On the quest to have the physique of your dreams, health can be pushed to the wayside or even ignored all together. For years it’s been a stereotype of bodybuilders that they drop dead at early ages - like their forties, fifties or sixties. Just because you are physically fit on the outside, this physique does not always translate into being physically fit on the inside. Heart and health issues generally do not manifest themselves over night. There can be a plethora of reasons why your health can deteriorate over time, but what is most important is to get routinely checked and monitored. Heart conditions, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can all have mild symptoms that can be over looked, which have adverse effects on your health when left untreated. Develop healthy habits of getting annual physicals, blood work and eating for health as well as fitness in your twenties and thirties to continue later in life and have a long healthy life.
Know Your Risks
Some individuals are at higher risks than others depending on certain factors involving their family history, unhealthy habits or even health conditions they currently have. Having family history and genetic predisposition for having health conditions, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, is out of your control but can still be managed or avoided. Cholesterol is monitored for three main aspects: high density cholesterol, low density cholesterol and triglycerides. The kinds of cholesterol that are known to cause clogged arteries throughout the body are low density cholesterol and triglycerides. High density cholesterol is known as the ‘good cholesterol’ because it helps to lower your overall cholesterol in your body. Over time, untreated high blood pressure can cause the heart to work harder to pump your blood throughout your body and this condition can damage the walls of veins and arteries. Even having current conditions, like diabetes, will aggravate or cause other health conditions or leave you more prone to contract others.
Then there are other factors that are completely within your control that influence your overall well-being and long-term health, such as smoking, healthy eating habits and cardiovascular health. Eliminate lifestyle factors that contribute to adverse health effects. It’s long been known that smoking and dipping will cause a mountain of health issues. Quit the tobacco! As a previous pack a day smoker for ten years, I know how difficult quitting can be. But, quitting is completely doable and possible. There’s so many different ways to quit between patches, gum and electronic cigarettes, pick one and quit the tobacco products.
Another common elective habit bodybuilders tend to partake in is steroid use – both men and women. Whether it is an oral steroid or an injectable, they all can have adverse effects on the body. Depending on the individual, there are many health conditions that can develop from steroid use, ranging from high blood pressure to high cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease or even stroke. Be smart about what you choose to put into your body and monitor your health to prevent, mitigate or avoid the resulting adverse health problems.
Forming habits of getting annual physician health checks is smart to start in your twenties and thirties, especially when you have family history of problems or decide to partake in one or a few bad habits. Annual blood tests will help identify any adverse conditions you might already possess, such as high cholesterol, and monitor other aspects of interest such as blood sugar. Knowing blood pressure is important as well – taking your blood pressure periodically or even owning a blood pressure cuff is a wise decision! Continued doctor check-ups and the knowledge of what kind of condition you are in is essential to knowing you are healthy inside and out.
Eating for a certain physique does not always have the best health benefits attached to the diet. Forgoing fruit and dairy limits the amounts of health benefits your body is getting from antioxidants and calcium. Be sure to include fruits that are diet friendly, like berries and apples. Both are low in fructose and have disease fighting antioxidants. Supplementation is another way to help your body consume the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs for health and wellness. Redcon1 GI Juice provides an extra punch in your diet to give your body the needed fruits and veggies you might not otherwise be eating without the added sugars and calories.
Weight lifting is great physical activity with many different benefits for the body that impact your health. But, cardiovascular health cannot be ignored on the quest to bulk muscle mass. It’s no secret that steady state cardio will tear down the muscles that we work so hard with supplementation and in the gym to build. Even when bulking, find a way to include cardio within your regime. Get the heart going – elevate the beats per minute, even slightly, for twenty to thirty minutes on a walk outside with your dog. Or, try HIIT cardio to reduce muscle waste and REALLY get the heart rate up. Remember that this activity helps to reduce blood pressure and keeps the heart muscle strong.
Keeping up with your health is not difficult and can be managed through awareness and prevention. Age with grace by implement healthy habits into your life early and continue them for a long, healthy, active and physically fit lifestyle.
Written by: Samantha Meinrod