A mid 40s guy, and obviously obese, went to see his doctor for chest pains.
After asking him the usual question and taking down his medical history, the doctor told him that his vital signs are normal but that he should spare an hour a day to exercise his excess fat away.
“Doctor, I don’t think I can fit an hour of exercise into my busy schedule,” protested the guy.
“I understand,” the doctor calmly told his patient. Then added, “So tell me, what easily fits in your schedule, an hour of exercise a day or to be dead 24 hours a day?”
This might seem a sick joke but there’s plenty of truth in this dry humor. According to 2010 statistics, a whopping 30.8% of Americans between 45 and 64 are obese, of which 1 in 5 will die from according to a study published online in August the by the American Journal for Public Health.
Particularly susceptible are men in their 40s and above because of career demands, apathy, laziness, or plain resignation to the aging effects on their bodies. The irony is that they waste no time in seeing their doctor once they feel chest pains, swollen joints, high cholesterol, or their blood sugar start to taste as sweet as honey, and many other illnesses.
This attitude towards health is sometime incomprehensible. If florists spray their flowers with chemicals to make them look fresh a few more days, and groceries refrigerate their meat and fruit stocks to avoid early rot, a lot of midlife men leave their wellness and health to chance even if it costs practically nothing.
For example, these seven simple ways have proven that life need not start wilting at midlife.
1. Live Clean:
I don’t mean hygienically clean, though it counts a lot. Regular bathing cleans up your pores, allowing your body to breath, makes you feel fresh, enhancing your mood.
Living clean refers more to your lifestyle and the choices you make that can support or make it a living hell.
It means eating the right kinds of food. It does not necessarily mean going on a diet, but more on eating foods rich with vitamins and minerals your body needs to ward off aging-related illnesses, energy and stamina.
It means keeping away from too much fat, too much carbohydrates and too much salt.
Clean living means regular physical activity to keep away heart problems, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression, to name a few.
A 30 min of brisk walking at least three times a week, or mowing the lawn or cleaning the car is sufficient enough to keep your system well-oiled and functioning.
If you regularly warm up your car to keep it always well-lubricated, why can’t you do the same of your body?
Keep away, or control your cigarette, or alcohol consumption. Definitely keep away from drugs. These are the major causes of early deaths among men in midlife.
2. Have a family or personal doctor:
You need not have a specialist. A general practitioner will do. But someone you can play golf or fishing with, and can chill out with on a personal level.
He must be trusted to hold your in confidentiality your most personal medical and personal secrets, and a wide network or specialists he can refer you to, just in case.
And, of course, he can be reached by phone anywhere he may be, any time of the day.
3. Have an positive attitude for life:
Midlife crisis opens a lot of men to feelings of depression.
While we all have bouts of depression due to unmet expectations, relationship and work problems, children who fail to measure up, and many other things, be careful not to let them rule your life for more than a day, or a week. If they last longer than that, you are in for the very nasty clinical depression.
Immediately see a doctor if it does. Depression is deadly. But it can be cured if nipped in the bud.
4. Avoid injuries and other illnesses:
Our sense of balance deteriorates as we age, our hearings are impaired, and our eyesight becomes less than 20.20. All these can cause accidental falls, leading to injuries.
Osteoporosis, a bone problem caused by calcium deficiency, is a common illness among men in their 50s. In fact a study shows that men in this age bracket have a higher risk of breaking a bone anytime soon.
Be sure to strap on your seat belts when driving, and remove unnecessary obstacles in your home that may cause you to trip and fall.
Old bones don’t heal as well and as fast as young ones.
5. Have regular sex:Tweet this!
I am not kidding. Sex is good, sex is healthy, and it is one damn good exercise. Studies show that ejaculating at least three times a week prevents prostate cancer.
But how, with erectile dysfunction weighing down on your penis like a ton of bricks?
That’s why you need to have someone who is not only a doctor but a friend, as well. Someone you can talk about erectile dysfunction freely and unabashedly without being laughed at.
There’s really nothing to be prudish about this bane of midlife men. Ask any of your 30 or 40 something buddies. They all are experiencing the same thing.
They might even recommend to you some under-the-counter drug to make to enhance your sex drive and performance.
6. Get your affairs in order:
Midlife is the perfect time to get your affairs in order. Draw out a will if you must. Buy lots of life and medical insurance to spare your family financial loss should you fall down with a serious illness or even death.
Make peace with your God and those you have offended or those who offended you.
Midlife is the best time to be yourself; free from any hang-ups, from any unresolved issues, from any secrets you have failed to tell your partner.
Your kids (if you have any) are already grown-up, have families of their own and children, too. Reach out to them and give them your best hug and say, “I love you.”
Don’t worry if it surprises them (They usually are). Midlife is the time to pull off a few surprises of your own.
It is the time to have a life.
7. Make a change for the better:
Midlife if the time to start making a legacy, too. If you must, leave something that can make people smile, something that can make them remember you with kindness and compassion.
I don’t want to appear ominously morbid, but at midlife, you are at a vantage point where you can clearly see your past and the experience to chart a course for the future.
It is the time for reawakening – to straighten out your past mistakes, and to resolve to do better in the years to come.
Do it now. It will make your journey so many times easier, fruitful and meaningful.