If you’re a man thinking about taking his health to the next level, the timing couldn’t be better. Men’s Health Week is June 12-18. Health is one of those things where improvement is almost always possible, not to mention necessary if your career demands it. So wherever you fall on the health spectrum, here are seventips for boosting your health starting today.
1. Get some (more) sleep:
The general rule is eight hours of sleep per night. However, if you can fire on all cylinders on seven hours, then aim for that. Sleep for the human body is the equivalent of plugging in your phone to recharge. Without a full battery, in human or electronic form, nothing works.
2. Manage stress:
The impact of a stressful life, or even temporary stressful circumstances, can take a toll on any man’s physical health through high blood pressure. But other negative impacts include high cholesterol, and that’s because when a person is stressed out, they often self-soothe with food. If they are busy, it’s fast food, and it’s almost always too much, too often. Here’s some good news: exercise helps manage stress and is obviously excellent for physical health.
3. Quit smoking (including vaping and chewing tobacco):
To be blunt, smoking in any form falls into the category of “nothing good can come of it.” Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Stop it. If you don’t, you are playing roulette with your health. The eventual possible outcomes are unpleasant: lung or mouth cancer, heart attack, and stroke. Do you know what’s not sexy? Breath that smells like an ashtray.
4. Limit alcohol intake:
Excess alcohol consumption can cause liver damage, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer. Don’t forget: your body isn’t the only thing that excessive drinking affects. Decision-making changes, as do personalities, and not always for the better. Are you regularly crushing a 12-pack of beer on your day off, arguing with your partner, or missing family events? If so, it’s time to check yourself.
5. Saving the most important item(s) for last:
Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. These are combined because if you are deficient in one of these essential components to good health, you can’t optimize the other. For example, suppose you are running five miles a day and hitting the gym regularly but eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and fats. In that case, the mirror is telling only part of the story. Conversely, if eating healthy is easy for you, which means plenty of lean protein, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, but you aren’t doing anything to improve your cardiovascular system by engaging in regular exercise that elevates the heart rate, you are only giving your body half of what it needs. Shoot for 30 minutes a day of activity that elevates your heart rate, or 150 minutes weekly. If you miss a day, don’t make it worse by missing two.
6. Screen defense for the win:
Three important health screenings are imperative to catching serious, even life-threatening diseases early and giving yourself the best chances of beating them if you are diagnosed. Those three screenings are colon cancer (colonoscopy), cholesterol, and prostate.
7. Wrap it up, as they say:
The rewards of practicing safe sex are significant. Ben Franklin said many wise things, including, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Now, he said it in relation to preventing house fires, but it’s applicable with safe sex too. Use a condom, and ask what your partner uses to avoid pregnancy. Not only is it your business, but it’s also your responsibility.
These tips are just the beginning, and you can put them to immediate use. To optimize health in the longer term, consider a long-term care (LTC) plan like those NPFBA offers. These affordable plans are essential for providing home health care, residential/assisted living care and 24-hour skilled nursing care when you can no longer manage independently.