On May 3rd Piatkus publishes Health Revolution for Men, a ground-breaking new book designed to help men ‘grab the bull by the horns’ and decrease their risk of serious disease. If you’re a man facing health issues such as an expanding waistline, stress, or high blood pressure or cholesterol – or a woman who’d like her partner to be healthier – this book is perfect. Written by Dr Charles Clark, one of the UK’s leading experts on men’s health, it outlines the practical, no-nonsense programme he has developed over many years successfully transforming the health of his male patients.
Here Dr Charles Clark shares his thoughts on the health challenges facing men and how his programme can help. . .
I have been engaged in the field of preventive medicine for over twenty years and in that time there has been a 180-degree shift in the approach of both doctors and men to the subject of men’s health. Previously, it was almost a taboo subject, hardly discussed by men, as if it were some form of weakness to be anything but fit and healthy. Even now, the ‘macho’ image still exists with many men, but they are a dying breed – figuratively as well as actually – and men are assuming an increasing interest in their own health.
Many men reach a turning point when they begin to experience niggling indications that all is not well, be it a beer belly, a high cholesterol level or diminishing performance at work or at their chosen sport (or indeed in the bedroom!). Such problems often arise once you have reached the ‘30’ milestone but it is important to realise that the conditions associated with ageing are not inevitable and can be reversed or indeed prevented if addressed early enough.
So what exactly are the conditions of ageing that I am are proposing to reduce with this book? The answer is virtually all of them, from heart disease and diabetes to obesity and arthritis! With only a few simple lifestyle changes? Within two weeks? Perhaps you find this difficult to believe but you will be convinced if you follow this simple programme. Of course, you can’t reverse the changes of a lifetime in two weeks, but you will notice a substantial improvement in some of your health statistics within that time – and you will begin to change shape significantly.
Although all of the major diseases can affect men and women, men are particularly susceptible to the following conditions:
■ heart disease
■ raised cholesterol
■ back pain
■ loss of libido
■ and, of course, alcohol-related problems
A simple alteration in your diet can significantly reduce cholesterol levels – within two weeks – and therefore your risk of heart disease and hypertension. I’m are not suggesting you exist on salad and low-fat mayo (which doesn’t work anyway) but enjoy delicious meals such as sirloin steak, chargrilled tuna, duck breast with tarragon, chicken with chilli salsa . . . The potential combinations are literally unlimited. And there is no calorie counting – on the contrary, the basis of this system is that you should never be hungry! How does it work? Quite simply, by altering the nutritional balance of your food intake, you will effectively programme your body to reduce body fat automatically. And all of the recipes are designed to be prepared simply, even by the most inept cook!
By following these basic principles you will also reduce your risk of diabetes – or improve your control of the condition if you already have it. Weight loss follows as a natural accompaniment to the loss of fat – without pain or effort.
This initial part of the programme, which concentrates on diet, will result in significant improvements in health and appearance, but if you wish to obtain the full benefit, following the stress-reduction techniques I recommend will improve your heart health even more. Stress is a major cause of most male health problems. All of the previously-mentioned conditions can be caused by stress, but there are many more: cancer, stomach ulcers, back pain and strokes all have stress as a major contributing factor. Reducing subliminal stress is remarkably simple, even in the most everyday stressful environment. It involves little time and can have major health implications. This programme includes simple yet highly effective techniques that can be employed in virtually every lifestyle situation to stabilise heart rate, the single most important measure of general stress levels.
Another common problem for many men is a lack of good posture and muscle tone, yet these are the foundation of preventing musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, arthritis, neck stiffness and muscular aches and pains. These problems can be substantially reduced by simple isometric exercises which can be performed in virtually any situation, without the need for expensive gym equipment. Isotonic exercise complements this essential core development, and a realistic programme for both types of exercise is featured in the book, along with helpful illustrations.
Alcohol is another important consideration. Of course it’s not an exclusively male problem but it can be a long-term one for many men and it needs to be addressed if you want real quality of life. Having said that, I do not advocate total abstinence; as you’ll discover, the advice on alcohol intake in this programme is practical and effective, not proscriptive and ineffective.
I have treated thousands of men with problems ranging from the seemingly minor, such as obesity, to more major, such as raised cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. In virtually every case there has been substantial improvement as a result of simple lifestyle changes alone.
Why don’t you join them? I hope Connor’s case history will inspire you.
Case History • Connor
Connor was a forty-three-year-old lawyer, under considerable stress. Weighing in at 105kg with a height of 5 feet 9 inches (1.75m), he was very overweight, but of much more importance was his very elevated insulin level (a predictive factor for diabetes) at 17.6 (normal is 5).
His cholesterol was 5.7 and he was finding it more difficult to continue with his hobby of cycling.
In essence, he was borderline diabetic with elevated cholesterol leading to potential heart problems in later life, despite not leading a sedentary lifestyle. He was a keen cyclist, cycling every weekend, but he was finding it gradually more difficult to maintain the energy required.
Stress and diet were the obvious problems to be addressed. When we identified the problem areas with lifestyle, he organised his daily timetable with the same care and application he applied to his profession, scheduling into his routine time to de-stress and replacing his fast-food lunches with equally fast healthy options. Late-night suppers became planned by having healthy alternatives rather than the convenient takeaway.
Within two weeks he had reduced his weight by 3kg and was achieving better cycling times. By four weeks his weight had reduced to 97kg (a reduction of 8kg), his insulin levels had returned to normal at 6.1, cholesterol levels were back down to a healthy 4.6 and he was well on the way to recovery. His waist size had reduced by 2 inches and he was managing to cycle double the mileage in the same time.
Health Revolution For Men is out now. Please click here for more information. It is also available to download as an ebook from all the major ebook retailers, so you can add this title to your Kindle, iPad, Kobo or Sony Reader.
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