Guys, this post is for you. Gals, if you want a young and vibrant husband even after seventy, make your guy read this post.
Have you ever noticed that professional athletes retire by the age of 40? Sports analysts attribute this phenomenon to a number of reasons, like loss of speed, increased proneness to injury or just being cut from the team to make room for new talent. Granted, but that’s not the core reason. After 35, men hit a brick wall in trying to maintain the fitness level of their youth because of a drastic decrease in testosterone, the male hormone. This decrease is natural, but modern lifestyle like poor eating choices and lack of exercise hasten the decline of testosterone, which keeps men young, strong and fertile. But here’s the good news: if you eat properly, exercise properly and make a few adjustments to your lifestyle, your body can produce testosterone well into your senior years. Australian scientific research proved that testosterone levels did not decrease in healthy men with a median age of 60. It did decrease in men who didn’t take care of themselves.
To maintain your youth, your health and your overall well-being, you can’t eat, exercise or live the way you did in your 20’s. If you’re a man over 40 who shuns exercise and proper nutrition principles, I have no magic solution for you. But, if a guy over 40 who feels sluggish and bloated, yet wants to get in shape fast because he saw a Youtube movie promising him 6-pack abs in 6 weeks or a 30-pound weight-loss in a month, forget about both. Diet and fitness are lifelong efforts. a few weeks of fad behavior doesn’t atone for years of neglect. As long as a man doesn’t yet suffer from an irreversible health problem, he can regain overall health and testosterone levels by taking action in three important ways:
- Exercising properly, in quality and quantity.
- Eating properly, in quality and quantity.
- Lowering stress levels.
We’ll now elaborate.
Proper Exercise After 40: After 40, it’s time to change priorities and choose functional fitness and good health over bulging biceps and 6-pack abs. The best indications of functional fitness are climbing a few flights of stairs two-at-a-time without a shortness of breath and simply waking up in the morning with no pains. Here are a few simple pointers to prevent burnout and injuries after 40:
- Choose quality over quantity: instead of 100 pushups in terrible form, go for 10 slow ones with perfect pushup form with total range of motion. Proper form (keyword!) while doing proper exercises does wonders for the body whereas improper form and improper exercises are especially damaging after 40.
- Stay away from ego and fad exercising: the web still hosts a crowd full of the 6-Pack-Ab-Pushers who are still peddling sit-ups and crunches. The vast majority of physical therapists and exercise physiologists shudder from these type of back-busters, which impose extremely large compression forces on the discs and vertebrae of the spine, especially in the lower back. Go for gentler, more effective exercises like the plank and its variations.
- Train smarter, not harder. Generally speaking, until age 65 or unless you have a cardiac condition, a twenty-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout can be just as effective, if not more, that three hours in the gym. Such exercises not only burn fat while working but have an afterburn, which is bonus additional energy your body expends after you’ve finished exercising, what’s known in exercise physiology as EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Even after 65, you can do a HIIT-style walk that will earn the burn by walking two minutes at normal pace, then thirty seconds at accelerated pace for twenty minutes, which is eight rounds or 2.5 minute cycles. This is the type of cardio workout that’s great to do on Friday, so that your body will continue to burn calories on Shabbat.
- Be consistent, but not boring: 15 minutes of bodyweight exercise 5-6 days a week is far better than a weekly 3-hour session in the gym. Do resistance (bodyweight or weightlifting) workouts on one day followed by a cardio (jogging, biking or walking) workout the next day. Varying workouts prevents both monotony and burnout.
- Exercise frequently: instead of coffee breaks, take a plank and/or pushup break. Shun the elevator and walk up the stairs. Leave the car in the driveway for any task that’s less than a fifteen minute walk from your home.
Proper Eating After 40: fast food, junk food, and additive-loaded manufactured food murder testosterone levels, as do overeating and fad dieting. Low fat and low carb diets are terrible because the body, and particularly its production of testosterone, depends on quality fats and quality complex carbs rather than low levels of fats and carbs. The key to proper eating comes from King David, who says in Psalm 34:15, “Leave the bad and do good.” Throw away simple carbs – especially white sugar, white flour and sugary beverages – and substitute them with complex carbs, my favorites of which are quinoa, whole-grain rice, buckwheat and oats. Baked potatoes and yams are also fine, especially if you eat them with their skin. Examples of quality fats are salmon, avocado and cold-pressed natural oils such as coconut, olive, sesame or flaxseed. Eggs, fish and poultry are great choices for protein. Veggies and fruit should make up the majority of what you consume. In general, Vitamin D, Zinc and calcium play big roles in testosterone production, so we need to get as much sunlight as we can. The following foods are big testosterone boosters:
- Natural herbs – ashwagandha is fantastic, and so is fresh ginger, garlic, turmeric and fenugreek. If you can’t obtain the fresh roots (or seeds, in the case of fenugreek), use the powdered form. These herbs are staples in the Middle-Eastern and Indian diets.
- Seeds and nuts – almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds should be regulars in your salads and meals.
- Vitamins – if you eat healthy and naturally, with plenty of fresh veggies in your diet, you won’t need vitamin supplements. But, if you live in a climate without much sunlight or if you don’t get sufficient sunlight exposure (15-20 minutes, at least two hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sundown), then a Vitamin D supplement is important.
Lowering Stress Levels After 40: Cortisol, the stress hormone, is testosterone’s public enemy #1. Cortisol murders weight-loss and is conducive to storing fat because the body thinks that it’s in survival mode. Don’t overwork and don’t over-exercise, for both are counter productive. No one has a better stress buster than faith and trust in the Almighty – that’s your time-proven Trail to Tranquility and path to great health of body, mind and soul. Also, join us weekly on our Emuna Hour lessons on Zoom, and you’ll be lowering your stress levels dramatically in a few weeks. All of you have to do to receive your weekly personal invitation is to join our Lazer Beams community, by subscribing to our newsletter here. Thanks to our wonderful donors and sponsors, all the materials on this site as well as participation in our live Zoom lessons are absolutely free of charge. Stick with us, and blessings for your health and vitality!