From Doctor to Patient
Dr. Justin Adams
This month, we celebrate dads and Men’s Health Month, so there’s no better time than now to remind the men in your life of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
All men (and women) should be aware of the basic health hazards — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. That is why it’s important to follow a healthy diet and do moderate intensity exercise during the week. It’s also recommended to stay away from smoking cigarettes, and limit consumption of alcohol.
For starters, make sure you get at least moderate intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. It’s good to alternate with aerobic and anaerobic exercise — aerobic is generally when you’re moving like running, and anaerobic is generally things that are done while in one place such as lifting weights. A nice thing about anaerobic exercise is that it can be done in a variety of different ways. For example, lifting weights with dumbbells, free weights or using resistance bands. It’s good to keep your body guessing, so mix and match your workouts for the biggest bang for your buck.
Walking and running are great ways to stay fit. One very common misconception is that running causes arthritis — this has been proved invalid in research, with the caveat that you run with good form. Many people tend to hit the ground with their heels, whereas a proper foot strike should be more with the midfoot. Many running stores now have a treadmill in their store and they can watch you run and see if you would need to tinker with your stride to lessen the burden on your knees and hips.
Many men love to golf. Why not try a round or two this summer without a cart, you’ll save money and play like a pro! Just remember, before starting an exercise program, always consult with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough for regular exercise.
Once you’ve got the green light to move forward, build an exercise timeframe into your day rather than forcing it into your schedule. One popular option is to wake up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to exercise. At work, take the stairs instead of elevators, and park a little further away from your workplace so that you walk a little more.
Another easy option is to drop everything when you get home from work and walk around the block for 30 minutes. If you’re anything like me, you’re much less likely to get that workout in after you lay down on the couch. I feel like I get more out of my workouts when I do them later in the day. Most of the time, I do them right away after I put my 2-year-old to bed. It doesn’t matter if it’s during the day or night, experiment with different time frames and find what works best for you.
The key to a healthy lifestyle is to stay active, so you need to find an exercise program that you can stick with. For someone who is looking to lose weight, I generally recommend an early morning timeframe. That way you get it out of the way, and you also tend to eat breakfast afterward, which ignites your metabolism for the rest of the day.
You want to make sure you maintain a healthy, low-fat diet. Add color to your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables, and reach for foods with fiber instead of fat. You’re likelier to eat healthy if you pack a lunch rather than going to get fast food. If you do have to go out for lunch, make sure to pick healthy options such as salads, and eating a protein-based food will tend to maintain your energy during the afternoon hours. Also make sure to keep hydrated. I always keep a refillable bottle of water by my desk during the day.
Don’t forget, annual checkups and bloodwork are very important as we get older, so that if we see that something is becoming abnormal then we can help to fix it before it becomes a big issue. Especially if you have a chronic medical condition or are on multiple medications, we want to make sure that everything is controlled and that we are also reducing the risk of bad outcomes such as heart attacks and strokes. Prevention is better than cure.
Trenton resident Dr. Justin Adams, D.O., is a Henry Ford Wyandotte family physician with an office in Allen Park.
His wife, Dr. Nicole Taurence Adams, D.O., was born and raised in Trenton. She is a resident working in the emergency room at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital. For more information, call (313) 383-5530 or visit www.henry-fordwyandotte.com.