The number-one men’s health tip might just be: Don’t wait for an emergency. The good news is, it’s not too difficult to make sure you’re in good shape. Check out our top nine men’s health tips below.
Prioritize Your Health
A top excuse for not scheduling regular exams is, “I’m too busy.” But consider this: If you don’t take time to be well, you’ll be forced to make time to be sick. If your health crashes, you won’t get anything on your list done. Prioritizing your health is always a smart use of time.
Find a Doctor
You’ll be less likely to put off regular checkups if you’re comfortable with your physician. Find a doctor on your plan who’s easy to talk to. This way you’ll also be sure to uncover any changes in your health. A regular checkup will track changes in important personal statistics such as weight, blood pressure, blood sugar (glucose) and cholesterol levels. Skin cancer is a prominent men’s health issue over the age of 50, so ask your doctor, friends or family to recommend a dermatologist and schedule a yearly skin check as well.
Know Your Family History
You’ll often see family history on the intake forms in doctors’ offices. It’s a great way to get started since that will point to the most appropriate screenings to ask your doctor about first. Your doctor may suggest certain screenings more often depending on your family history, like an echocardiogram, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or colonoscopy.
Exercise: Key Health Tips for Men
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. The key is to find activities you enjoy. If it’s lifting weights at the gym, that’s great because strength training is very important, just don’t neglect the cardio. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to work out when you have limited time to spare. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a waist circumference of over 40 inches for men increases the risk of obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. So, keep moving and eat right!
Nutrition for Optimal Men’s Health
Eat a variety of foods to get the proper nutrition. Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for men, according to the CDC. A healthy lifestyle—including what you put on your plate two or three times per day—is still the best way to prevent both! Get most of your vitamins, minerals and fiber from fruits, veggies and whole grains. Be sure to include sources of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon (or fish oil supplements if needed.) Vitamin D3 is important for many areas of health, so make sure to ask your doctor to test your levels. Find a quality multivitamin if you and your doctor think it’s necessary.
Sleep is Not for the Weak
It’s not more manly to power through your days with inadequate rest. Everyone needs the same seven or eight hours to repair and reset, both physically and mentally.
Health Tips for Men Include Mental Health
It’s also not more manly to ignore your stress levels and mental health! Though it can be argued that men are better about addressing mental health these days, the need for assistance in this area of men’s health still carries a stigma. Slow down enough to evaluate your emotional state and mental wellness and have some go-to strategies for relieving stress. Being self-aware is just as important for men’s heath as it is for women’s health, though the latter usually gets most of the attention. Drinking too much, for example, can be a sign of depression.
Estrogen Levels Affect Men’s Health
Be sure to have your estrogen levels checked. Men and women each have a precise balance of hormones that protect their bodies; health issues can occur when this balance is disturbed. Excessive body fat can elevate estrogen in both men and women (estrogen dominance is also a health issue for females). Unfortunately, the toxic soup we live in includes xenoestrogens, chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body. These chemicals come from plastics, heavy metals and body care products like soap and shampoo. Excessive estrogen levels in men can cause gynecomastia (enlargement of glandular breast tissue), erectile dysfunction and infertility. It is associated with a higher risk of blood clots, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Other symptoms of elevated estrogen in men are: fatigue and lack of energy, mood changes, increased body fat, loss of muscle mass and enlarged prostate.
Sexual Health Tips for Men
If the advice above is followed, a healthy sex life will likely ensue. In fact, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common alert to cardiovascular disease that makes most men pay attention. Drinking excessively can impede sexual function as it can interrupt sleep patterns and lead to lower testosterone and increased estrogen levels. Men should limit their alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day, which is 24 ounces of beer, 10 ounces of wine or 3 ounces of liquor. Needless to say, smoking is a bad habit that affects the cardiovascular system and sexual health in men.
Men: don’t wait till it’s too late to monitor your health. Everyone who loves you will appreciate it! We hope you found these tips helpful and empowering.
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