What’s the secret to living the healthiest lifestyle? The three-legged stool. Found in “A Man’s Guide to Healthy Living,” co-written by Edward Thompson, professor emeritus of sociology and former director of the Women and Gender Studies program at the College of the Holy Cross, and Lenard W. Kaye, a professor of social work and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Maine, the metaphor coined by Thompson describes the ideal balance for heeding a healthy lifestyle, each leg representing a vital aspect: social health, physical health, and psychological health. The book was published by Johns Hopkins University Press on Nov. 25, 2013.
Unlike most publications on the market, “A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging” is more than a diet and exercise supplement, it is a fully encompassing guide for men looking to “what’s next.” The book refutes the idea that aging men should spend their later years settling down, and instead explores how men should use this time to reawaken passions and restore their vitality. In collaboration with experts in the medical and health care fields, the guide is separated into four sections: “Managing Our Lives,” “Mind and Body,” “Bodily Health,” and “Living with Others.”
“My favorite part is chapter six, ‘Social Health: Vital Relationships.’ People don’t realize the importance of personal relationships,” says Thompson. “When there’s a sense of community, the feeling men experience is a mixture of personal recognition, mutual trust, and respect for their autonomy and time. By far the most important contributors to men’s social health and over-all well-being are personal relationship.”
The book also focuses on staying active, eating well and less, getting a good night’s sleep, reducing stress, taking care of his appearance, getting in touch with his spiritual self, being heart healthy and guarding against a wide range of diseases men are at risk of experiencing including diabetes, cancer, alcohol and drug abuse, vision and hearing loss, bone and joint problems, sexual dysfunction, and being mentally stable.
A number of Holy Cross alumni contributed to this project including Kaitlyn Barnes ’10, Elizabeth Connor ’10, Katherine Guardino ’10, Elizabeth Kayajian ’10, Alexandra Leichthammer ’10, Bethany O’Dell ’10, and Stefanie Tedesco ’10.
Thompson will be at the Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough for a book signing on December 21, from 1 – 3 p.m.
Thompson earlier edited the first collection of original articles examining elderly men (Older Men’s Lives, 1994) and another on Men as Caregivers (2001). He encourages researchers to study men’s lives, and serves as the co-organizer of the men’s issues interest group for the Gerontological Society of America. He lives in Westborough, Mass.