Wed, 14 Jun 2000

Turning the clock back for men to make them young

In today's competitive world, men are under constant pressure to look and be younger. Yet, at the same time, society robs men of their youth and demands that they behave in a very "middle- aged" way as soon as they pass their 30th birthday. The Surabaya- based nutritionist and health advisor Clare E. Urwin describes how returning to your youth can become a reality. This is the first of three related articles.

SURABAYA (JP): Youth is the ultimate prize. "Staying young" is the trophy we all want to win and I dare any of you to deny it; even men! Of course, males are not supposed to be concerned about their own looks and body image are they? That's a woman's problem. Besides, any man who is obviously too interested in his appearance is regarded as a self obsessed fitness bore, a vain poser or gay!

Now however, things are changing. Perhaps it's been exacerbated by all those twenty something, reverse base-ball cap wearing, micro-chip billionaire C.E.O's, but the pressure is on everywhere, for men to look and be younger.

Wouldn't it be great to turn the clock back, especially if you could take with you all the experience, knowledge and common sense that you learned in your 30s, 40s and 50s? You can! If you are between 30 and 60 you can drag back your biological clock a staggering amount.

From 60 onwards, the gains are still remarkable. How does this magic work? Recent dramatic breakthroughs in knowledge about nutrition and fitness technology have made these claims possible.

Society somehow requires men to surrender their youth quickly. We expect them to behave and act in a very "middle-aged" way in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

Unfortunately, most men capitulate and go along with this. They presume that each decade will bring a slow and inevitable decline in their physique, looks, energy, virility, strength and stamina.

But, wait just a minute! This doesn't have to be your fate. There is no genetic programming that says you must "give-up" the boundless vigor and vitality of youth as soon as you pass 29.

Never too late

The good news is, that you can turn the clock back and keep it turned back, with surprising speed and ease. More importantly, whatever your age, it is never too late.

Now, new scientific research on smart eating and smart exercising, brings the cutting edge of nutrition and fitness within every male's grasp.

Returning to your youth can be a reality. If you look after your body with good food and the right exercise, it's possible to keep the performance of a perpetual 20 year old, even though you may be chronologically two or three decades older.

Turning the clock back is a very exciting concept. Although the idea utilizes advanced knowledge and every modern innovation, in practice it works in a totally natural way. No steroids or surgeons knife required. Smart eating requires forward planning with particular foods.

As a "thinking man", you already use advanced preparation in your normal life. So, transfer this practice to what you eat. It will bring an amazing increase in physical and mental energy.

Smart exercising is using the latest information on fitness and sports technology to give the older athlete an advantage over his younger counterpart. Not sporting?

Who said life was fair? Every man has a right to feel great by being really fit, whatever his age. Move the goal posts a little. Use better equipment, technique, food and training to enhance your natural abilities.

Turning the clock back requires a big change of habits for most men. Habits that are holding you back and making you middle aged and old before your time, must be eliminated. New habits that improve your life and give you back your natural youthful exuberance, must be put in their place.

For any man, changing habits that are no longer useful, is one of the hardest things he will ever do in his life. However, if he wants to move forward and progress, changing or discarding those habits is essential.

Most importantly, the everyday habits of living become the borders of our comfort zones and those habits are extremely hard to break.

Where work, diet, exercise or anything else is concerned, men settle into various "comfort zones" and once there, any change is resisted, even positive ones. In fact, sometimes they are unaware that they are stuck in the glue of a comfort zone in the first place.

For instance, where health and fitness are concerned, the classic reason given for disregarding diet and physical activity is "lack of time". Consequently, a man's "comfort zone" will dictate that the day to day pressure of work and financial responsibilities make him far too busy to do anything about his eating and exercise.

Men resist change

In reality, "I haven't got the time" is the universal cop-out for all men from 30 to 100, when it involves inactivity and food indulgences.

Concerned wives, anxious children and worried partners can nag their men relentlessly to alter their health habits, with little success. This is normal! Men resist change.

Doing something different makes them feel uneasy and awkward, especially at the beginning. They like their cozy comfort zones and will do everything possible to stay in them.

However, in today's competitive world, any progress and improvement in your life demands moving on to things new and challenging. It means breaking out of your comfort zone and stretching your limits in a higher direction. Surely, feeling temporarily ill at ease is a small price to pay, when you quickly receive such a tremendous boost to your enthusiasm and effectiveness.

If you are between thirty and sixty you are members of the "baby boomer" generation. The same age group as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin.

Thanks to modern medicine and circumstance, this age group will live into old, old age. Why allow immobility, undernourishment and frailty ruin those precious added years in your 70s, 80s and 90s. By turning the clock back and keeping it turned back, you can become younger and remain younger for the rest of your life. It's an investment worth more than any pension.

In the last few years, there has been a revolution in the understanding of fitness and nutrition. Men can make the physical gains and return to their youthful ability without the grinding dedication of a body builder or marathon runner.

Equally, sacrificing good food, being hungry and liking lettuce are no longer compulsory prerequisites to healthy eating.

Why not accept this challenge to turn the clock back? Don't let your present comfort zone condemn you to "aging". Stop the slide into an early middle age.

If your current habits are making you old before your time, holding you back and limiting your potential, change them! You can restart your life and become stronger, healthier and happier.

Next week, eating cleverly. (