A lot of men feel that if they just take two aspirin and a Centrum every day, get their prostate checked out annually after the age of 40, don’t smoke, and walk the dog, they’re doing just fine with their health. But that’s not so.
A lot of these same men feel that they have something “wrong with them” if they have to pay too much attention to their health. That’s an attitude that just needs to be thrown in the garbage. All human beings, and not just professional athletes and not just women, need to pay strict attention to the state of their health and do things to maintain it–and the younger they are when they start, the better.
In fact the first tip for men’s health is get over your fear. Fear prevents you from doing the things you really need to be doing, like getting plenty of heart-rate-increasing aerobic exercise, breathing deeply, and eating a balanced diet. You’re not a failure if you’re out of shape–you’re just out of shape, and you need to get back into shape for the sake of your self-esteem as well as your physical and mental health. Weak health makes for a life of lesser quality.
Speaking of eating right…Get rid of a lot of the fast food, the “quickly grabbed bites”, and the refined sugar. Those things are all fine in a real pinch or as a once in a while treat, but you can’t live off them. You have to fuel your body right, and that requires the right foods. Everyone’s metabolism is a little different, so it’s wrong to suggest a universal diet; and contrary to a popular modern delusion, most people are not better off being vegetarians–they are worse off if they try that.
However, with those things said, generally we eat too much red meat; too much fried food; too much starch; and too much refined sugar (white sugar, high fructose corn syrup). This means that at the same time we are eating too little: seafood; poultry; fruits; vegetables; nuts; and whole grains. Red meat is the “complete protein” and is good for you, fried food is very tasty, and the brain lives on sugar, so it’s not as if those things have to be done away with.
But the key here is balance. If you’re like the typical man, you should replace at least two of your current weekly red meat meals with fish or chicken–and neither one should be fried. Cut your french fry consumption in half, and replace them with beans or squash. Pour out the contents of the candy dish into the trash can and start buying or growing fruits and nuts to munch. And, throw out all your white bread and eat whole grain bread such as Roman Meal.
You should also be jogging, running, playing racquetball, or something significantly cardio at least every other day for at least a half hour a time (although to start off with if you’re flabby you might want to sustain it for just 15 minutes). Walking the dog doesn’t count.
In your work life–cut out the stress. For a man, that usually means compete against yourself, not against everyone else, and be honest with yourself about whether or not you really love your work–and if you don’t love it, try to change into something else. Oh, and don’t bring your work home with you–even if you work from home. Recreation time is just that.
Finally, the greatest secret to good men’s health: give. Give to charity, give quality time to friends and family, and make sure what you do for money is adding value to the lives of others. What you give out comes back to you in time many times over.