By Jon Spangler
Special to The Citizen
Question: It’s obvious to me that women see their physicians much more frequently than men. As a guy, I want to be proactive about my health, but I really don’t know how often to schedule regular check-ups. Any advice?
Answer: That’s a great question, and one that lots of fellas have probably been curious about. To be honest, it really depends on who you ask. Every doctor is different, and I’m sure they all have an opinion when it comes to this issue. My advice would be to ask your personal physician first. You can also follow something I like to call the 5-year rule. This means that you should schedule a doctor visit at least every 5 years, starting right after high school and continuing through to age 50. After that, more frequent visits may be in order in hopes of catching any health issues early on as you get older. Ideally, the visits should include a basic physical exam, as well as comprehensive blood work. This should be enough to keep you healthy and happy for years to come, but again, ask your doctor what he/she thinks as well!
Question: Boot camps seem to be a pretty popular form of exercise these days. What do you think of these workouts—worth a try?
Answer: You’re right—boot camps have taken the country by storm. Group exercise instructors are including them in the club setting, but there are also a number of companies popping up that hire fitness professionals to facilitate camps in a variety of outdoor locations as well. I personally like boot camp workouts because they’re different. They get you out of your fitness comfort zone. When workouts become stagnant, results tend to follow, and this is sure to have a detrimental effect on your motivation to exercise. These types of workouts also tend to focus on multi-joint, full-body movements with both cardio and strength components, which often produce greater fitness benefits. But that’s not even the best part. Boot camps are a lot of fun, and we all know you’re more likely to participate in something that you find enjoyable. Remember, you can always design your own personalized boot camp too. If you need some help figuring out what to incorporate, talk to Seth or Susan or myself.
Question: Lately, I’ve become much more aware of my carbohydrate intake, specifically focusing on sugars. I watch sweets and limit refined grains, but what about fruit? It obviously has a lot of sugar, so should I limit that too?
Answer: Fruit is essentially all sugar, but it also has lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Because of this, there is no reason to limit or avoid fruit. In fact, most people could probably use an extra serving or two each day. I pack 5 pieces of fruit with me every day and make sure I eat them by the end of the day. The only individuals that may need to moderate their intake a bit would be those dealing with diabetes, but even they can still have a few servings daily, as long as they’re spaced well throughout the day. Generally, when we talk about limiting sugar, we’re focusing on the added sugars that seem to appear in so many foods. Added sugars contribute significantly to overall carbohydrate and calorie intake, and are one of the many reasons for the nation’s expanding waistline. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for an avoidance of added sugars to become an avoidance of all sugars, and even carbohydrates in general. Let’s not forget—carbohydrates are an important energy source for the brain, the red blood cells, and our muscles.
And carbohydrate-heavy, natural and unprocessed foods are not just empty calories; they contain a variety of other healthful nutrients as well!
About the author: Jon Spangler is the club owner at Anytime Fitness in Peachtree City. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at email@example.com.