It was very difficult to pick just one topic to discuss for Men’s Health Month, so I decided to pick five key things that have been on my mind. These basic health notes are relevant for all the men out there looking to stay fit as they age.
1. If it’s been a while since you have had a full physical then pick up the phone today and call your primary care physicians office and book yourself an appointment. When you’re done have the secretary book you in advance a year from that date. I try to make it each year the same month as my birthday.
It’s good to take care of your body, your mind, and your health. But as you age, your body changes, and not in the way you want it to! Seeing a doctor and assessing your physical health is important to stay in tune with your body and therefore more able to give it exactly what it needs.
2. We like to say at Koko, that muscle is like the fountain of youth, the more you have the better off you’ll be as you age.
You can actually dive a little deeper to see how healthy you are by looking at your blood profile. I have used Inside Tracker, a company founded by scientists from MIT, Harvard and Tufts University to “give you blood-based, science-driven, effective advice on simple changes you can make to optimize your performance and health.”
I really enjoy looking at what is going from a “deeper” perspective and tracking those metrics over time. Inside Tracker also does a great job at suggesting food options if you’re low in specific areas to help you drive those numbers back into a healthy range (think testosterone here guys).
3. Make a foam roller, a pair of tennis balls and a lacrosse ball your best friends. All that pain, stiffness and tightness that you typically experience could be due to restricted fascia. Use the tools mentioned to rollaway some of that residual stiffness pre/post workout.
This helps just temporarily though and to get at the root of the problem speak to a coach and take advantage of applying some pressure to “tight” areas with those tennis balls or lacrosse ball. Have someone show you the right way to accomplish this though or you could do more harm than good. In addition, get more sleep and drink more H2O to help your cause.
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Mobility Series 1C: Thoracic Massage. This is a great way to get in and work this area more deeply than #foamrolling would. I’m using two #tennisballs that are duct taped together – you can also put them in a sock and tie-off the end. Place the balls below the last cervical vertebrae (feel for “bump” in the neck). Roll down each thoracic vertebrae slowly taking 30-60 seconds to work the area before moving on. #mobilitywod #mobility #l4l #l4like Performing the movements seen in videos 1A, 1B, and 1C will help to increase your range of motion and improve mobility in an area that is tough to reach.
A post shared by Michael Wood, CSCS (@michaelwoodfitness) on Sep 20, 2016 at 3:44am PDT
4. Work on reducing your body fat levels by 1-2% this month. No, not by doing more cardio. Try 1-2 high intensity interval (HIT) sessions during the month of June.
Separate the HIT sessions with 3 days of active rest. On those active rest days watch your added sugar and do some form of strength training. In regard to added sugar, consume less than 150 calories a day (38 grams) and use the MyFitnessPal app to help you document it.
As for strength training, try using “giant sets” – choose five multi-joint movement exercises, like lunges, squats, deadlifts, chest press and pull-ups, and do each round for a desired number of reps or for a specific time like 30-45 seconds each.
5. Mix it up and take a yoga class. It’s great for your mind/body/spirit. If you don’t want to venture out or pay for it then download the Headspace app and meditate a bit.
Adding these 5 health/fitness tips during the month of June will make you not only more manly but a better friend, brother, dad, and husband. Hopefully, this time next June, a few of these will be part of your regular routine.
Stay Koko Fit!
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub
About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in Cape Cod, MA.