It's Advantageous to Protect Your Health If you’re like most men, you probably have a career plan and a retirement plan. And maybe even a plan for starting or providing for your family. But do you have a plan for keeping yourself healthy? While some health issues are beyond your control, there are several ways you can keep your mind and body strong and healthy. Here are tips for protecting your health at any age. Start your healthy living plan today!
1. Hang Out With Friends and Family You might think you’re too busy for a boys’ night out or lunch with your mom. But activities like these may save your life. Research shows that social ties can help you survive health problems, make you happier, and even prolong your life. One study even found that social bonds can protect your physical health as much as quitting smoking.
2. Don’t Smoke Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer kills more men than any other type of cancer. Smoking is also linked to heart disease, stroke, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). And half of all long-term smokers will die because they use tobacco. The good news is that as soon as you stop smoking, you start to decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet Take-out food may be tasty and easy. But you have to be smart about the kind of quick food choices you make. Too many fatty foods and sugary drinks increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And you’ll risk packing on the pounds. Instead, work on eating more vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains.
4. Break a Sweat Exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, and other health problems. It can also keep your weight down and sharpen your judgment. Plus, you will likely sleep better and live longer. So try to get at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity activity every week. This can include things like yard work, riding a bike, and shoveling snow.
5. Unplug and Take a Break Small amounts of stress can energize you and sharpen your ability to perform well. But too much stress over time can cause serious physical and mental health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, digestive problems, sleeplessness, and depression. To de-stress, get some exercise, meet up with friends, take a break from the phone and computer screens.
6. Get Plenty of Sleep It seems like there are never enough hours in the day. As a result, at least 25% of Americans are sleep-deprived. Too little sleep is linked to obesity, accidental trauma, heart disease, depression, and diabetes. It also puts you at risk of car accidents due to drowsy driving. Sleeping seven to nine hours per night can improve your work performance, your physical safety, and your body’s ability to fight disease.
7. Go to the Doctor Even if you feel fine, regular checkups and screenings are vital for protecting your health. How important? They will help you spot signs of serious diseases and conditions early, when you have a better chance of successfully treating them. You’ll also be more likely to find problems before they cause painful or bothersome symptoms. And you’ll live a longer and more active life free of disability. Find a primary care doctor and schedule a checkup today.
8. Lend a Hand Studies have found that helping other people can decrease blood pressure, stress levels, and chronic pain. It can also reduce your likelihood of having depression and can even help you live longer. And helping others doesn’t have to be a big deal. You can donate to a fundraising drive, mow a neighbor’s grass, or run a race for a charity.
9. Don’t Skip the Sunscreen Men are twice as likely as women to develop the most common types of skin cancer—basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Why? Men spend an average of 10 more hours in the sun every week than women do. And they aren’t as likely to use sunscreen. Luckily, skin cancer is highly preventable. Make it a habit to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
10. Limit Alcohol Happy hour can be a fun time and a good deal. But too much alcohol can lead to injuries, cancer, psychological problems, damaged relationships, and high blood pressure. Try to limit alcohol to two drinks—such as a bottle of beer or one and half ounces of hard alcohol—per day.