We’re shining a spotlight on men’s health here at the Thames Club in support of National Men’s Health Awareness Month. Being in good health means more than being free from illness. It’s a combination of being in good physical and mental shape. It’s a simple formula but with today’s hectic lifestyle it’s easier said than done. Here we look at the benefits of exercise and diet on overall health, fitness and wellbeing.
The many health benefits of cardio
Men need to combine cardiovascular exercise with strength training if they want to be physically fit. Cardio benefits the heart by making it work harder, as a muscle this makes it stronger. This helps to prevent against cardiovascular disease and, by extension, heart attacks and strokes. This is important because men are at a higher risk of heart problems, especially those approaching the ‘danger years’ (50s). Cardio also encourages your body to burn fat, thus keeping your weight in check and helping to prevent against type 2 diabetes.
Prevent against bone loss
Exercise doesn’t end at cardio. It’s imperative to incorporate strength training as a means of building muscle mass. This has metabolic benefits because muscle requires more energy to sustain itself than fat. Maintaining sufficient muscle mass is an important factor for bone health and can help to prevent against bone loss. It’s also essential to the production of testosterone, the male sex hormone.
It’s ok to be a bit vain
It goes without saying that strength training has aesthetic benefits, which can translate into improved self-confidence – who doesn’t want that?
You are what you eat?
At The Thames Club we recognise the importance of a balanced diet which is why we are one of the only clubs in the UK to have our own dedicated nutritionist on hand to advise our members. All our members are offered a complimentary nutrition service when they join the club to help them reach results faster by addressing diet as well as exercise programme. The advice for both men and women is the same – eat a nutrient rich diet that balances calorie intake with energy expenditure. Men who are seeking a more toned physique may want to pay attention to their protein intake because this is the building block of muscle mass. Men should also be mindful of soy products because they contain naturally high levels of oestrogen, the female sex hormone. Over-consumption can interfere with the body’s delicate balance.
Exercise helps your mental state
The final element of health is often ignored, but a healthy mind is essential to the functioning of our daily lives. Mental health shouldn’t be pigeonholed into illnesses, like depression or anxiety, because it covers a much broader definition. It’s about managing your stress levels, keeping a balanced mood and generally ‘feeling yourself’. Taking time for yourself is the number one way to care for your mind. Meditation or yoga can be particularly good for this and we’re very excited to be launching our own Hot Yoga Club early in the New Year. It will be available on a standalone Hot Yoga membership or an add-on to The Thames Club membership.
Regular exercise is also beneficial because the brain releases ‘feel good’ chemicals during sessions that help to keep your mood elevated. That’s why you feel so good after a session in our gym and it’s not just our friendly fitness team making you smile!
Many of our members use our luxurious swimming pool area; complete with sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi bath to escape the world outside and relax. This can help you de-stress after a busy day at work.
Taking a holistic view, achieving good health requires three different elements. Exercise is necessary to keep the body strong, to prevent against disease, and to promote mental well-being. A balanced diet provides the body with the building blocks it requires to operate at optimal levels. And paying attention to your mental health will help you to keep on top of things and generally continue being yourself. This interlinking of factors means that being healthy isn’t a simple task, but one that will affect the quality of your entire life.