Sometimes we pay more attention to our clothes, than to what our clothes are covering. Which is too bad, since we can’t renew these bodies every few years, like we can with our wardrobe. That being said, even the healthiest among us have persistent questions about what we should and shouldn’t do with these lumps of muscle and flesh. So, in keeping with our mission to help men look better, feel better and know more (did you know that promise was on every one of our magazine’s cover’s?) we asked celebrity MD, Dr. Raj, who you may have seen on The Doctors or Martha Stewart (though we’re hoping you only saw that show in passing), to answer some persistent health and fitness questions we at Sharp headquarters were having.
I drink an energy drink every day (okay, sometimes I have two). I drink the sugar-free kinds, so they aren’t loaded with calories, but I still wonder if I’m destroying my insides. How unhealthy are energy beverages? (As a side note: when I don’t drink one in the morning, I usually get a pretty serious headache.)
Energy drinks are very unnatural, and have many potent chemicals that can lead to long term side effects to our liver, intestines, and more. Any time we speed up our metabolism unnaturally, we are also at risk of cardiac issues [on a simple basis high blood pressure, and on a more series level heart attacks.] Your head aches are a side effect. These beverages are so unhealthy that in a few years when the true side effects start to be exposed they will likely be pulled off the market. Use natural means to stay energized and keep a good diet, and eat fruits for fructose.
I remember hearing somewhere that walking can be just as good for you as running. This couldn’t possibly be true, can it? If I walk home from the office everyday, instead of driving, can I skip the gym?
Walking is absolutely great for you. Many people maintain their weight and health by regular walking. As for skipping the gym – that is tough. You should separate your exercise into 2 segments, a cardio phase, and weights. So – do not skip the gym as you need to feed and challenge your muscles, and I would recommend going at least three times a week.
I recently read that antihistamines can cause impotence. Is this true? Once allergy season starts up, I don’t want to run into any problems.
This is absolutely true. Antihistamines damage nerve endings in the penis, which affect the blood supply and therefore erections and arousal is affected. There are in fact many medications that cause impotence, antihistamines slow your system down as well – and can cause drowsiness.
In the gym, I’ve noticed people doing their stretching after their work outs, instead of before. Is this a trend? Forgetfulness? Or is it better to save the stretching until after?
It is absolutely better to stretch before and after a workout! Stretching warms up your muscles and tendons, and increases blood supply which decreases potential injuries and pain. Stretching is the most important component to any workout. The one thing people do not know, is they do not usually stretch long enough per body part [for example, when stretching your quads, hold for 45 seconds not 2 seconds] – so make sure you are stretching long enough!
Sometimes when I run, the arches of my feet get incredibly sore. What’s the problem there?
Yes, when you run you are impacting your heel and your plantar fascia, which is like a band. The fascia will become inflamed, causing plantar fascitis. So, frequent repetitive damage can lead to you needing to see an orthopedic surgeon for surgical solutions. A simple solution is to get well padded sneakers with great arches, so your foot has the best support possible when running.
We’re always hearing about new wonder foods, you know, the stuff that makes you younger, healthier, whether it’s blueberries or bee pollen. What’s your take: what are some foods every man should eat to be healthy?
In my opinion, you are what you eat… the effects of healthy eating may not be seen after one day of eating well, it has to be years of having a good diet. Stick to the super foods – they are amazing in maintaining weights, reducing inflammation in your body, and will deter aging. This includes: blueberries, raspberries, cucumbers, asparagus, fish, chicken, broccoli, almonds, they all are great for energy and even preventing cancer. Stay away from fast food and those energy drinks!