I recently turned 50. A milestone of sorts. Where did the last 20 years go? Well, I think I know. My first of three children was born 20 years ago. Once you start a family time flies by at an ever-increasing rate. It’s a blur of activity and fun, but two decades just flew by. Great times, but suddenly I am the dreaded ‘middle-aged man’. What does that mean for my health in general? It has been on my mind a lot as a friend who is 50 recently had a heart attack. Another friend fell very ill. I know that I need to pay more attention to my own health for my own sake, but more importantly for the happiness and well being of my family. So the first stage of getting healthy and fit was to go and do an overall health check with Michiel at Energenic Amsterdam. He is a very experienced health coach, fitness expert and physiotherapist. That took one hour and it was very revealing. Read on to know more about Over 50 Men’s Health.
Old habits are hard to break
Once you reach 50, it does serve as a reminder that you will not live forever. You simply won’t. It’s not easy to think about it – your own mortality, but we must in order to improve our daily lives before we get too old to do anything. I often find myself out of breath after a short run or when I have to go up a few flights of stairs. These are all signs. I am not the man I used to be. I no longer go jogging because it makes my knees ache. Also, I stopped running because I was carrying too much weight. It was the running that kept the kilos off. These same kilos are harder and harder to lose, so I am locked in a vicious circle!
What else? I stupidly started to smoke from time to time. That needs to stop soon…and to top it all I love a beer from time to time. I say time to time, I mean most evenings. I grew up in England. We love beer! That also explains my habit of drinking cups of milky and sweet tea all day long. And don’t get me started on coffee. I love coffee. As for food, that is the one area where I am quite good. I love healthy food and I love to cook. It is the one area I am kind of good at. I never eat fast food and my kids hate it too. We are foodies and love great food that is tasty healthy and delicious. That said if a bowl or two of bitterballen arrive on the table a feeding frenzy starts, but that’s because we all love mustard so much!
Get more information and make new and better choices for Over 50 Men’s Health
So before I make a dedicated effort to change my bad habits, I consulted with Michiel to see what he thinks, to do some tests and to get some data. Michiel has a wonderful gym and health centre close to the Jordaan. I told him about what I planned to do to get myself back on track and he invited me in for an appraisal session. For me, this was a great relief. It felt like a real step forwards instead of doing my usual method. In the past, I would make a resolution, stick to it for three weeks, and then slip back into my usual ways. What I always needed was a lifestyle change. Having spent time with Michiel, I now have a scientific reason to make a lifestyle change and stick to it. After all the clock is still ticking.
So I went to see Michiel recently. After a short overview of where I am in life, he asks me to sit still for a full 6 minutes and to relax. the reason for that is that he wants to measure my resting heart rate. He also takes my blood pressure three times in order to get a good measure. These are things I never measure and to be honest, I don’t really understand the results. But Michiel does. He says I have low blood pressure which sounds good. But, I have a resting heart rate that is far too high. A spider of anxiety runs down my back. Michiel says that this reveals some stress in my life. I have had some recent bad news in the family, so it could be that, but I am never a person given to stress about life, but maybe I indeed do!
Back to Basics
I like to get a decent walk in every morning and for me, that was my exercise. I thought that a walk was enough for burning some calories and stretching the legs. Michiel explained some body basics, I never knew about. He clearly told me about the differences between aerobic and anaerobic workouts. Aerobic is related to the body’s relaxing system. Anaerobic is related to the body’s stress system. We all perhaps don’t realise how much extra daily stress we have taken on in our daily lives: Work, family pressures, finances, and social media are all adding stress to our lives. It all adds up. This can certainly affect our mental health and cause mood swings. It can be the source of digestion problems, tiredness, a lack of concentration, easily irritated, poor sleep, sweaty hands, muscle cramps and more.
Michiel quickly understood that I needed to make changes and the initial goal is to get my resting heart rate down. On his advice, I immediately stopped drinking all coffee and tea. I switch to herbal tea which is delicious. Never did I find this a difficult change because the replacement was so tasty. I did however notice a big improvement. I felt generally better. It’s all about habits. Every time I was offered a coffee, I asked for mineral water instead. Do that 5 times and that is your new habit.
Replace your habits with new ones
I am switching my walking to more aerobic exercise. I am doing cycling, getting on the rowing machine and some gentle running. All small changes that I am enjoying. Nothing heavy, but better than my long walks. Another thing I am doing on Michiel’s advice is to get an extra 30 minutes of sleep every day. I get up early every morning, so never really stay up late anyway. But now I will give myself an extra 30 minutes to see what improvements that will bring.
So, I am glad I had this visit with Michiel. It was the first step in making lifestyle changes that I have been thinking about for some time. I cannot expect improvements unless I change some of my habits. The Over 50 Men’s Health process has started in some very simple and easy ways. I am sure that these changes will soon give the desired effects. I also see this as getting new and better habits that will keep me fit and healthy through my 50s and beyond.
Learn more about how here Michiel can help get your health back on track, relieve pain and set realistic health goals for you. Sometimes it will mean changing decades of habits. Sometimes a solid plan of change is what we men need in order for us to change our ways. As you enter your 50s making changes becomes more and more important! That’s why we wrote: Over 50 Men’s Health
Contact Details for Energenic
Phone: 06 49 32 08 63
Address: Van Hallstraat 294, 1051 HM Amsterdam
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