No matter where you are in life, prioritizing your health is essential. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to put your health on the back burner, especially when you’re juggling a million and one other priorities, such as your family and career.
The good news is that it’s never too late to relearn and implement healthy habits. So, now that you’ve decided to focus on your health again, let’s talk about the top tips for men’s health.
If you’re the kind of guy who puts off going to the doctor for as long as possible, you’re not alone. A recent survey from the Cleveland Clinic found that 72 percent of men ages 35 – 54 try to “tough it out” for as long as possible before seeing a doctor. The survey also found that only about 50 percent of men routinely go to the doctor for preventative care.
Take a few minutes right now to schedule an appointment for an annual wellness check, even if you feel OK. Your physician will be able to let you know if you are at risk of developing any health conditions so you can take preventative measures. Your wellness check will include checking your vitals along with getting blood work to monitor your glucose levels, cholesterol, and liver health.
You know that exercising regularly is beneficial to your mind and body. There’s nothing wrong with following a set workout routine, but many men make the mistake of doing the exact same thing during every workout without changing.
The key to getting fit (and reducing plateaus/overall fitness burnout) is to vary your workouts. So, if you tend only to do cardio (i.e., cycling, running, swimming), add in some strength training. If you spend all your time at the gym lifting weights, add some cardio. And don’t forget about balance! Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are all great ways to work on your balance, which will help you avoid injuries.
You’ve likely heard that the average adult needs 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. However, not all rest is created equal. Drinking alcohol at night, eating right before bed, and leaving the TV on as you drift off are all bad habits that can lead to restless sleep and sleep deprivation.
So, start practicing good sleep hygiene. Wind down for 30 – 60 minutes before bed without electronics. Instead, you can read or listen to music. Also, cut out caffeine by noon, and avoid taking naps during the day if you can. Going for a walk during the day can also help you sleep better at night.
Instead of worrying about which foods to cut out of your diet, focus on which ones to add to your meals. Whole foods are your best bet. These include fresh fruits and vegetables along with whole grains and lean proteins (i.e., chicken and lean beef). Add one more serving of whole foods to every meal. That way, you’ll know that you’re eating well most of the time.
Your physical health is equally as important as your mental health. Following the above four tips can help you feel better mentally and physically, but they aren’t a substitute for therapy if you need it. Don’t be afraid to seek help, and make sure you find ways to relax, even when your life is hectic.
Sometimes it’s not enough just to know what to do to get healthier – you need someone to help you actually implement these tips (and more) in your day-to-day life. At Hilton Head Health, our wellness retreats will help you learn healthy habits that last a lifetime.