In the 21st century, guys are working harder than ever, are under more stress, become less active as they age, and many still smoke and generally consume more alcohol than women do. And then they wonder why they are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes and cancer than women are. When you take all these factors into account – it’s no wonder women live longer!

If men look after their body, it will serve them well, even beyond their allotted three score and ten. Guys, does it not make sense to maintain health and wellness, your most valuable asset, rather than manage sickness through drugs and surgery as you age?

It makes perfectly good sense for men to look and address some core issues affecting their long term health and fitness. Apart from stress related problems, sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular and prostate problems, many Kiwi men are getting unhealthier and fatter. In fact, almost 6 out of 10 NZ males are overweight and one quarter could be considered obese.

Recently it was discovered that over 60 percent of New Zealanders are now overweight or obese. I am now fifty and aim to keep my weight close to what it was when I was twenty one, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to achieve this if you follow the laws of nature. Eat well, move your body, stress less and be sensible with alcohol!

Most guys have no problem looking after their motor vehicles, but have a tendency to neglect their own health thinking it will go on forever. Your body is the only one you will ever have, and is your body not worth more than your car?

Generally speaking, guys are:

  • Less conscious about fat in their diet
  • Eating less chicken and fish and consume more red meat
  • Drink two and a half times as much alcohol as women
  • More likely to eat meat without trimming off the fat
  • More likely to eat larger portion sizes
  • Less likely to remove the skin from chicken and steak
  • Less likely to choose low fat milk and cheese alternatives
  • Eating more snack and take-away foods (especially young men)
  • Eating fewer vegetables and fruit, if they shop they don’t tend to buy them
  • More inclined to ignore the warning signs and symptoms of a health problem
  • More inclined to be less active as they age
  • Less inclined to supplement with nutrients regularly they lack in

Men in their 20s would do well to …

1.    Take the time to do a “healthy shop”, especially when flatting.
2.    Buy a healthy cookbook, or join a cooking class.
3.    Choose healthy take-away foods, e.g.; kebabs.
4.    Eat 2 pieces of fruit daily and a few good helpings of vegetables
5.    Consume no more than two standard drinks per day, watch the “bingeing”.
6.    Remember that your diet and lifestyle choices today govern your health in old age, what you sow now, you will reap later.
7.    Have plenty of protein in your diet, B vitamins, Zinc, Vitamin C and essential fatty acids.

Men in their 30s would do well to …

1.    Make some time three times per week to exercise
2.    See a naturopath and discuss a healthy eating plan, it will pay dividens
3.    Select more carefully when eating out, watch the fat and sugar!
4.    Graze on foods, less is better generally. Salads are great, try one a day.
5.    Drink no more than 2 cups of coffee or tea daily. Water or juice is better.
6.    Learn some basic techniques to deal with stress in your life
7.    Take an anti-oxidant formula.
8.    Have a hair analysis to correct any mineral deficiencies and to ascertain if you have any toxic accumulations of heavy metals in your body.

Men in their 40s would do well to …

1.    Maintain and increase their exercise program
2.    Include 2 to 3 fish meals per week, chicken is fine once per week (no skin)
3.    Eat more fruit, vegetables, rice, and other grains and pulses
4.    Eating out? Choose healthy, low fat & sugary dishes, and drink less alcohol.
5.    Drink plenty of water, especially if you fly or during & after exercise
6.    Avoid frying foods in butter or other saturated fats, choose olive oil
7.    Look at more effective ways of handling your stresses in life
8.    Spend time with your kids and partner, work to live, not live to work.

Men in their 50s + would do well to …

1.    Base their diet on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts and seeds and berries which are rich in antioxidant and phyto-nutrients
2.    Increase the quality and decrease the quantity of foods in their diet
3.    Reduce body fat, particularly around the abdominal region
4.    Eat more oysters, pumpkin seeds, sun-dried apricots and parsley
5.    Keep up exercise, preferably daily walking, cycling or Tai Chi.
6.    Ensure ample calcium, magnesium and trace minerals in the diet, eat almonds, sesame seeds and plenty of vegetables such as kumera, carrots, pumpkin, turnip and spinach
7.    Maintain social and community involvement, you will live longer
8.    Take a top-quality men’s supplement and Omega 3 daily.
9.    Spend time with your partner and grand kids, you will feel younger.
10.  Always keep active and still enjoy a physical relationship with their partners

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Eric Bakker is the clinical director of The Naturopaths and holds a Bachelor Degree of Science majoring in Complementary Health Care, as well as separate diploma qualifications in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy. Eric has 20 years clinical experience in natural medicine, and received post-graduate natural medicine training in Australia, India, America as well as New Zealand. Eric has four children and lives in the sunny Hawkes Bay

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