It's more than the gym. Whether you're taking your first yoga class, choosing healthier foods or deciding to quit smoking, physical health is an important part of gay men's lives. This section provides resources, articles and information about how you can live a longer, healthier life. We also have listings for our Professional Volunteers who specialize in physical health.
Posted by HIM on Sunday November 21st, 2010
Gays don’t age but let’s pretend we do
As much as we would like to believe that gays don’t age and that we will stay young and beautiful forever, let’s face it- time stops for no one. While we cannot magically reverse the effects of time, a healthy diet and exercise can help counteract some of the effects aging and keep us feeling young and energized.
We are always known to look our best, so why not start from the inside out? Whether you are still in school or are looking to retire, it is never too early or too late to take control of your life.
Who’s the culprit?
Remember having to sit through those gruelling Chemistry classes where you had to learn about atoms and electrons? Well guess what- there actually might be some relevance to them after all... well kind of. Aging is primarily caused by the formation of free radicals in our body, which is primarily caused by exposure to UV rays, smoking, stress, unhealthy eating, inactivity and quite frankly, living and breathing. So what kind of harm do these free radicals do? Free radicals damage DNA and overtime, this leads to *gasp* premature aging, heart problems, and even cancers. The good news is that optimal nutrition, notably with a diet rich in antioxidants, can help with damage control.
Antioxidants are a nutrition hot topic; they come up over and over again in the media and are found in anti-aging cream and sold as a nutritional supplement in health food stores. So what are they and why are they such a hit? Antioxidants are substances that are found naturally in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and spices and can help prevent or slow the damage that is caused by free radicals.
Everyday, researchers seem to discover the health benefits of a new antioxidant, ranging from the anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanins found in cranberries to flavonoids found in dark cocoa- the list is endless. So instead of writing out a list of all the antioxidants that are found in food, which would 1) take me forever and 2) not be helpful at all, I am going to give you some practical tips to get more antioxidants into your diet:
- Aim for 8-10 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. As a general rule, try to fill half of your plate with vegetables. Think of meat as a garnish rather than the focus of the meal.
- 1 serving of vegetable = 1 cup of raw vegetables, ½ cup of cooked vegetables
- 1 serving of fruit = 1 fruit (the size of a tennis ball or the fist of your hand)
- For more information on serving size, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/index-eng.php
Some additional tips on increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet:
It is important to remember that healthy eating is about making small changes to your lifestyle and is not something that happens overnight. Moreover, you are not going to notice any significant changes immediately. In addition to a well-balanced diet, keep in mind that exercise and relaxation are just as important in helping us to feel good and more importantly, look good.
- Jacky Lo
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