Men tend to care more for their toys than their health. They regularly check their cars, equipment, tools, and other things to ensure they’re in good condition and are functioning well. But when it comes to their health, men tend to get passive about it. They only check with their doctors when the symptoms interfere with their daily routines.
This is a habit that should go if you want to achieve a healthier version of yourself. You don’t have to make big changes in your life to become healthy. In fact, you only need to do the right habits one step at a time. The following habits are simple to follow and ones you can do right away.
1. Get regular check-ups
Yeah, a visit to the doctor may seem unnecessary, especially when you’re feeling okay and eating well. However, there are certain problems in your system that can’t be detected.
For example, you can be thin outside and fat inside. This happens when your fatty deposits are around the organs instead of under the skin, which is more dangerous due to the lack of visible symptoms.
When you get regular checkups, your doctor is able to help you monitor your weight, blood pressure, and your blood cholesterol levels. Any problem in these aspects may lead to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
It’s important to catch imbalances while in their early stages to keep them under control through medication and lifestyle changes.
2. Limit foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
Foods filled with saturated and trans fats aren’t good for your health. Trans fats are byproducts of the hydrogenation process that turns healthy oils into solids and prevents them from becoming rancid. When consumed, trans fats can increase the levels of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and decrease the levels of good LDL cholesterol.
This can create inflammation and may result in health conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other serious health issues. Foods high in trans fats include margarine, desserts, pizza, crackers, cookies, and cinnamon rolls.
Saturated fats clog the arteries and other blood vessels throughout the body. Foods with saturated fats are bacon, red meat, whole milk, dairy foods, and cheese. Nutrition experts recommend a daily intake of saturated fats for under 10% calories.
3. Consume more healthy and natural foods
How can we distinguish natural foods from the unnatural ones? We may think that natural foods are those that don’t come from the lab. However, the chemicals found in natural foods are also found in the foods manufactured in the lab.
Nevertheless, Charles Darwin provides us a simple answer – the right foods that make our ancestors flourish are the ones to eat. These include fruits in their natural form and organic vegetables. Fruits and veggies are commonly sold in the market and you don’t know whether they’re naturally grown or infested with toxic fertilizers. Growing your own organic veggies is the best way to stay healthy, that is, if you have the option to do so. If not, find farms that sell organic produce in your area.
4. Get physical
A sedentary lifestyle is linked to serious health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Keep your body moving. A physical exercise will not only benefit your body but your mind as well. There are lots of exercise regimens you can choose from. You can opt for weight lifting, strength training, a dance class, or a more natural movement like walking and running. Even simple physical movements like walking your dog and gardening can give you beneficial results. As long as you keep your blood circulating and strengthening your muscles, any form of exercise will do.
5. Maintain a healthy weight
When your waistline is expanding, it means you’re gaining weight. A waistline measuring 40 inches should be a cause for concern according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Excess weight can increase your risk of diseases that are related to obesity, like type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
The two best ways to lose excess weight are to limit your calorie intake and get regular exercise. Finding a health coach who can help you in your weight loss journey is also a wise choice.
6. Take supplements
Sometimes, a well-balanced diet may be hard to attain. If you think you’re not getting the right amount of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, calcium, and other nutrients, you may need food supplementation.
Ask your doctor the right vitamins to take. If you want to try supplements in the market that claims they’re natural and safe, check their background first before taking any. Feedback from users is also a great way of knowing whether a product is safe and effective or not.
7. Protect your skin
Even if you’re a man, protecting your skin from the excess heat of the sun should be your main concern. Melanoma is found to be the deadliest skin cancer there is. Men in their 50’s have the highest risk of developing this type of cancer.
You may not be in your 50’s yet but when your job requires you to be always outside, try to find ways to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Find a shade for cover, wear protective clothing that prevents you from being exposed to the sun, and wear skin protection like sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and higher. Check your skin regularly for unusual moles that may appear. A dermatologist can also help you ensure to have healthy skin.
8. Get a prostate exam
It’s recommended that men should have their prostate checked upon reaching the age of 40. A large number of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Luckily, when cancer in the prostate is detected while on its developing stage, treatment is possible. Symptoms of this health problem include trouble urinating, painful urination, and blood in the urine.
But if possible don’t wait for these symptoms to appear. Get into the habit of checking your prostate once a year. Your doctor may recommend two tests: Digital Rectal Exam and PSA blood test. DRE may hurt your dignity a bit because a lubricated and gloved finger will be inserted into your rectum but it’s the most accurate test compared to PSA.
Eating right and exercising right are not the only normal habits that can keep you healthy. All the habits above should be practiced as much as possible. Once you do, you’ll get less affected by health issues as you walk along the way to a healthier you.