Hey dudes! June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and this month we’re all about you.
The primary goal of Men’s Health Awareness Month is to highlight the importance of self awareness for men’s health, shed light on the health issues that many men face, and most importantly bring you some great tips and strategies for being and staying well.
So to kick off this celebration men’s health, we want to start the month with some general tips for all you men out there.
1. Get a Check-up (please!)
Yea, we get it, going to the doctor can be a drag. But in order to screen for diseases, especially for potentially preventable illnesses, you have to get checked out by your physician. Doctors can screen for issues like diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, and many cancers.
Oh and many of you guys who like to ignore things like chest pain or numbness, DON’T. Make sure to get checked out at the first sign that there may be an issue.
2. Prioritize Your Sleep
Getting enough rest will optimize your health, and I know SO many men (my father, and many of my male clients) who think they can out run this one… not so fast. Your body needs adequate sleep in order to function properly. When your sleep is out of wack it can effect everything from your hormones (testosterone!), to your mood and brain function. In fact, not getting enough sleep can put you at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, stroke and more.
At the very least, aim for 6-6 1/2 hours, but you’ll be better with 7-9 hours.
3. Take time to Destress
In general, I find that with the men I work with in my practice and with the men in my life, you dudes don’t talk about your stress enough (some do, but most bury it and move on… we know that you’re actually not moving on though!). You don’t have to talk about it with us (though I’d like you to), but you do need to work in some de-stressing time into your everyday.
Some stress is good, but too much stress elevates cortisol- that pesky stress hormone that can contribute to being overweight, to having high blood sugar and so much more. For men high cortisol, or the stress-hormone, can lower your natural human growth hormone and testosterone levels, which in turn can affect your sex drive, body composition, and more. Men under stress are also more likely to have incidence of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease or heart attack. Make sure to take the time you need to relax and unwind, so that you can prevent future health problems.
So… you might want to try some meditation, breathing, reading before bed, yoga, and movement in general (there are also plenty of other activities that can help too- anything that helps you de-stress is a good practice).
4. Eat the Right Foods
It’s not a secret that eating healthy can help delay or prevent the onset. of many diseases. We all should strive to eat as healthy and clean as possible, including foods that are not processed and packed with healthful nutrients, vitamins and minerals our bodies need.
For men this means including foods that help to fortify their natural hormones like testosterone, growth hormones, stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), sleep hormones (melatonin), insulin and thyroxin.
Try adding these foods for better hormone balance!
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Red Grapes
- Fatty Fish like Wild Salmon
- Green Tea
… That’s just the short list, we’ll have more coming later this month for you guys with specific recommendations.
5. Get Your EXERCISE!
We all know that exercise is important for your physical and mental wellbeing. Regular exercise helps keep your ticker strong and prevent the potential for developing heart disease.
You guys should get about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, every week. This includes activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, basketball, tennis, and other sports.
Also, try to get at least two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities per week to make sure you keep strong bones and muscles. Add in weight lifting, rock climbing, and yoga to develop stronger, healthier muscles.
Exercise can also help you keep and maintain a healthy weight.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, if your waist measures more than 40 inches around it raises your risk of obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
6. Protect Your Skin
For the ladies, sun protection is a part of our daily beauty regimen. For the fellows you may want to consider adding sunscreen to your daily routine.
Melanoma one of the deadliest cancers, and men over the age of 50 are at a heightened risk of developing it. You can easily lower your risk of developing by protecting yourself from ultraviolet (UV) radiation by wearing sunscreen, sitting in the shade, and wearing protective clothing when outside.
Guys, it’s time for your to be PROACTIVE about your health. This month we look forward celebrating the men in our lives, and providing more information about how to improve your health!
This month we’ll be featuring LOTS more great info about men’s health- including specific eating plans, nutrients for you to focus on, and so much more, stay tuned!