Strategies to help you stick to your New Year’s resolution

(WTNH) — Many people are vowing to get healthy in 2018 by losing weight and changing bad habits. But many resolutions fall through because they lack a real strategy.

Dr. Desmond Ebanks, founder and Medical Director of Alternity Healthcare in West Hartford, has some tips on how to make your New Year’s resolutions successful.

Dr. Ebanks wrote the book “The High Performance Male: as a guide for men over 40 who are looking for accurate and proven systems for achieving a high performance lifestyle.

Five keys to achieving a high performance lifestyle:

1. Optimizing Hormone Balance
2. Making Your Cells Act Younger
3. Exercise Regularly and Maintain Muscle Mass
4. Eating the Right Fuel
5. Caring for Your Brain

Optimizing Hormone Balance

Out of balance hormones can lead to excess fat storage, increased risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases, impair your ability to concentrate and focus and wreak havoc on sleep and sex life.  Of the several hormones discussed in the book, testosterone is the most fundamental element to a man’s virility at any age.  It literally defines manhood; making a man feel like a man.  Testosterone gives you the drive to succeed in business, school and sports. And the decrease of testosterone in your body is what makes you feel weaker, slower and more fragile as you age. But you don’t have to just accept the diminishing physical and cognitive capabilities caused by declining testosterone levels.  By restoring youthful testosterone levels you can reap the following benefits:

  • reinvigorate your strength and power
  • heighten libido and firmer erections
  • reduce belly fat
  • improve stamina
  • enhance mental clarity
  • strengthen your heart, bones and immune system

Making Your Cells Act Younger

Telomeres are the part of your chromosomes that control aging.  They represent your biological clock and are the strongest indicator of how quickly you age.  When you are young your telomeres are longer and progressively shorten with age.  But the rate at which that shortening occurs is directly influenced by lifestyle choices.  In addition to naturally shortening with age, telomeres have been shown to shorten in response to stress, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet.  At any age, shorter telomeres dramatically increase your risk of serious disease and premature death.  You will look and feel older.  Telomere length can be measured with a simple blood test.  Once you have your result, if your telomeres are short, there is no need to panic.  Fortunately there are things you can do to boost their length, make your cells act younger, avoid age-related problems and restore your youthful vigor… at any age!

Exercising Regularly and Maintaining Muscle Mass

Exercise has been called the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth.  The goals of any exercise program should be to improve your ability to function; better fitness, increased strength, and improved flexibility.   At all costs, you want to avoid sarcopenia – the age related loss of muscle mass.  Loss of muscle mass leads to reduced strength and decreased physical activity which ultimately can lead to frailty and dependency.   Maintaining muscle mass, muscular strength, muscular power and endurance are all essential to maximizing performance and aging more youthfully.  At the cellular level, exercise improves telomere maintenance by increasing the activity of the enzyme telomerase that builds and repairs telomeres.  You don’t need a lot of equipment to keep your body primed.  Most elite military troops rely on calisthenics to maintain their fitness, muscle mass and strength.  Rest and recovery are just as important as the exercise to allow your body to rebuild and recuperate.

Eating the Right Fuel

There are many different diet strategies and zealous advocates promoting each one.  The bottom line is there is not one single way to eat that is ideal for everyone.  Customizing dietary recommendation based on your individual genomic blueprint is the ideal way to determine what you should be eating and avoiding.  But in general terms, a Mediterranean style diet is a great starting point.  It has been shown to promote good health and reduce risks of many chronic diseases.  For optimizing hormones and performance you will want to remember two overriding principles to incorporate into your eating plan; eat plenty of healthy fats and avoid sugars and excess simple carbs.

Caring for Your Brain

Memory lapses seem to get more frequent with age.  We have all experienced misplacing our keys or phone.  You may gain wisdom with age, but don’t want to experience mental decline.  The last thing you want is to take good care of your physical body only to have it outlive your mind.  Your brain is a dynamic, adaptable system that can change its structure and function with the right care and stimulation.  Getting adequate sleep and managing stress are also crucial. Intense mental activity can use as much energy as running a marathon.  Just like your body, you mind needs sufficient rest to recover.  Whether its meditation, Tai Chi, or more time off for vacations, taking good care of your brain ensures that significant cognitive decline is not inevitable

Visit www.alternityhealthcare.com/events for more information.

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