A lot of men begin to accept that once they hit 40, things will go downhill. Why is it that we have become so reluctant to challenge these beliefs?
Part of my mission as a health and wellness advocate who also happens to be approaching 50, is to re-write this story so that all of us can begin to embrace aging with a knowing that we can do it more youthfully than ever before.
For men who want to remain fit and energetic into their later years without the typical decline, here are some important factors to consider along the way.
Intermittent Fasting – The quickest and most effective way to get lean and increase vitality is to incorporate intermittent fasting 3-4 days per week. Consume your last meal at 7pm and don’t eat again until 1-2pm the following day. You may have black coffee, tea, and unlimited water but zero calories during the 18-hour window period. Do your cardio exercise on the fasting morning for extra results and fast every second day to make it more manageable. The benefits will include fat loss, increased lean muscle, improved sleep and stamina, and more clarity and focus, especially during the morning of your fasting period. It kick-starts your metabolism like nothing else and works to balance hormones, regulate blood sugar, and much more.
Testosterone – As men age, our testosterone levels tend to drop and our estrogen also known as estradiol may increase. Low testosterone leads to a decrease in muscle mass and may have negative long-term effects on our heart and other organs along with causing fatigue, depression, poor sleep quality, and cognitive decline. High estrogen may be a contributing factor to heart disease and cancer along with a more feminine appearance including increased body fat in the chest and stomach area. Speak with an endocrinologist or anti-aging doctor about doing a full hormone panel and then consider bio-identical hormones if necessary.
High Repetition Resistance Training – Regardless of our age, it is vital to do some resistance and weight bearing exercises if we want to build stronger muscles and bones. As we get older, higher repetitions with a lower weight works better to not only build lean muscle, but also to protect our ligaments and joints. Try incorporating 20-25 repetitions on your first set and then while using the same weight, do 2 more sets until burnout. Perform resistance training at least 3 days per week and ensure that you work every muscle group at least once per week.
Supplements – To help reduce stress and improve overall energy, consider taking adaptogenic herbs. Rhodiola, Maca, Ashwaganda, and Ginseng work to lower the stress hormone called Cortisol while supporting the adrenal glands and increasing overall energy and libido. Choose one to start and alternate every few months between them. Also try Yohimbe HCL which is an ancient bark from South Africa that has similar effects while also targeting fat burning in the lower abdomen and back area.
Spiritual Practice – Now more than ever, men need to slow down. We pressure ourselves with financial matters, relationship issues, and the drive to get ahead making it imperative to take a break and get in touch with our spiritual side. This is done by creating a daily practice that we will commit to. Whether it be yoga, breath work, meditation, or chanting, it must be consistent to be effective. The irony is that we’ll actually get more done with less work when we can fine-tune our intuition and connect deeply with our spirit and our higher calling.
As men, we owe it to ourselves to take the absolute best care of ourselves that we can. There is a shift happening and men are beginning to understand the importance of finding a balance in body, mind, and spirit.
Why not start today? Put yourself first and take pro-active measures to age more youthfully and vibrantly. If you do, you’ll open yourself up to more joy, energy, and enthusiasm, and you’ll begin to feel that your best years are still ahead, because guess what? They are!
*Always consult with your physician before beginning a new fasting, supplement, or exercise regimen, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or if you are taking medication.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
Jay Runs a Regular Men’s Coaching Group for Men 40, 50, and 60. For More Information, Reach Out Via Email: email@example.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
We’ve all felt down from time to time. Emotions are an integral part of what makes us human. Sometimes the low times can magnify the ups, so they’re not always that bad.
I have struggled with bouts of depression throughout my life. It began from a young age and has carried into my adult years. However, I have learned how to cope by taking great care of my physical health, doing the inner spiritual work and by being innately aware of what is going on with my thought process. But depression is a disease and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out when we are truly and chemically depressed versus feeling down because of outside circumstances or events.
This happens a lot during holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidays, while supposedly fun and social, can also bring out deep-routed sadness. There are a multitude of reasons we get down with too much spending, family dynamics, and overall fatigue from lack of sleep or overeating topping the list.
Of course, always seek professional help if your depression lasts for extended periods or if you are unable to cope with day-to-day activities.
