Nine Simple Men’s Health Tips
From increased preventive care to diet changes to exercising more, here are nine simple men’s health tips you can start implementing today to improve your overall health and wellness.
1. Get moving.
Can you walk at a brisk pace for 2 miles? If so, your level of fitness is sufficient to start lowering your chances of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease.
If not, you can get there by putting one foot in front of the other and going a bit further each day.
Every increase in endurance can translate to better health, including decreased risk of diabetes and possible protection from certain cancers. Plus, exercising regular can improve your mood and make you feel better.
2. Get checked for colorectal cancer.
If you are age 50 or older and have not been screened for colorectal cancer, we encourage you to do so.
Of the various cancer screenings available to men, this one is one of the best because it can prevent, not just diagnose, cancer.
A colonoscopy or similar procedure can find and remove precancerous colon polyps. If you have a sibling or parent who had a polyp removed before age 60, or had colon cancer at any age, it’s a good idea to start these checks sooner. This is an important preventative men’s health tip.
3. Know your blood pressure.
If you don’t know your blood pressure, get it checked—and do whatever you have to do to keep it in a healthy range.
High blood pressure, the proverbial “silent killer,” stalks systems throughout the body. Widespread damage can occur in the arteries, heart, kidneys, eyes, and brain.
The ideal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. Exercising more will have an immediate beneficial effect, as will cutting back on alcohol if you have more than one or two drinks a day.
4. Cut back on sodium in your diet.
The average American man can easily take in 6 grams of sodium a day. That’s more than twice the recommended level.
Most of this comes from eating fast foods, processed meats, canned and other prepared foods, and restaurant food.
It’s just as important to add high potassium foods—including raisins, bananas, tomatoes, and spinach. Men who consume as much potassium as sodium have lower risks of heart disease.
To act on this men’s health tip, start by reducing processed and pre-packaged food. Plan to cook some fresh meals during the week that include a vegetable and save the leftovers for the next day.
5. Follow these guidelines for improved health and body composition.
You don’t have to be perfect with your diet to see improvements in your health. Adopting a few principles can make a huge impact. Many people take an all-or-nothing strategy and then quit when they can’t stick to it – which is why small changes can be more impactful and sustainable.
Try these men’s health tips for improving your diet:
- Eat smaller meals more frequently.
- Eat a lean protein source with every meal: fish, chicken, tofu, turkey, lean beef, cottage cheese and legumes (including soy). The serving size should be about the size of the palm of your hand and the height of a deck of cards.
- Avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates: bread, pasta, white rice, cereals, candy, baked goods, pretzels, sweets, etc. High-glycemic foods will increase blood sugar levels, which increases blood insulin levels, causing the body to store fat.
- Eat three to five servings of fresh vegetables, and one to two servings of fresh fruit every day. Vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients and fiber. Choose whole fruits, instead of fruit juice because juicing removes the fiber and increases the glycemic index.
- Add healthy fats to your diet: essential omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids are crucial for the prevention of heart disease, arthritis, joint problems and immune system weakness. Good sources include salmon, sardines, almonds, walnuts, avocados, flaxseeds and oils, olive oil, canola oil and fish oil supplements (with EPA/DHA).
- Drink lots of water: drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Drink one extra glass for every caffeinated beverage and if you exercise.
- Choose natural products: avoid refined foods, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Avoid fat-free products, which usually make up for a lack of taste by adding artificial ingredients and sugar.
6. Utilize nutritional supplements.
Most American diets don’t contain enough of the nutrients we need for our bodies to fully function. Changing your diet is an impactful strategy, but it’s also a good idea to take a daily multivitamin to make sure you’re receiving those nutrients.
You can take it a step further and maximize your nutrient intake with supplement regimens, including injectable nutrition. With injectable nutrients, you don’t lose a portion of the supplement to the digestive tract, which maximizes the vitamins and nutrients that reach your bloodstream to be used by your body.
7. Pay attention to the warning signs.
Men are more likely to ignore the warning signs of a health problem, so this is an important men’s health tip.
If you experience an unusual pain, ache, or other possible warning sign or symptom, don’t brush it off—as men are prone to do—as “probably nothing.”
Blood in the urine or stool could be harmless, but it isn’t “normal.” It needs to be evaluated by a medical professional.
Heart disease also remains the leading killer of men and all Americans. Don’t ignore the signs:
- Excessive sweating, shortness of breath, or exhaustion with exertion could be a treatable heart or lung problem.
- Many men believe that the pain of a heart attack is felt only on the left side of the chest and moves to the left arm. It isn’t always that cut-and-dried. Heart-attack pain is often felt under the breastbone (sternum) and pain can occur in both arms.
- Chest pain that is triggered by activity but that goes away with rest suggests angina (a narrowing of one or more coronary arteries) while oppressive pain that isn’t relieved by rest suggests a heart attack.
8. Regularly see a doctor.
To follow up the previous men’s health tip about paying attention to warning signs – it’s important to regularly go in for check-ups and engage in preventative care. That way, you are more likely to head problems off rather than responding to them once they appear. For example, testing for kidney disease can help you identify these issues earlier on.
Catching problems before they become major health concerns can be a big step toward living a healthier life.
9. Check your Testosterone Levels.
Have you had your hormone levels checked?
Just like your cholesterol or blood pressure, Testosterone can be measured in a numerical range, with certain ranges considered low, normal, and optimal.
Low Testosterone, also called hypogonadism, occurs in approximately 39% of men over 45, and it can also affect men of any age – but less than 10% of men on average speak to their doctor about the problem.
Men who suffer from hypogonadism are more likely to experience diabetes, heart disease, obesity, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, depression and anxiety, among other symptoms.
Dr. Justin Saya, Defy Medical’s medical director and leading physician, considers checking hormone levels to be equally as important as quitting smoking, fighting obesity, and mitigating cardiac risk factors.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy can help ease and reverse Low T symptoms and improve overall health and quality of life. It can also act as preventative care to help avoid chronic health concerns.
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