Here are examples of 40 something men becoming new 40 something men!
The last season of The Biggest Loser may have ended with a controversy, but now a new crop of contestants are getting their chance to lose weight on the NBC reality show – and the season 16 cast includes some familiar faces!
• Howard "Woody" Carter, 46, played football in a semi-pro league and the Arena Football League. Now 398 lbs., He is on the show to fulfill a promise he made to his wife to get healthy.
• Scott Mitchell, 46, played 12 seasons in the NFL as a quarterback. He now weighs 366 lbs. and admits that when he retired, he retired "from everything."
So what does the NBC reality show The Biggest Loser have to do with being a 40 something man?
The current show involves past 40 something athletes who have gained a large amount of weight. These athletes have won Olympic medals and were champions in their respective sport but allowed the stresses of live to cause them to forget how to take care of themselves physically.
I'm writing about The Biggest Loser reality show because this show provides a great example of how we as 40 something men can let life stresses cause us to forget about health.
How it affects our health as 40 Something Men
1. Decreased Facial Attractiveness
The male hormone testosterone has been linked with a strong immune system and facial attractiveness in men. A University of Aberdeen study in which women ranked the attractiveness of 94 men found that those with higher testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol had higher immune system responses, and were deemed the most attractive, Health.com reported. Men with higher cortisol levels, in turn, were deemed less attractive. Cortisol, the study suggests, may play a role in blocking testosterone's appeal to potential mates.
2. Early Heart Disease Risk As A Result Of Inherited Stress
An extensive body of research has established that stress is a risk factor in the development of heart disease, and inherited stress can also increase the risk of early heart disease. Recently, a Henry Ford Hospital study found that men with a family history of heart disease had a diagnosis of heart disease an average of 12 years earlier than those without a family history. They were also more likely to have a higher stress symptom score (an assessment based on worry, impatience, anger and other symptoms) than men without a family history of heart disease – suggesting that the propensity to get stressed may be, to some degree , inherited.
"Depression and stress are known risk factors for heart disease, and they both have strong heritability." None of the other risk factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, were shown to have a significant familial link in this group. It's likely that men who have an early onset of heart disease might have a genetic predisposition to stress, which causes the heart disease. "
3. Leaves A Mark On Sperm & Offspring Development
Here's a big incentive for future fathers to start de-stressing now: Research in animals suggests that chronic stress could result in gene expression changes to dad's sperm – and those changes could manifest in its offspring in the form of a muted reaction to stress.
"It did not matter if dads were going through puberty or in adulthood when stressed before they mated. We've shown here for the first time that stress can produce long-term changes to sperm that reprogram the offspring HPA stress axis regulation" These findings suggest one way in which paternal-stress exposure may be linked to such neuropsychiatric diseases. "
4. Accelerates Prostate Cancer Development.
A recent study on mice found chronic stress to accelerate the development of prostate cancer, suggesting that prostate cancer patients could benefit from stress reduction as part of their treatment.
5. Erectile Dysfunction.
According to WebMD, 10 to 20 percent of all cases of erectile dysfunction (ED) are linked to psychological factors such as stress, anxiety and depression. Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D., professor of neurology at Stanford, explained that turning on the parasympathetic nervous system (also known as the "relax and renew" system) is essential for arousal – but when we're stressed, we 're operating from the sympathetic nervous system ("fight or flight").
"You have trouble having an appreciation in the first place because you can not establish that parasympathetic tone," said Sapolsky in a 2012 talk for the Science of a Meaningful Life series. "[Or] you manage to have an erection … and you accelerate the transition from parasympathetic to sympathetic, and the whole thing goes too quickly."
6. Lower Sperm Count.
Stress and anxiety could play a large role in male fertility, according to new research. Recent studies conducted in Italy, as reported by Reuters Health, found that men who were stressed ejaculated less and had a lower sperm count and concentration than those who were not under stress. Stress was also positively correlated with deformed and less mobile sperm.
7. Social Withdrawl.
The stereotype of the "strong and silent type" may actually be a picture of the male stress response. A 2010 University of Southern California study found that men who are stressed out exhibit less activity in the brain regions associated with understanding others' feelings. When placed under acute stress, the men had less of a brain response to facial expressions, especially fear and anger, whereas women had greater activity in these brain regions.
How it affects our health as 40 Something Men
Over the years, Jamie Dukes, a former NFL offensive lineman, has watched friends, former teams and teams – most of them black men and all of them overweight – die from heart attacks, diabetes and other maladies related to their weight.
There have been seven camps who can name the top of his head. All died before the age of 45. The list begins with Reggie White, the Hall of Fame defensive end who died the day after Christmas in 2004 of cardiac arrhythmia and sleep apnea. He was 43 years old and at least 100 pounds overweight.
White's death was a "scared-straight" moment for Dukes, who had ballooned to nearly 400 pounds after his playing career, full of years of burning excess calories on the field and in the weight room, had ended. He had both high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And his doctors offered a grave diagnosis: morbid obesity.
Coronary Heart Disease
As your body mass index increases, so does your risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
Plaque can narrow or block the coronary arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) or a heart attack. (Angina is chest pain or discomfort.)
Obesity also can lead to heart failure. This is a serious condition in which your heart can not pump enough blood to meet your body's needs.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure increases and lasts high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
Your chances of having high blood pressure are greater if you're overweight or obese.
Being overweight or obese can lead to a buildup of plaque in your arms. Occasionally, an area of plaque can rupture, causing a blood clot to form.
If the clot is close to your brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain and cause a stroke. The risk of having a stroke increases as BMI increases.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which the body's blood glucose, or blood sugar, level is too high. Normally, the body breaks down food into glucose and then carries it to cells through the body. The cells use a hormone called insulin to turn the glucose into energy.
In type 2 diabetes, the body's cells do not use insulin properly. At first, the body reacts by making more insulin. Over time, however, the body can not make enough insulin to control its blood sugar level.
Diabetes is a leading cause of early death, CHD, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Abnormal Blood Fats
If you're overweight or obese, you're at increased risk of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high levels of triglycerides and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol.
Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk factor for CHD. For more information about triglycerides and LDL and HDL cholesterol, go to the Health Topics High Blood Cholesterol article.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.
You can develop any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made if you have at least three of the following risk factors:
• A large waistline. This is called abdominal obesity or "having an apple shape." Having extra fat in the waist area is a greater risk factor for CHD than having extra fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
• A higher than normal triglyceride level (or you're on medicine to treat high triglycerides).
• A lower than normal HDL cholesterol level (or you're on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol).
• Higher than normal blood pressure (or you're on medicine to treat high blood pressure).
• Higher than normal fast blood sugar (or you're on medicine to treat diabetes).
Being overweight or obese raises your risk for colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers.
Osteoarthritis is a common joint problem of the knees, hips, and lower back. The condition occurs if the tissue that protects the joints lies away. Extra weight can put more pressure and wear on joints, causing pain.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breath while you sleep.
A person who has sleep apnea may have more fat stored around the neck. This can narrow the airway, making it hard to breathe.
Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a breathing disorder that affects some obese people. In OHS, poor breathing results in too much carbon dioxide (hypoventilation) and too little oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia).
OHS can lead to serious health problems and may even cause death.
Obesity can cause menstrual issues and infertility in women.
Gallstones are hard pieces of stone-like material that form in the gallbladder. They're mostly made of cholesterol. Gallstones can cause stomach or back pain.
People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having gallstones. Also, being overweight may result in an enlarged gallbladder that does not work well.
If you feel that you are not getting out of life what you deserve become a part of a community of successful and happy 40 something men who are taking control of their life by following the path of The New 40 Something Man.