Top 5 Men’s Health Tips
As men, some of us must be dragged kicking and screaming to the doctor to eat healthy or to get enough exercise.
Your health is important, but for too many men I see in my office this often gets placed on the backburner until there’s a more serious health issue they need to address. This is the wrong approach to improve your health. If you’ve made a resolution this year to get healthy and stay healthy, or have simply reached a turning point in your life where you’d like to make lasting changes, follow these five pieces of advice to fine-tune your health.
#1 Make Your Health a Priority
Your health should be your number one priority, but we often get so busy with our careers and families that we overlook it. We also think we’re invincible or that we have such a good medical system that any health issue can be addressed with a pill or surgery.
However, the reality is why get to the point where you need medical intervention when you can make healthy decisions today to ensure optimal health. Making your health a priority isn’t selfish — it’s selfless. Why? Because the healthier you are, the healthier and more engaged you’ll be with your family, friends and career. Several studies show the healthier a person is mentally and physically, the more they can achieve. So, before you do anything else, prepare yourself for a mindset shift and re-prioritize what’s important.
#2 See Your Doctor
Everyone should regularly see a doctor. I sometimes hear men come in with a variety of excuses for not going to the doctor — “it takes too long” or “I have to wait too long.” However, these excuses don’t hold up anymore. With things like telehealth medicine, you can get a consultation with a doctor without stepping foot in an office. There are several options for in-person visits, too. You can go to certain pharmacies or an urgent care clinic and be seen by a health care professional that day.
Just like you always have a friend to call when you’re in need, when it comes to your body you always need a friend you can call, too — which in this case is should be a health care provider. There are guidelines based on your age for when you should see a doctor for certain health issues. Rather than just Googling it, schedule a regular visit with your doctor. He or she will get you on the right path to get your routine screenings completed.
The American Heart Association and several health organizations recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. Most people buy a smartwatch and walk their 10,000 steps a day and think they’re done. That’s good, but you’re not getting your heart rate up. Get moderate exercise (power walking, jogging or swimming) for 150 minutes or vigorous exercise for at least 75 minutes a week (intense cardio or muscle-strengthening activities), whether it’s on the weekend or throughout the day. Get your heart pumping and your muscles and other parts of your body also will get stronger.
#4 Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Most people start dieting and focus on restricting calories. However, they aren’t eating enough. The problem is when you limit your body’s nutrient intake, it starts going into conservation or starvation mode. Your body is taking whatever you put in it and saving it for later.
Instead, take in more of the right calories and you’ll be stronger, healthier and your body won’t feel deprived. If you’re not sure where to begin, I always recommend seeing a nutritionist, at least to get you started on what changes to make since there are many different diets.
Dieting is not starving — it’s smart eating — so focus on making the right food choices.
#5 Get Enough Sleep
You should get at least seven hours of sleep a night to help your mind and body relax and rejuvenate. The time to do this isn’t when you’re sitting on the couch watching TV. The only way to reset is with your eyes closed, comfortably sleeping in bed.
Often patients come into my office with fatigue or libido issues. They think it’s a thyroid problem or because of low testosterone, but it’s really due to lack of sleep. Either they’re working too much, stressed out or drinking too much alcohol, which overstimulates the brain. In some cases, sleep can be the root cause or contributing factor to a health issue, so getting enough rest can help your body heal.
Good health should be a priority for every man, but sometimes we don’t give it the importance it deserves. As fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins and friends, we need to take charge of our health — if not for our sake, then for the sake of those we love. There’s just no excuse anymore to put your health at the very bottom of your to-do list.
Are you wondering how an Orlando Health physician can help you?
With a healthy lifestyle and regular health screenings, you can reduce your risk for heart disease, certain cancers and other illnesses. Our men’s health specialists can tell you how to take care of yourself and recommend the health screenings you need based on your age, personal risk factors and family medical history.
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