4 healthy habits for men to stay healthier and happier
- Healthy habits #1 Schedule Routine Tests and Appointments
- Healthy habits #2 Prioritize Mental Health
- Healthy habits #3 Fill Your Plate with Plants
- Healthy habits #4 Make a Fitness Plan
June is Men’s Health Month and my mission is to share 4 healthy habits to help men live healthier and longer lives.
Did you know that on average women live five years longer than men? This is largely due to the fact that women tend to seek medical care more often than men. This results in earlier detection of health complications and quicker lifestyle adjustments to support better overall well-being.
Here are 4 healthy habits that men should implement right away to increase the chances of living a long, healthy life.
4 healthy habits for men to stay healthier and happier
Healthy habits #1 Schedule Routine Tests and Appointments
With the amount of time an individual spends on the phone on a daily basis, it should be simple to contact a doctor to schedule a routine checkup. However, men tend to avoid going to the doctor as they age, even though they should be going more often for early detection of diseases. Most men are not comfortable talking to their doctor about sensitive topics like erectile dysfunction issues, loss of bladder control, or other conditions as they might feel too embarrassed to bring them up.
However, a doctor’s role is to talk about anything health-related as they are trained professionals in these subject matters, so there is no need to be timid or shy.
It is recommended that men have a routine check-up every other year until they reach age 40. After age 40 men should begin going every year for annual shots, vaccines, exams, and screenings. Although there are measures you can take on your own to stay on top of your health, a doctor is the only one who can truly examine your health and make professional recommendations.
Benefits of Going to the Doctor:
- Early detection of possible life-threatening diseases or conditions
- Consistent monitoring of already-existing conditions to prevent worsening
- Form a relationship with the doctor so future treatment can be more effective and personalized
- Routine cancer screenings
- Eyesight and hearing tests for better function
- Immunizations to improve the chances of not catching certain illnesses
Healthy habits #2 Prioritize Mental Health
While your physical health is important, so is your mental health. Men often put their mental state of mind on the back burner because of their masculinity complex. They follow the preconceived notion that acknowledging how they feel mentally makes them weak.
In reality, though, it’s quite the opposite. By neglecting internal feelings there is an increased risk of developing mental challenges like depression, anxiety, or anger. As a result of not seeking mental health help, men die from suicide 3.56 times more often than women. Let’s work together to lower that statistic.
If you’re not sure where to start when you’re feeling down, start by talking to a friend or loved one. For more serious matters, consider talking with a professional therapist or going to a support group. There are even free mental health apps and resources available for residents of different states.
Benefits of Mental Health Services:
- Higher quality of life
- Increase productivity and creativity
- Lower risk of medical conditions like heart disease and ulcers
- An endless amount of encouragement and support from those around you, like family, friends, a therapist, and anyone in a support group
- Building a toolkit to better handle mental breakdowns and funks
Healthy habits #3 Fill Your Plate with Plants
According to the CDC, only one in ten adults consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Luckily, summer is here and there’s no better time to start adding more fresh produce to your plate at every meal. It is recommended that adults eat one and a half to two cups of fruit each day and two to three cups of vegetables to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.
Keep produce prepared and visible so you’re more likely to reach for it when you’re hungry than other snacks. Don’t be afraid to take time in the produce department at the grocery store to look at all the options available. There are many unique produce options in season right now like okra, figs, and zucchini. Make it a point to try something new and experiment a little in the kitchen.
If you’re having trouble coming up with meal ideas with ingredients you already have or want to prevent food waste, check out an app that suggests recipes based on what you already have in the kitchen. Eating a more plant-based diet comes with many positives and will lead to improved overall health and wellness.
Benefits of Eating More Fruits and Veggies:
- Lower blood pressure
- Prevent some cancers
- Reduce risk eye and digestive complications
- Positively impact blood pressure
- Promotes weight loss
Healthy habits #4 Make a Fitness Plan
Individuals should engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day and it’s easier to accomplish this when there is a plan in place. Sit down and figure out how you will consistently incorporate exercise into your daily routine, whether it is walking 8,000 steps a day and keeping track with a fitness tracker or enrolling in a fitness program to hold yourself accountable.
Once you have a plan in place, you can even adjust it to meet any health goals you may want to achieve, like weight loss or muscle gain. You can even get your friends or family involved in weekly exercise challenges for some friendly competition and to help motivate one another.
Benefits of Daily Exercise
- Better functioning heart
- Healthier weight
- Increase in brain function
- Releases endorphins for a more positive attitude
These four tips are just the start to a healthier and more fulfilled life. Implementing these habits may seem challenging at first, so start small with one goal and then work towards the others. Remember that achieving good health is a process and it does not happen overnight. Being aware of health risks is the first step. Make a conscious effort to put your health first and take action when you sense something is off or you don’t feel well. Stay safe and healthy out there this Men’s Health Month and beyond