HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – This November 10 On Your Side is unmasking men’s health. 

Studies show men have a lower life expectancy than women and doctors say obesity is a major risk factor. Exercise and nutrition can lower your risk for many health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Jim White, a local dietician and exercise physiologist, says the biggest thing you can do to improve your health is to move.

“The worst thing is to sit. There’s a lot of research studies out there now they’re saying sitting is the new smoking,” he told WAVY. 

Brett Campo works with White as a trainer. He says he has always made exercise a priority but now at age 35 with twin boys, he understands how others struggle.

“You’ve got practices with the kids now for sports, you’ve got school events, so it can be a lot more difficult,” Campo said.  

And just as life gets busier, White pointed out our bodies get weaker. “As we get older it gets a little tougher. After age 40 our muscle mass starts decreasing about 10% per decade.”

Time, money, and lack of motivation are all legitimate excuses to not exercise, however, White urges people to take a look at their daily routines and says a 30-minute workout will take up just 2% of your day.

“Can you cut out a little bit of TV and go walking, going to the gym or swimming or biking?  Anything that is going to get it in,” White said.

Campo says that people should find something they love or enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel like work.

“I love pickleball, I love volleyball,  so a lot of times I’m doing those to supplement to get some sort of exercise in,” Campo said.

Living and eating on the run also cuts into nutrition and packs on the pounds. White says 75% of men don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. He says you should aim for five a day and cut down on portion size.

Exercise and fitness may be an uphill battle, White said, but without it, life can go downhill pretty fast.