IF you’re a man who is carrying a few extra pounds, there’s good news. Any time can be the right time to start and strengthen healthier habits and lose the weight.
Some find that the warmer weather of summer and early fall can be a great time to get in shape. That’s because the longer days can make it easier to find workout partners or teams to join. It can also be a great time to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, peaches and sweet corn.
With extra pounds linked to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, getting to a healthy weight can be a step in the right direction. To help you get in the game, here are some tips from the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health:
Get fitter, stronger, faster
- Start with a level of activity that feels doable. For example, 10 minutes each day. Increase frequency, time and intensity as you become able to do more.
- Mix it up. To get and stay on track, try different kinds of activities. Make sure your routine includes aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, biking), strength training (free weights, crunches, push-ups), and flexibility exercises like stretching or yoga.
Power up with nutrient-dense foods and drinks
- Eat and drink smart. Choose foods and drinks that pack plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber into fewer calories. Fruit, vegetables, lean meats and seafood, and water or fat-free milk are all good options.
- Outsmart your inner picky eater. Sneak in fruits and vegetables. Add berries to your cereal or crunchy vegetables to your sandwich.
Stick with it for the long run
- Form your own team. Find a workout partner or group to help you stay on track.
- Reward yourself when you reach your goals. Plan a basketball or soccer game, bike ride or healthy cookout with friends or family.
Learn more from WIN’s “Getting on Track: Physical Activity and Healthy Eating for Men.” The brochure features more tips and ideas for men, tools for figuring out if your weight is healthy, ways to assess portion sizes based on everyday items, and ideas for overcoming barriers to better health.
Contact WIN to get a single copy free. Or go to www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/.
North American Precis Syndicate