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Beyond Exercise and Diet: Tips for Improved Men’s Health

May 9, 2016

115HIt’s no secret that regular exercise, eating well, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption are the keys to leading a healthy life. However, many men don’t know that a few other simple lifestyle choices can have a big impact on their health and help them avoid some of the most common preventable threats.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the top causes of death among adult men in the United States are heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease. While genetics are a factor, lifestyle changes can help to significantly lower men’s risks for these common threats.

Beyond the obvious healthy lifestyle habits outlined above, here are five tips to help minimize health risks:

1)     Wear sunscreen – Use sunscreen every day and don’t skip the hat and sunglasses – always protect yourself from the sun. Also get regular skin screenings and practice early detection.

2)    Get Your Z’s – A good night’s sleep is almost as important as what you eat and how much you exercise (and can impact your weight and health dramatically). A long term lack of sleep can lead to increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke. Try to get on a set schedule and aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Also make sure you’re not eating your last meal after 7 PM and avoid screen time an hour before bed.

3)     Consume Enough Fiber – While it may not be necessary to take a fiber supplement and opinions vary on how many grams of fiber you need each day, eat a fiber rich diet filled with as much whole, unprocessed food as possible. Not only does fiber fill you up and help you not to overeat, but it helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Fiber rich foods include fresh produce, whole grains and legumes.

4)     Manage Stress – Long term stress can break down your immune system, cause sleep
issues and negatively impact your health. Work to reduce the stress in your life or learn how to deal with it. Consider incorporating meditation into your daily routine, as mindfulness can reduce anxiety and stress and help your concentration and sleep.

5)     Drive Responsibly –Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of death among men as well. Always wear your seat belt, follow speed limit laws and if you’re feeling sleepy or under the influence, don’t drive.

While it may seem like common sense, also make sure that you get routine physical exams and recommended screenings. Don’t avoid your doctor or only visit when you’re sick. Instead, treat your doctor as your ally in maintaining your health and preventing issues and ask about when you should have certain health evaluations, like cancer screenings. Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations if you do have health issues like diabetes or high cholesterol. Also ensure you have adequate health and life insurance to protect not only yourself, but those you love as well.

Understanding and taking action to prevent common health risks can have a big impact on your health, happiness and longevity.

Dennis Dressel

Dennis Dressel



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