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  • Dr. Doug Pooley

The best health advice for men over 50


You know guys in many respects it is surprising that the male side of the human species has lasted this long. We statistically die younger, suffer more catastrophic disease, are more obese, consume more medications, have more bad habits, are less active and are generally crankier than our female counterparts. I am fairly confident that if we did not have the “sperm card” they would have gotten rid of us long ago. Sure women are in many ways catching up but for the most part they are head and shoulders above us in areas of health maintenance.


There are women’s support groups for almost everything, with resources available on every issue impacting female health at the click of a mouse. I can pretty much guarantee you that on the whole, men spend more time watching “Sports Centre” than they do exercising or monitoring their wellbeing.


Now I also know that most of you guys hate to read, so I am going to give you the ‘Coles Notes’ version of a health strategy that I promise will give you more energy, make you look and feel better and improve your relationships. The strategy is simple. Read the next line very carefully:

“Get off your ass and do something!"
  • Fact, we sit an average of 9.3 hours a day, more than we spend sleeping. Scientists believe that anyone sitting more than 6 hours a day is at a heightened risk of developing health problems and this much sitting may be as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes every day.

  • Sitting 6 plus hours per day makes you up to 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3. Even if you exercise!

  • People with sitting jobs have twice the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.

  • Recent evidence predicts a distinct relationship between ‘too much sitting’ and biomarkers of metabolic disease, such as increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other prevalent chronic health problems.

  • Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and author of the book “Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It”, has dedicated a good part of his career to investigating the impact of prolonged sitting. His investigations show that when you've been sitting for a long period of time and then get up, a number of molecular- cascades occur. For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol—which are mediated by insulin—are activated.

  • All of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your own bodyweight. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuel into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.

  • In short, at the molecular level, your body was designed to be active and on the move all day long. When you stop moving for extended periods of time, it's like telling your body it's time to shut down and prepare for death. 

Science has proven that you can improve every facet of your life, decrease the likelihood of catastrophic disease and have greater satisfaction in your life by doing nothing more that consistently moving. Obviously a structured exercise program will generate the best results, but by just engaging your body and mind in some creative pursuits you will statistically live longer and enjoy greater quality of life.

There it is…now get up and play nice!

REFERENCE: For some helpful tips on keeping your back healthy, check out this article by Hogan Injury. 

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