This month is Men’s Health Month, and were enthusiastic about focusing on what you gentleman can do out there to keep a healthy lifestyle and live even longer, not to mention increase the quality of your life. We talk often of diet and exercise aiding in your health, and while that’s definitely true, here are some other helpful tips. Don’t be afraid to give them a try!
- Vary your workouts. The body gets very comfortable when you always do the same workout. You have got to keep varying your exercises, and they have to be an age-appropriate mix of aerobics, muscle training, and stretching.
- Get at least 7-8 hours sleep. There’s no compensation for a good night’s sleep, no matter your age. You can’t replace it with exercise, caffeine, or other hopeful supplements. Your body needs rest.
- Make annual doctor checkups. This may seem unnecessary when everything feels good and healthy, or if you are young and active, but a regular check up to your doctor could be the most important factor in early indicators in any possible health issues.
- Dr. Oz says, “Admire Your Work”. Don’t be so trigger-happy with the flusher. Turn around and take a look at your poop, which speaks volumes about your gut and overall health. Poop should be smooth and S-shaped, like your colon. If it comes out too lumpy, or drops into the bowl like marbles, you’re constipated. Increase your fiber and water intake.
- Try something new and active. Athletic or not, take up hiking, yoga, cycling…..something you’ve never done before!
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is estimated to kill 400,000 Americans every single year. That’s the equivalent death toll of three jumbo jet crashes every single day! Choosing not to smoke is, without a doubt, the single most important health decision you can make.
- Eat some nuts. Nuts are among the best sources of healthful fats and protein around. I keep a bag of walnuts in my fridge and use their massive dose of omega-3 fatty acids to boost my brainpower while I see patients. Half of a handful eaten about 30 minutes before a meal will temper your appetite and help you avoid the drive-thru.
- Use a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF. Skin cancers are the most common of all cancers by far. Fortunately, most of them (basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) are rarely lethal, though they can certainly cause local disfigurement if not diagnosed early. Melanoma is both disfiguring and lethal, so it must be diagnosed as early as possible. But since it is so inconvenient to do a truly thorough check of the skin, at least by yourself, prevention is a very helpful tool. And that means the use of sunscreen and protective clothing and the avoidance of direct sun exposure between the “high hours” of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest.