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news: quality of life and the pursuit of manliness

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Title/Topic: Quality of Life and the Pursuit of Manliness
Posted On: 3/29/2010
 
Mar 3, 2010 (The Preface) – Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying out of dangerous situations and preventing potential health threats are often ignored by college-aged men, and men in general.

Believe it or not, men often suffer from the same eating disorders that women do. Binge eating, anorexia and bulimia are the three main eating disorders that men may suffer from. Body image issues and unrealistic or inaccurate expectations of self-image often cause these eating disorders.

“There is a lot of pressure on young men now to look a certain way,” said Laura Hieronymus, nurse practitioner of the IU South Bend Health and Wellness Center. “Overtraining can be a symptom of an eating disorder.”

Men who “binge eat” and over-train often have a condition called “megarexia,” which is the opposite of “anorexia.”

These men often feel weak and insignificant unless they attempt to aspire to the ridiculous mega man freak status that is often portrayed in pop culture. These unrealistic expectations of self-image can become detrimental to the overall health of men and can often lead to steroid use and the anti-social behavior that comes with the rigid regimen of excessive training and strict dietary behaviors.

Although overtraining can be detrimental to the health and well being of men, weight training in moderation leads to a healthier, happier and longer life.

“Weight lifting is good for you. People who exercise on a regular basis live longer and have a better quality of life,” said Hieronymus.

Men also have a tendency to avoid cardiovascular workouts and low weight/high repetition routines. A well-balanced workout plan is the first step to getting the most out of training at the gym. An intelligently planned workout equals optimal health and well being.

“I try to mix in cardio workouts about every three days and alternate weeks with heavy lifting and light lifting,” said IUSB student Blair Foose. “Training at the gym keeps me focused on studies and it’s a good way to relieve the stress.”

Keeping the stress levels low, and the focus on academics up, is extremely important to the overall health, safety and well-being of college men.

“Men need to learn how to manage their stress, avoid situations where there are guns and alcohol and seek out help with their emotional problems,” said Hieronymus. “Young men often die from motor vehicle accidents, suicide, homicide and HIV.”

Young men are less likely to die from health related issues, such as cancer and heart disease, than from lifestyle issues.

“The lifestyle factors are often the culprit,” said Hieronymus. “Men need to take care of their emotional and mental health as well, such as seeking out help when they are having an emotional issue and finding spiritual help through healthy relationships.”

An awareness of dangerous lifestyle habits, learning to deal with stress and emotional issues and having a realistic view of self-image can prevent men from falling into an unhealthy and threatening lifestyle and can lead to a longer, happier and fuller life.
 

 
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