Men: Mind your Middle

by Cathy Clements, Nutritionist & Life Coach, NASM CNC, CPT, FNS, WFS

OK, let’s be honest. Women are more focused on their own health and that of their partner’s health. Men, well … they aren’t. That is a generalization but truer than not.

As women, we were compared with the historical statistics for cardiac events, stress events, effects of smoking and workplace stress to men because they were the standard. That has changed quite a bit in recent years.

Men, I feel one of the biggest issues for you all is weight gain around the middle. It’s been called a beer belly, love handles, spare tire or just a gut, but it is all the same thing. It is an accumulation of fat around the mid-section.

I do find it a little funny because it usually takes some time before it shows up. And, men don’t seem to see it when it is there! The problem, though, is that an accumulation around the middle makes a man (or woman) more of a risk for cardiac events.

By comparing the waist measurement at the belly button and the hip measurement at its widest part, the measurement needs to be less than 75% to remain in a lower risk category for these events.

Ensuring you add core exercises to your workouts is a great start. As you mature (OK, age), keeping your lean muscle mass in a good range will help to burn that extra fat off. Some weight training and eating a good diet most of the time will help to keep that mid-section not just looking good but healthy.

So ladies, continue to remind the men in your lives to take their health seriously by looking at what they are eating, how much they exercise and what their waist line looks like.

Men, you can do this too, not just for yourselves but for those in your lives who want you around for a while longer!