It is no secret that we, as men, have failed miserably when it comes to our health. According to The Men’s Health Network (MHN), we die at higher rates than women from the following top 10 causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, accidents, pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, suicide, kidney disease, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
If you examine the list above closely, you will notice that most of them are preventable through healthy living habits such as exercise, proper nutrition and minimal distress.
Men, we can take back our health starting today! Here are five simple ways in which we can do so.
The first step men can take to be healthier right now is to move more. Notice, I did not say exercise more, I said move more. I know how busy we are today and the last thing we need is one more thing requiring us to be busier.
Take some time to examine how you currently spend each day. Is there any time where you can simply go for a walk, wrestle on the floor with children, walk around your office building ten times, hop on the floor for some push-ups or sneak in a 15 minute swim?
I am pretty positive that if we are honest with ourselves, we have 15-30 minutes in our day where we are doing something that is not important nor allowing us to be healthy. Take that time and use it to move more!
Drink More Water
Our bodies are made up of upwards of 60-65% water as adults. However, we lose water each day when we use the bathroom and perspire. As a result, we have to replace it. I recommend you drink more water because:
- If you’re like the average American, you are probably not drinking enough of it. You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces per day.
- Drinking water helps to balance our body’s fluids.
- Drinking water curbs our appetite and helps with weight maintenance and weight loss.
Go to Bed
If you are like me, it’s 10 pm at night and you’re surfing Facebook, working and watching the ball game all at the same time with no intention of going to be anytime soon.
Men, we need our sleep! The experts say we need at least 7-8 hrs. /sleep every night (including weekends). By not getting enough sleep, we are simple overstressing every major system of our body and not allowing it to work at the pace it wants to.
Eat on a Smaller Plate and Chew Slower
Now, if I had more time, I would really give you a book on nutrition! Since I have your attention for only a short time, I will leave you with this:
- Whatever you’re eating (hopefully it is something like salmon, green beans and a sweet potato), switch it to a smaller plate. Once you have it on a smaller plate, it must fit on the plate and you can only have more if 30 minutes have passed since you first started eating.
- Whatever you’re eating (hopefully it is something like an organic beef burger, broccoli and wild rice), eat it slower (a minimum of 30 chews) and put your utensils down after each bite. It should take you at least 15-20 minutes to finish each meal.
By doing the two things I mentioned above, you will be well on your way to weight loss and a happier heart and digestive system!
I’ve saved this one for last. I know as men, the one thing we have a hard time doing is relaxing. We don’t like to go on vacations, take days off or take breaks when we are working.
Try any of the above and see how much more relaxed and refreshed you’ll be. Trust me, I am one of you and every once in a while, I do take a vacation, take a day off from work and take longer than normal breaks while working!
Yes, we as men have traditionally failed miserably when it comes to our health. However, there is hope! If we all, individually and collectively, practice the five steps for us to be healthier that I’ve listed above, we can reverse the statistics about our health. Who is with me?