Here are the top five health tips for men. E-mail this to your husband, sons, brothers, and all the men you care about, or stick it on the fridge at home as a gentle reminder.
1. Eat right, eat light
For men to remain in disease-prevention mode, it is critical for them to maintain a proper body weight. Ideally, a man’s waist circumference should be less than 37 inches with a BMI (body mass index) under 25. One of the most effective methods to achieve and maintaining a lean body is to load up on nutrient-dense, calorie-light foods such as whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables and fruits. Healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and seeds are also important for their anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Men should eat until they are sufficiently sufficed – not stuffed! In other words, instead of eating until your pants actually feel too tight, stop eating when you are 80 per cent full. While this technique takes conscious thought at first, it soon becomes second nature.
2. Get your checkup
A recent study showed that 55 per cent of men report feeling reluctant when it comes to visiting the doctor.
Men between the ages of 20 and 40 should have an exam every three years. From age 40 to 50, there should be an exam every two years. After age 50, men should see their doctor annually.
Routine examinations will check things like cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body weight. Men with a family history should undergo a prostate exam and/or a colonoscopy.
The stress hormone cortisol can dampen the strength of the immune and nervous system. Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure, migraines, depression, mood swings and fatigue.
To reduce stress, men should exercise daily, engage in a hobby they love, spend time with friends, read, journal and meditate.
4. Drink in moderation
Approximately one in four men drinks too much alcohol, thereby putting their health at risk. A standard drink is defined as 5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz of spirits or 12 oz. of beer.
The guidelines for men for low-risk drinking are two standard drinks per day, with a weekly limit of 14 standard drinks (the weekly limit is 9 drinks per week for women).
5. Go for colour
Men (and women!) should choose fruits and vegetables in a range of colours for every meal. Brightly colored berries (including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and cranberries) have been shown to help prevent the onset of cancers, heart disease and high cholesterol. Sweet potatoes and carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which helps to fight cellular damage. Tomatoes and watermelon contain lycopene, which has shown the ability to protect against prostate cancer.
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Dr. Joey Shulman DC is the author of Healthy Sin Food – Decadence without the Guilt (Penguin, 2009). For more information, visit www.drjoey.com.