There are certain things that men just don’t talk about. Health is one of them. Whether it’s fluctuating blood pressure, increasing waistline, or nagging knee pain, most men just don’t like to discuss their health openly. It’s their way of demonstrating strength and independence.
However, even the most virile men are susceptible to health problems. Studies prove that two to three times more men die from preventable health problems than women. And while some health risks are unique to men, others are common to both sexes.
So, what can men do to improve their health? We have a few tips for you:
Get Regular Checkups and Screenings:
When was the last time you saw a doctor? If it’s been over a year, you’re overdue for a checkup. These sessions are essential to identify any potential health problems early on. They are also an opportunity to discuss changes in your health, like increased blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
In addition to regular checkups, men should also get certain screenings done. These include tests to determine colon and prostate health. Most men should get a colonoscopy at age 50, though they may require one earlier. Public health officials, especially the ones with a certified MSPH degree, also recommend that men get a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer.
Don’t Skip the Flu Shot:
The flu virus doesn’t discriminate. It can strike anyone at any time, no matter how healthy they are. But men are more likely to develop complications from the flu, such as pneumonia. A life-threatening lung infection occurs when the flu virus sets in. So, if you don’t want to spend your winter cooped up in bed, be sure to get a flu shot. Yes, it may cause muscle aches and a little tenderness at the injection site, but it’s worth it to avoid a more severe illness.
Aside from the flu, men should also vaccinate against other diseases like HPV, hepatitis, and shingles. These protect men from warts, liver cancer, and painful rash.
Eat a Healthy Diet:
Men have a complicated relationship with food. On the one hand, they love to eat. On the other, they often don’t have the time to cook or don’t know how. As a result, they end up eating processed foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. If this sounds like you, it’s time to change your diet.
Start by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. These are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for good health. Aim for at least five servings a day. You should also include lean protein in your diet. Fish, chicken, and tofu are all excellent choices. And when it comes to carbohydrates, opt for complex carbs like whole grains and legumes. These take longer to digest, keeping you fuller for longer.
Manage Your Exercise Routine:
There are two types of men when it comes to exercise – those who can run miles and lift weights without breaking a sweat and those who would rather skip it altogether. But whether you’re an athlete or a couch potato, exercise is vital for your health. It helps to control weight, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and boosts mental health.
So how much exercise do you need? Does overdoing it at the gym cancel out the benefits? Experts say that moderate-intensity aerobic activity for 30 minutes a day is enough to improve your health. But if you can’t fit in a full 30 minutes, even 10-minute increments add up. And as for weightlifting, it’s not necessary to bulk up. Just two days a week of strength training can help to improve bone density, joint function, and insulin sensitivity.
Quit Smoking if You Can:
Men usually bond over a game of poker and a pack of cigarettes. But smoking is one bad habit for your health, no matter how macho it may seem. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. These include arsenic, formaldehyde, and lead. And each time you inhale, these chemicals damage your lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
So, if you’re a smoker, do your best to quit. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Many resources are available to help you, including medication, counseling, and support groups.
As for healthy replacements, try chewing gum or eating crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery. These can help to satisfy your cravings and keep your mouth busy.
Value Your Mental Health:
Mental health concerns in men are often overlooked. Maybe it’s the masculine ideals of being strong and stoic. Or maybe it’s because men are less likely to seek help when struggling. Whatever the reason, mental health is just as critical as physical health.
Work stress, relationship problems, and financial worries can all affect your mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to someone you trust. It could be a friend, family member, or therapist. You can also call a helpline if you need someone to talk to outside your immediate circle.
It’s also essential to take care of yourself mentally. It means investing time in activities that make you happy. Play sports, read books, listen to music, go for walks in nature – do whatever brings you joy. These things will help to reduce stress and improve your overall mental well-being.
Prioritize Sleep When You Must:
Men are physically more exerted than women. It is because they work long hours and often have more strenuous jobs. As a result, they tire more quickly and need more sleep. But despite this, many men still don’t get enough shut-eye.
Sleep is essential for good health. It helps to repair the body, reduces stress, and boosts brain function. So, if you’re not getting enough rest, your health will suffer. Aim for a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep a night. And if you can’t manage that, at least try to get in a few power naps during the day. Other ways to improve sleep include relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation. You can also try aromatherapy with essential oils like lavender.
Men take their health for granted. Some prioritize work over visiting a doctor, while others are too scared to face the hard truth. But ignoring your health will only make things worse in the long run. So, if you’re not taking care of yourself, now is the time to start. Use these tips to help you live a healthier, happier life. Small changes can make a big difference, so don’t hesitate to start today.