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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 12 percent of men age 18 and older are in fair or poor health leading to obesity, hypertension and even mortality. Medical professionals from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have provided a few tips to help men get healthy.
Regular physical exercise is recommended to keep your cardiovascular system and brain healthy. Exercise helps lower blood pressure, improve lipid profile, and better control and possibly prevent Type 2 diabetes, as well as provide a longer life. Multiple studies have shown men who exercise regularly have better erections than men who do not exercise.
“A healthy exercise program keeps the heart, lungs and blood vessels working at their best,” said David Geldmacher, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Memory Disorders. “We recommend two and a half hours of moderate exercise per week, like brisk walking, or lesser totals of more intense exercise.”
Although it represents only about 2 percent of the total body weight, the brain gets about 15 percent of the total blood output from the heart, and consumes 20 percent of the body’s oxygen. Geldmacher recommends keeping the delivery systems working at their best with exercise.
Research studies indicate that persistent exercise triggers hormonal pathways that actually help brain cells increase the number of connections with other cells, as well as strengthen the chemical mechanisms of memory. A combination of resistance or strengthening exercise with endurance exercise is ideal for heart and brain health.
“The time to act is now, while the brain is healthy,” Geldmacher said. “Nowhere in the neurosciences are we able to get the brain to grow new, functioning neurons. However, brain-protective mechanisms, like exercise, get their best shot to work a little bit at a time over long periods.”
Those with medical issues should maintain regular checkups for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes using medications as prescribed to keep those numbers in the healthy range, recommends Geldmacher.
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is the state of Alabama’s largest employer and an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center; its professional schools and specialty patient-care programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50. UAB’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science is advancing innovative discoveries for better health as a two-time recipient of the prestigious Center for Clinical and Translational Science Award. Find more information at www.uab.edu and www.uabmedicine.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on all subsequent references.