cancers, autoimmune disorders plus hypertension and Multiple Sclerosis as well. Your body makes most of its own vitamin D from the sun’s UVB rays (in a complicated process involving your skin, liver, and kidneys), but because you want to avoid too much sun exposure, and foods — even D-fortified ones — may not deliver all you need, a daily vitamin D supplement is good insurance against a shortfall. Take 2,000 international units (IU) of additional vitamin D3 daily and get your vitamin D blood level checked to be more specific on the right dose for you to get your blood levels to the range of 50-80, the “sweet spot” for all of the amazing health benefits it offers.

Eat More Antioxidants to Avoid Cancer

Fill half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables to meet this nutritional advice. Not only will you eat fewer calories, which helps keep your weight in check, you’ll also stock up on cancer-fighting nutrients. The brighter the color of vegetables and fruit, the more antioxidants are packed inside. It’s clear that there are many benefits from these nutrient dense foods and antioxidants plus other life giving minerals and vitamins found in whole foods help to ward off fatigue, detoxify the body and supply what is needed for healing and repair at the cellular level. Most studies show a link between eating a diet with more fruit and vegetables and a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers. Eating 2-3 servings of fruit and 5-7 servings of vegetables daily can make your chances of living longer and healthier more possible.

Reduce Stress for Healthy Work-Life Balance

Leave job stress at the office. A study suggests that stress at work may be even more detrimental to your personal relationships than work exhaustion, and chronic stress may increase your risk of heart disease. Fostering supportive, close personal relationships can help reduce stress and slow aging. Before you head home at the end of the day, take a few minutes to practice a stress-management technique, such as meditation or deep breathing. Also, take the scenic route home. Research suggests that viewing natural scenery helps reduce stress and promote a healthy work-life balance. Exercise, Tai Chi, Yoga or taking a walk can all help reduce stress too.

Laugh to Reduce Stress and Lower Blood Pressure

Whether you watch a funny movie, attend a comedy show, or just share good times with people you care about, be sure to set aside some time for age-reducing belly laughs. Research has credited laughter with not only the power to reduce stress but also the ability to relieve pain, improve immunity, and lower blood pressure.

See Your Doctor for Routine Checkups

Men are notorious for avoiding the doctor’s office, but to prevent health problems or catch them at an early stage, it’s important to see your physician for regular physical exams, and visit the doc whenever you notice a change in your health. Make the most of your checkup by preparing for the appointment. Don’t rely on your memory; write down any symptoms you are experiencing, even if they seem minor. For instance, if you have pain, track when it occurs and how long it lasts. Also bring a list of the medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you regularly take. Be sure to mention any chronic conditions, and be ready to answer questions about your diet and exercise habits. The following 8 blood tests/panels are helpful in preventive medicine. You can function many years older or younger than your birth age. Life-style choices determine 92% of your lifetime health risk and status. You can add years to life and life to years by bringing or keeping each of these biomarkers at their predictive goal value – the least risk or most gain value for each test.

  1. Homocysteine, best if under 10, some authors say less than 8
  2. Ultrasensitive CRP, best if less than 1 (some labs less than 0.1)
  3. Hemoglobin A1c, less than or equal to 5.5
  4. Thyroid panel: TSH, Free T3, Free T4, thyroid antibodies and Reverse T3
  5. Vitamin D, between 50-80
  6. Male hormones
  7. Food sensitivities, avoid the foods that are positive or limit to 1-2 x per week
  8. Vertical Auto Profile Lipid Panel, assess metabolic syndrome by looking at Lp(a), LDL and HDL subfractions, LDL particle size/type, triglycerides, ApoB100 and Remnant Lipoproteins

The health care providers at the Natural Health Improvement Center can help figure out what you need and design a program of healthy living and preventive medical strategies using holistic and integrative medicine. Come see us today and find out how you can achieve your optimal health!