According to a national survey by Cleveland Clinic, about 72 percent of men would rather do household chores than go to the doctor and only about 50 percent of those surveyed said that they consider getting an annual check-up as a regular part of taking care of themselves. But preventative care and making your health a priority isn’t something you should take lightly.
Taking care of your body and considering your overall health is important to look and feel your best, and to help, we’ve compiled a list of tips for making your mental and physical health a priority.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
You can improve your diet by eliminating white foods from your meals. These include white flour, sugar, and processed foods, which are typically lacking in vitamins and minerals. These foods have been stripped of their natural fiber and can rapidly increase blood sugar levels causing weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems. It’s a good idea to limit your intake of white bread and baked goods. Instead, try replacing bread and baked goods with fresh fruits and vegetables which are rich in fiber.
You should also aim to reduce your intake of fat by eliminating things like deep-fried foods from your diet. Highly-processed products that are made with hydrogenated oils such as margarine, peanut butter, pastries and cookies all contain trans fats which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Try opting for healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3 oils, which are found in salmon. These types of fats help to protect against heart disease.
Regular exercise can help you to maintain your optimal weight. If you don’t already, you may also want to consider introducing weight training to your exercise regime. Aerobic exercise—a.k.a. cardio—is fantastic for cardiovascular conditioning and burning calories, but weight training can boost weight loss by building muscle. If you struggle to make the time for exercise, some men find investing in a gym membership or personal trainer can increase accountability and motivation.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help you look and feel better and will help to reduce your risk of developing certain illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension as you age.
Moderate Your Alcohol Intake
One or two drinks aren’t detrimental for your health, but it’s important to moderate your alcohol consumption. Over time, excessive drinking can damage your liver and lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and more.
Reduce your risk of Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, after skin cancer, but it can often be treated successfully when caught early. Around the age of 40, your prostate gland goes through changes that can sometimes result in symptoms such as the need to urinate more frequently, especially at night time. It’s important to schedule annual check-ups with your doctor and to be upfront and honest with your physician of any changes to your health.
You can help to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancers by eating healthily and reducing saturated fats. Foods such as soy, green tea, and tomatoes have been shown to help protect your prostate health. Taking a daily supplement of the antioxidant selenium and vitamin E have also been shown to help lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.
The Importance of Preventative Health for Men
It’s easy to put your health on the back burner, but taking your health more seriously isn’t just beneficial for yourself—it’s important for your family, as well. One of the easiest steps you can take in putting your health as a priority is to schedule routine checkups and physical exams with your primary care physician. Contact your primary care physician to schedule an appointment today. Together, we can discuss any health concerns you may have and create a preventative health plan to keep you in your best shape.