If you suspect your low mood is due to an external source such as the holidays, here are some useful tips to get you through it while minimizing possible depression and feelings of being overwhelmed:
- Reduce Sugar
This is a tough one especially during the holidays but sugar is a known depressant. Desserts and alcohol while initially causing a high, will lead to an ultimate crash in blood sugar, insulin levels, and overall energy. Allow yourself to binge a little bit during the holidays but know when to say enough is enough. Don’t feel the pressure to eat everything on your plate and drink one glass of water or soda between every alcoholic beverage to offset its effects. If something doesn’t tantalize your taste buds, don’t finish it.
- Find a Friend
Being around family for extended periods can bring out a lot of stuff from our past. Emotions can run high and toxic memories that we hold deep seem to surface quickly during the holidays. If you’re feeling emotional or drained, find a good friend to talk to. Decompress with somebody who knows you well and can remind you that you are in fact, sane, wonderful, and balanced and that family can bring out our worst. Friends can act as a therapist when we need them the most.
- Take a Time Out
Creating a morning practice is something that I recommend to all of my clients and friends. Journaling, prayer, meditation, and reading uplifting material every day, WILL change your life and your mood. It’s more important than ever to continue carving out this time during the holidays. Even if you have to get up 15 minutes early, it’s worth the commitment. This solo time will create a haven for you where you can get centered before the craziness begins.
- Watch Your Wallet
If you’re a giver, then this definitely applies to you. Many of us feel pressured to buy extravagant gifts during the holidays especially if others have done the same for us. Take the time to write down how much money you have for gifts (if any at all) and then create a budget for yourself. Carry it with you while you’re shopping and take notes in order to stay on track. Remember, the size or price of our gift in NO WAY reflects our love for somebody. A beautiful card with sincere words goes a long way, often meaning much more to others then a present. Don’t feel the pressure to give back. If you don’t have the money for gifts, learn to receive without the stress of having to return the favor. Those who truly matter will understand.
- Keep Up with Exercise
It’s totally fine to take a short break from your exercise routine during the holidays but don’t go too long. The longer you’re away, the more difficult it is to return. Also, exercise creates endorphins, which are the “feel good” hormone. They are more important than ever for those who are prone to depression. Push yourself to do short, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which takes less time but with better results. HIIT also acts as a wonderful detox from sugar and alcohol.
- Learn to say NO
So many parties, so little time! It’s easy to get caught up wanting to be social and to visit with all of your favorite people. You must learn that it is okay to say no. If you’re not a “hell yes” to an event, party, or get together, consider turning it down with a polite response. People who love you will not take it personally. It is always best to put yourself first because if we are drained and feeling down, we have nothing left to offer others.
We all want to look great! We all want to feel amazing! The great news is that no matter what your chronological age, you CAN make a difference. For those in their 20s, making positive changes early on can positively affect the way they look and feel throughout life. For those over 50, accessing anti-aging regimens WILL turn back the clock!
Everybody ages differently based upon numerous factors including genetics and lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and smoking habits, but EVERYBODY can look and feel better by making some positive choices along the way.
Here is a general guide for people of every age. You may decide to adopt more aggressive anti-aging regimens earlier on and the choice is always yours. The best decision when it comes to staying youthful is consistent effort over an extended period of time. ALWAYS do the inner emotional and spiritual work first, working from the inside out and then the outside in.
- Good Skincare – Start with a simple, yet effective skincare regimen in your 20s. Find products that fit your skin type. If you’re oily or have acne, make sure to properly cleanse the skin twice per day and consider salicylic acid pads to thoroughly clean your pores. Be gentle with your skin and do your best not to pick as this can cause damage.
- Sunscreen – By committing to protecting your skin at a young age, the benefits will show for the rest of your life. Find a face and body SPF of 30-50 without retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone and one that is preservative free. Apply it everyday to any exposed areas even during the winter months and on cloudy days.
- Drink water – By getting into the habit of drinking 8-10 glasses of quality, filtered water every single day your skin will THANK YOU plus your body will get to work rinsing out toxins from your system.
- Exercise – The earlier that one starts an exercise regimen, the better their chances of continuing throughout life. Make strength training, and cardiovascular exercise a habit and commit to 4-5 days per week.
- Soul Search – By beginning to take time every day to reflect, meditate, go inward, and even talking with a good therapist, this will help you to begin eliminating toxic emotions from a young age allowing you more freedom to enjoy your life fully as the years go on. You will learn the art of self-love and self-acceptance which is the most important part of our life journey.
