John Batista Bocchino views an investment in health as an investment in longevity and quality of life.
He publishes this website to share health, fitness and nutrition resources from recognized experts. It focuses on professional males from 40 years of age and up. They face the most potentially debilitating risks of chronic health issues that can result in a diminished quality of life, impacting the well-being of their families and loved ones.
This site is intended to inform, motivate and encourage readers to make healthy decisions. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional.
Forty and Beyond for Male Professionals
Staying Mentally Resilient
According to the Men’s’ Health Network, men live about 5 years less than their female counterparts, have a higher death rate from suicide, and are half as likely to make physicians visits for prevention than women. In addition, men are half as likely to see a doctor if they are overwhelmed by professional stressors, such as meeting job deadlines, dealing with difficult colleagues, bearing with workplace concerns in silence for fear of being singled for lack of interest in or ability to do their work.
How men handle mental stress differs from women according to a survey by the Anxiety and Depression Society of America. For men over 40 who are either at the peak of their professional lives or starting a second career or retirement, even the most rewarding and supportive workplace can pose significant stress with such major changes in professional standing at this time of a man’s life.
According to Harvard Medical School’s article “Mars and Venus: The Gender Gap In Health:”
“The stereotype of the harried, hard-driving, overworked male executive has a basis in fact, and work stress can increase the risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke …Type A behavior, stress, hostility, and anger have all been implicated as heart disease risk factors, and these traits tend to have a higher prevalence in men than women.”
The percentage of men in the U.S. staying at home to care for their children has increased significantly. But public opinion considers children are better off for the mother (51%) rather than the father (8%) to stay at home, according to the Pew Research Center’s 2014 survey “Growing Number of Dads 18–69 Stay At Home.” Of this group 21% chose to stay at home as caregivers while the majority of others did so due to difficulty finding work (23%) or disability (56%). The Pew reports’ statistics suggest men succumb to the apparent negative societal stigma or devaluation of the “stay-at-home” Dads despite the growth in this population.
Therefore, many men are driven by society to fulfill the breadwinner role while missing out on milestones in their children’s maturation and achievements at school and in sports, arts, science or civic service. Often parents, and especially men, realize what they may have missed once their kids go off to college and live on their own. According to Harvard Medical Schools’ “men and Venus...” article, research has shown that only 9% of men (compared to 28% of women) report having a friend for support and were more than twice as likely as women to lack social supports.
For the professional 40+ man, it is important to establish a yearly check-up with a medical professional, forge strong professional social supports and if overwhelmed by stress seek professional help rather than pursue risky, unhealthy behaviors.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Harvard Medical School: Men vs. Venus: The Gender Gap in Health
Men’s Health Network
Pew Research Center: Growing Number of Dads Home With Kids
Staying Physically Resilient
For many professionals, committing to a yearly check-up with a physician and screening for cancers and cardiovascular conditions while strengthening your social supports is achievable. The logistical demands are not onerous. Men deepen the quality of their support network through the comradery developed from professional, charitable and team-building recreation activities. The most difficult part often is establishing and maintaining a healthy diet and physical fitness regime without succumbing to the dangers of yo-yo dieting and exercising.
For men in their prime and older, it is essential to pursue a sound exercise regime and healthy eating habits. According to U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention 80% of male deaths are often from heart disease, while the top three cancers affecting men are lung cancer (17.7% survival rate) according to American Lung Cancer Society), prostate and colorectal cancer (both 90% survival rates).
According to Dr. Mirkin, MD, a certified sports physiologist, these are some of the benefits of exercise and healthy nutrition when begun age 40 and older:
Of 18,670 men and women, average age of 49 years, it was found increasing levels of fitness were associated with far less likelihood to develop heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, chronic lung or kidney disease, Alzheimer's disease, and colon or lung cancer, according to a 2013 Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine survey.
45,078 men were followed for 17 years and it was found those with the best performance on the maximal treadmill exercise test were far less likely to die in that period or suffer dementia, according to a Medicine, Science and Sport Exercise 2012 study.
Two studies from 2012 and 2013 found higher midlife fitness levels were associated with lower risk for suffering dementia later in life.
A 2013 Nurses' Health Study reported that 11,000 middle-aged women (median age 59) who followed a healthful diet for 15 years were far more likely to reach age 70 free of 11 chronic diseases and with no major brain or physical disability. A healthful diet was defined as one that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, polyunsaturated fatty acids and nuts, low in red and processed meat and sweetened beverages and moderate in alcohol.
These and countless other studies demonstrate the necessity for 40+ professionals, especially men, to commit to a sound exercise and nutritional program.
American Cancer Society – Prostate Cancer
American Lung Association – Lung Cancer Facts
Dr. Mirkin: Mid-Life Fitness Diet Habits Improvements
Illinois Department of Health – Men’s Health Threats
 According to the American Cancer Society: “Survival rates tell you what portion of people with the same type and stages of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time (usually 5 years) after they were diagnosed. They can’t tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding about how likely it is that your treatment will be successful. Survival rates are dependent on many factors which have many people live longer than 5 years.”
Conclusion: Seeking Balance
Mid- and senior-level business professionals with high pressure careers face unique obstacles to maintaining an active, health lifestyle. Many of their jobs are quite sedentary with long hours seated at a desk and on airplanes, cars or trains. They have limited options for healthy eating. For example, you love to jog. Your office has a corporate gym. There is a pleasant running path near your home. How do you keep at it when your job brings you frequently to an airport hotel with no place to jog and few walking areas or healthy eating options? How do you make healthy eating choices when in a country with an unfamiliar cuisine? How do you incorporate time for exercise when professional and personal responsibilities limit your opportunities for physical fitness?
Staying aware and making incremental modifications to your diet is the first step. Incorporating fitness into every area of your life that you can is the next. The following resources will help you stay on track.
Web and Book Resources
WEB: PROFESSIONAL HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS
- American Academy Family Physician's features within its website in-depth articles about men's health.
- American Cancer Society is a storehouse on information on cancer awareness and prevention.
- American College of Sports Medicine publishes rigorous fitness training articles. Some are technical but others are helpful for beginners such as this article on exercise recovery geared to laypeople.
- American Heart Association has a great blog on heart health and a repository of info addressing concerns of many, including men 40+. In addition, it has extensive resources devoted to heart-healthy fitness and nutrition.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has on its website an Eat Right - Resources for Men devoted to men’s nutrition, including recipes and common sense guidelines.
- Havard Medical School’s heart health blog is one of the best.
- Mayo Clinic, one of the world’s leading hospitals, publishes extensive nutrition tips as well as articles on men’s health.
- Psychology Today provides general mental health information as well as articles on specific topics for men.
WEB: FITNESS HEALTH BLOGS FROM HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
- Dr. Minkin’s Fitness Blog
WEB: NON-PROFITS DEVOTED TO OR COVERING MENS HEALTH
- Mens Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families with health awareness and disease prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and healthcare navigation. MHN has partnered with White House to bring men’s health issues to the greater public's awareness.
WEB: COMMERCIAL SITES/PUBLICATIONS ADDRESSING MENS FITNESS OR WORKPLACE LIFESTYLE ISSUES
- Men’s Health online magazine caters to men who seek to attain a high-level health, fitness and well-being while attending to their busy professional lives and relationships.
BOOKS: PUBLISHED BY MEDICAL ASSOCIATIONS
- American Medical Association’s mens health book
- American Medical Association’s No Fad Diet Book
- Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging
BOOKS: WRITTEN BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
- Breaking Barriers Counseling Men—Geared to psychotherapists, but helpful for anyone interested in this topic
- Strength Training Past 50—Written for men 50+ but valuable for all ages.
- Why Men Die First—An invaluable guide to the challenges faced by men 40+, including the stress of professions traditionally associated with men.
During his 20-year career as a wealth management expert, John Batista Bocchino has studied and sought to counterbalance the personal health risks inherent in sedentary workplaces. He strives to follow best practices for fitness and nutrition and to share such resources with the broader public.