Because most members of MAG are approaching the twilight years, we are interested in those aspects of medicine, including diet and alternative therapies, which can enable us to maintain our health and fitness. Also, being gay men, we are interested in the medical aspects of the prevention of HIV-AIDS in our day to day lives and prevention of the spread of HIV-AIDS throughout the community. We are particularly interested in current treatments for persons with HIV-AIDS.
Stop. Revive. Survive. - Dokta Who
As we drive long distances at high speed we see these signs along the highways: Stop. Revive. Survive. How many people actually stop? And how many, many people drowse, swerve, crash and die or live in pain and anguish? These are hard facts and difficult to face. Yet commonsense (and drink/drive rules) demands we do. What stops us from seeing the traffic signals and the roadside signs along the other highways of our life? Why do so few blokes ever come to Gilligan's bar in The Oxford Hotel on Wednesday nights? Why are so many so obese and so inactive? Why do so few have even the hope of happiness? Enough introspection! There are lessons to learn.
Lesson 1: Stop!
Read the signs and respond. Ease yourself out of the high speed lane and park somewhere beautiful. Unclip the seat belt, take a stretch and have a breather. Stop buying biscuits, butter and jam; never eat chips with a meal. Explore the sensual health of avocado, cold-pressed olive oil and chopped fresh tomato with a sprig of basil. Buy a pepper grinder and some Australian sea salt - use it sparingly but boost your mood with the new taste.
Stop staring into freezer cabinets and buying frozen vegetables; start wandering the fresh fruit and vegie trays so you can cruise the seasonal fancies. Flirt outrageously: don't just buy five Granny Smith apples; buy one each of several varieties. Bake them with honey and chopped nuts. Invite a friend to snuggle up and sample them. A way to a man's heart is usually his belly. Stop buying plastic trays of second-rate fatty chops. Instead, wander up to a butcher's shop and see if he's got a nice bit of rump. Peel some potatoes, grow some beans. Snack on a slice of fresh-baked sourdough bread and peanut butter.
See what I'm advising: go out more, walk more, talk more, think more. This is not about 'stopping'! It's about doing different things. Read cookbooks. If you like tomatoes, learn to make bruschetta (that's Italian for chopped tomatoes on toast). Don't stop drinking - just buy fewer bottles of a better beer and sip it slowly.
And of course, find opportunities for making love. Sure, a fuck's a fuck but you don't usually get intimacy and sensuality in a sauna. Intimacy changes your mood; your mood has a far greater influence over your foods habits than you can imagine. Eat well and, if you smile at handsome strangers, you can stop feeling sad at the same time as your health improves.
Lesson 2: Revive!
Late in the night on the Friday of a holiday weekend the volunteer bushfire brigades serve roadside tea and coffee. I like built and brawny guys with a smile; I get along fine with the missus hovering behind. Jostle around the tea urn then someone shoves the mug across the counter with a drawling 'help yourself, mate'.
Ten minutes go by. You stop feeling tired. The crowd has grown and you suddenly see how many men are goin' fishin'. There's a cosy cruisy darkness round the portaloos.
So it's not just the tea and the coffee that revives you - stretching you legs, they call it, scratching your nuts, whatever. It's the cuppa, the exercise and something more.
There's more? Oh yes! You know those biscuits they sell: tasty morsels in a plastic pack. Yeah, packed with fats, sugars, salt and other preservatives.
Well, what you do is never eat them. By all means put money in the box - they need the funds to fight the fires next year. But learn to feel the real basis of your revival and distinguish it from the addictive rush of foolish foods.
Lesson 3: Survive!
You know how your mate's back was aching when he got out of the car? It was a joke when it started years ago - you called it Shagger's Back. But now it's a chronic bloody nuisance. He grizzles about it day and night; you grunt and guzzle more beer. In nine out of ten cases, chronic back pain does not come from the bones. The cause is muscular - it's preventable and it is treatable. The problem is that so many have such weakened muscles, and are so inflexible, that even household chores become injurious. Being obese compounds the problem.
Want to survive and prosper? Even if want to go on eating scones with jam and cream, here's some bedroom exercises you can use to strengthen your abs, your thighs and butt. Get down on the carpet now! Just lie down and do it.
Put your hands loosely behind your head and slowly lift your upper body from the floor. Keep your legs flat; keep your knees and toes together. Pause when your shoulders are over your hips, squeeze your abs tight. Relax and slowly lower your shoulders to the floor. Do this 5 times.
Tomorrow, not today, do your thighs and abs: lie down, keep your back on the floor and hands flat beside you. Lift one leg only off the floor; bend it back to your belly then put it out again. Do this 5 times, then do the same for the other leg. If you felt a gentle strain on the key muscles while you did those bending and stretching, you're on the right track. In a month's time you'll be happily doing this regularly - both exercises, every day, morning, noon and night, if you want. And not 5 times but 20.
If weak muscles are the cause, your back will almost certainly respond. But - as ever - if pain persists then go to a GP. If you're one of the lucky 90% he will not advise you to rest. Rather he'll tell you it's time to lose weight. Try not to ignore this advice - he won't say you 'should' lose with; he'll say you must. If you like sex, of course, the other routines are simple. Top or bottom, a good root demands the same energy as a 100 - metre dash.
What you can do to revive your life: