It’s been getting worse every year. Father’s Day will be here before we know it. I’m not saying the actual day is bad. I’m saying your dad is getting worse every year.
There is something called metabolic syndrome X floating around. It’s a scary condition. I had only heard about it up until now. So I decided to do a little more research on the subject.
I found some good information on the American Heart Association’s website. They basically define the metabolic syndrome as a group of metabolic risk factors occurring in a single person. The most common being:
Belly Fat- Excessive fat tissue around the abdomen
Atherogenic dyslipidemia (blood fat disorders, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol, that foster plaque buildups in artery walls)
Elevated blood pressure
Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can’t properly use insulin or blood sugar)
Prothrombotic state (e.g., high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor’1 in the blood)
Proinflammatory state (e.g., elevated C-reactive protein in the blood)
People with this disorder have much greater chances for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. But that’s to be expected since the top 2 risk factors for this syndrome is fat in the stomach and insulin resistance. But other reasons for the on set of Metabolic Syndrome X can be inactivity, growing old, genetics, and hormonal imbalance.
And this isn’t just a man’s problem, ladies! I focused more on Dads since Father’s Day just passed. However, the problem is even more prevalent in women then men.
How can you tell if you have it? Well the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have identified risk factors for you. If you have 3 or more of the following you have it. This info was taken strait from the website:
1. Elevated waist circumference: Men – Equal to or greater than 40 inches (102 cm)( Women – Equal to or greater than 35 inches (88 cm)
2. Elevated triglycerides: Equal to or greater than 150 mg/dL
3. Reduced HDL (“good”) cholesterol:( Men – Less than 40 mg/dL( Women – Less than 50 mg/dL
4. Elevated blood pressure: (Equal to or greater than 130/85 mm Hg
5. Elevated fasting glucose:(Equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL
Don’t fret if you do land in ‘Metabolic Syndrome X’ Land. Even if you have just 1 or 2, or even all 5. Because it’s a lot easier to get back to a healthy you. Well, the answers are easy; the road might be a little difficult for some.
If you have any of these symptoms of metabolic syndrome X, the most common cause for them is lack of physical activity and/or your diet sucks.
You knew I would be getting to that soon enough, right? Here are 6 tips that can help your Dad save his life. And Mom’s too.
1.) Lay off the Alcohol
This one is right up their for dad’s. That big, huge beer gut is neither attractive nor healthy.
Alcohol is empty calories. Period! It’s a toxic substance to your body. Toxic things are not supposed to be in there. But, here is some good news about alcohol and fat calories: A very small percentage of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. It’s in the single digits. But the problem with alcohol and it’s calories is that when consumed it reduces the amount of fat that your body can burn off for energy.
Why does this happen? It comes down to a substance called acetate. Acetate levels rise sharply after alcohol is consumed. This substance pretty much tells the body to STOP burning body fat ASAP. And yet another problem is the body starts making another substance called acetyl CoA. This causes the body to actually start making more body fat.
An interesting fact about your body and alcohol is that it can only process about .5 to 1 ounce of alcohol per hour. To the body it is a toxic substance. And it’s extremely hard for the liver to perform all of it’s regular functions, and even more so when alcohol is added to the mix.
If you want to be lean you got to lay off the alcohol or severely reduce it. This isn’t my opinion, it’s a fact.
2.) Lift weights with your big muscles Attention Dad’s! You are not bodybuilders! So why do you follow their ridiculous routines?
If you want to burn fat all over your body you need to train your big muscles with big exercises.
Big muscles are your thighs, back, chest, shoulders, hips, and butt. Big exercises are squats, deadlifts, rows, overhead presses, pushups, presses, pull-ups, and swings.
Anything that involves lots of muscles working at the same time. Doing Arnold Schwarzenegger concentration curls for 4 sets of 12 is not going to burn a whole lot of fat. The exercises I just mentioned will actually reduce your belly fat more then sit-ups or crunches. Why? Because you can’t spot reduce. Sit-ups or crunches only work your abdominals. An exercise like squats, the King of all exercises, work your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, low back, upper back, and abdominals. Lots of muscles equal’s lots of fat burned and lots of calories burned.
And the last point is don’t be a sissy. Lift big weights. A heavier weight equals more muscle. More muscle equals more fat burned and higher metabolism.
3.) I Will Not Isolate
We’re still on your workouts for now. I covered this a little in the previous section. Isolation exercise will not get the job the done in terms of reducing your belly and overall body fat.
Crunches and sit-ups are isolation exercises. Those are 2 of the bigger offenses people make in workouts. The other would be biceps training. The biceps are such a small muscle compared to other muscles of the body. And besides they get plenty of training from doing heavy back movements like rows, and pull-ups.
Other isolation exercises that you are wasting your time with are pretty much any machine movement isolating you to just one or two body parts. Triceps kick backs, forearm curls, cable cross-overs, shrugs, and calf raises. There’s a bunch more, but let’s keep this basic.
4.) Don’t Forget To Warm-Up!
You’re not a kid anymore. You can’t just go out and give it your all. Your muscles are older, your joints, your mind. It takes time to get things going now. You need to lubricate your joints and muscles to help prevent injury.
If you injure yourself, it will just be another set back. We don’t’ want that. Everyday in my bootcamp in Columbus we go through a 5-10 minute warm-up. Here’s a quick one you can do before your next workout. Perform each exercise :20-30 with minimal rest in between, repeat two times.
1. Jumping Jacks
2. Arm Circles
5. High Knee Run in Place
6. Lunges with a twist at the bottom
5.) You will probably need some professional help and/or advice
Everybody is busy. Dad’s with kids still in the house probably even more so. You don’t have time to sift through all the information out their on fitness and nutrition. It’s hard to know what is bad, what is good, and what you and your body need specifically.
Let’s say you find a routine online, looks good. People swear by it. You give it a try after a week you’re sitting on the sideline with a bad back, or a bruised thigh. Later you find out the routine was for college athletes preparing for the NFL Combine. Whoops! A little out of your league.
That’s where a fitness professional will come into play. You wouldn’t perform a root canal on yourself after doing research on the Internet would you? I hope not.
Quit being so macho, dads. It doesn’t make you less of a man to join a bootcamp or hire a personal trainer. It actually makes you smarter because you have effectively contracted out your fitness needs. Just like you do your car repairs and other things in your life. You can get more done now. Weather that is playing with your kids, giving extra attention to your wife, going out with the guys, or watching the newest episode of CSI: Miami and cringing every time David Caruso says something. But ultimately more time for you.
6.) Your daily nutrition plan
Nutrition made simpler. Isn’t that what everyone wants. Well, I’m here to give it to you. Well, not completely. I’ll give you the basic template. Here it is:
1. Eat breakfast everyday
2. Eat every 3 hours afterwards
3. Eat a lean protein source every time you eat
4. Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables throughout the day
5. Focus on eating things that have only 1 ingredient
6. Drink lots of water
7. Take a multi-vitamin
8. Take a fish oil or krill oil supplement
How’s that? 8 Step Simple Nutrition Plan. Granted you have to fill it out to your tastes. But follow that basic template and the other rules and watch the belly fat and Metabolic Syndrome X be a distant memory, or even avoid it completely.
Happy Father’s Day!