This week, I had my annual PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test, a screen for the signs of prostate cancer. It’s something I’ve blogged about before, having had raised PSA levels that turned out to be benign last year. It’s a test I’d wholeheartedly recommend for any man in their 50s – ultra-runner or otherwise.
With that in mind, let me take you through some of the changes I’ve made in the last year as part of my ambition to become ‘Super Fit at 50’…
I’m no medic or nutritionist. I’m simply a middle-aged man trying to be the best version of myself – a journey I christened Super Fit at 50 last year. As well as endurance running and training, I focused on diet and took on some IF patterns.
I’ve tried to include a one meal a day (OMAD) fast once a week, as well as fasting 18/6 for another three or four days. On the weekends, I’m a bit more relaxed but try to stick to three meals a day – no snacking!
The theory of IF relates to the pattern of when you eat, creating longer ‘fasting’ periods to try to kickstart your body into using calories differently.
My IF results so far
I’ve lost just over 4kg – not a huge drop, but losing weight wasn’t the main goal of Super Fit at 50. However, I have felt the benefits on my running. I’m that bit more efficient.
IF has made me more conscious of diet and nutrition, both in terms of fuelling my ultra-running and for life in general. Since starting IF, I now:
- Eat substantially more green veg and salad
- Eat less red meat (something I love), both in frequency and volume
- Drink less alcohol. Like many ultra-runners, I love the occasional pint or glass of wine. The fasting has given me a sense of routine, which also applies to when I drink
- After seeing the results of regular blood tests (I use ForthEdge), I’ve added daily supplements into the mix: vitamins A, B, D and D3.
Back to the PSA test
I’m amazed by this month’s blood test result. My PSA levels have dropped nearly 50% to 1.8. Just 18 months ago, my doctor had told me I was at high risk of developing prostate cancer for a man of my age. Now within the ‘normal’ levels, I’m overjoyed that it has dropped so dramatically.
I’m an ultra-runner in my 50s. Having a high PSA result last year was terrifying and put a lot of things into perspective. Now it’s back within the ‘normal’ range, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which diet and lifestyle changes have had an effect. But I feel great at the moment. Losing a bit of weight has meant I run slightly lighter on my feet, and the diet changes have left me feeling like I have more energy for the important stuff in life.
PSA tests aren’t without their limitations, but they’re among the best indicators of prostate health we currently have. I’d highly recommend any men over 50 getting their prostate checked and asking about PSA testing. If nothing else, it’s given me a renewed focus on my health and encouraged me to make some serious changes so I can be the best ultra-runner – and the best person – I can be.
Has this struck a chord with you? Leave me a comment below or drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org