- Supplements – This is the time of your life when you want to begin taking supplements such as an extensive multivitamin plus minerals, krill oil, and a quality probiotic.
- Botox- In your 30s you may begin noticing fine lines, and furrows starting between your eyebrows. Consider starting a regimen of Botox Cosmetic or Dysport to gently reduce the muscle movement thus softening or eliminating future wrinkles.
- Lasers – To improve your skin tone and texture, the IPL laser or Photofacial is a wonderful, relatively non-invasive way of giving your skin a renewed and fresh look.
- Interval Cardio – Consider pumping up your cardio training now by shifting into high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions which push your body harder for shorter periods of time. This will assist the release of HGH (the anti-aging hormone) and help to improve your overall body and skin.
- Self Help – This is a time in your life to take your personal growth, and spirituality more seriously. Really commit to finding a spiritual practice for yourself and explore healing modalities such as acupuncture, massage, or hypnosis. Dig deep and release any further blocks that you may be carrying.
- Serious Skincare – Your 40s is the time to explore serious skincare that truly packs a punch! My favorite and one that is getting rave reviews by doctors all around the world is called TNS Essential Serum by SkinMedica. Human Fibroblasts help to renew your skin cells and work hard to reduce the signs of aging, revealing youthful skin.
- Additional Herbs – Along with a regular vitamin regimen, introducing herbs that assist with inflammation, adrenal support, and stress reduction will be beneficial. Research herbs such as Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and Turmeric, and make sure to take psyllium husk daily to support proper digestive and colon health.
- Fillers – Hyaluronic fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane work to temporarily plump the skin. They are amazing at reducing deep smile lines and other areas of your face that are beginning to show signs of aging.
- Hormones – In your 30s and 40s, your hormone levels may begin to fluctuate which can accelerate the aging process. Find a qualified anti-aging specialist to discuss Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
- Deep Cleaning – At this stage in your life, make regular body cleanses a seasonal practice. Try a juice cleanse or get regular colonics to assist your body in reducing toxins and chemicals.
- Sculptra – Often people in their late 40s or 50s begin to show signs of sagging or facial drooping due to fat loss. Sculptra is a wonderful cosmetic injectable that helps to stimulate your own collagen which in turn brings back the fullness you had in your 20s and 30s. It is done over a series of sessions in order to achieve a natural effect. You may also consider natural fat injections as an alternative.
- Ultherapy – This is a great time to consider Ultherapy which uses ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen. It works deeply to lift, and tone your skin. It is a great alternative to the more invasive facelift and full results will be seen over a period of 3-6 months.
- Cosmetic Surgery – Some people may have surgery earlier in their life but the 50s is a great time to consider a lift. Having a neck, face, or eyelift can completely change how you feel about yourself and take years off of your appearance. Always choose a doctor who has the most natural looking clients.
- Meditate – While finding inner and outer peace is essential at any age, it becomes particularly important the older we get. Meditation, yoga, and other mind-calming practices have been shown to reduce stress-related illness. Put your spiritual practice first.
- Make Peace – This is a wonderful time to make peace with your past and fully forgive others and yourself. Now is the time to FULLY enjoy life and find a wonderful balance between work and recreation.
60s and Beyond
- Makeover – People at this age may consider more extensive cosmetic surgery and more aggressive lasers to fully rejuvenate their appearance. Men who haven’t already, may choose to have hair transplants to regain the full head of hair they had earlier in life.
- Give Back – There is nothing more cathartic than giving back to others. At this stage in your life, think about what gifts you have to share with the world and really focus on getting them out there in order to change the lives of others. Giving back helps you to reduce your own stress by putting your focus on other people.
- Retreats – Take time to attend spas and retreats regularly to rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul. Treat yourself. You so deserve it!
- Experiment – Research the latest anti-aging, and health trends and experiment on yourself. This is an exciting time and you don’t need to age the way your parents and grandparents did. This is your prime! Set a new example for how HOT your 60s and beyond can be.
- Get Creative – Tune into your inner artist and truly explore all of those creative endeavors that may not have been fully realized. What did you love to do when you were a child? What is your inner voice telling you would be fun? By getting creative, you stay young!
*Always consult your doctor before beginning any nutrition or exercise regimen. Do your research to ensure that you are working with professionals who have a proven track record.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness and lifestyle expert living in Los Angeles. He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, the 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!