Fitness Matters

Question: It’s obvious to me that women see their physicians much more frequently than men. As a guy, I want to be proactive about my health, but I really don’t know how often to schedule regular check-ups. Any advice?

Answer: That’s a great question, and one that lots of fellas have probably been curious about. To be honest, it really depends on who you ask. Every doctor is different, and I’m sure they all have an opinion when it comes to this issue. My advice would be to ask your personal physician first. You can also follow something I like to call the 5-year rule. This means that you should schedule a doctor visit at least every 5 years, starting right after high school and continuing through to age 50. After that, more frequent visits may be in order in hopes of catching any health issues early on as you get older. Ideally, the visits should include a basic physical exam, as well as comprehensive blood work. This should be enough to keep you healthy and happy for years to come, but again, ask your doctor what he/she thinks as well!

Question: Lately, I’ve become much more aware of my carbohydrate intake, specifically focusing on sugars. I watch sweets and limit refined grains, but what about fruit? It obviously has a lot of sugar, so should I limit that too?

Answer: Fruit is essentially all sugar, but it also has lots of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Because of this, there is no reason to limit or avoid fruit. In fact, most people could probably use an extra serving or two each day. The only individuals that may need to moderate their intake a bit would be those dealing with diabetes, but even they can still have a few servings daily, as long as they’re spaced well throughout the day. Generally, when we talk about limiting sugar, we’re focusing on the added sugars that seem to appear in so many foods. Added sugars contribute significantly to overall carbohydrate and calorie intake, and are one of the many reasons for the nation’s expanding waistline. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for an avoidance of added sugars to become an avoidance of all sugars, and even carbohydrates in general. Let’s not forget—carbohydrates are an important energy source for the brain, the red blood cells, and our muscles. And carbohydrate-heavy foods are not just empty calories; they contain a variety of other healthful nutrients as well!

— Amy & Patrick Carpenter are the owners of Anytime Fitness locations in Churubusco, Columbia City, Bluffton and Huntington. They are lifelong residents of the area, small business owners, and are dedicated to helping all of us get to a healthier place.

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