By Theresa Harding
Self-care is always a form of care considered for women, but it’s often over-looked when it comes to men. In this article, I share the top self-care tips for men’s health and wellness. I believe it’s important that we don’t eliminate our men from this factor since many men are the head of their family and need to be in optimal shape to remain in their position long-term and in good health.
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According to health.harvard.edu, The average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman. Compared to women, men are more likely to
Here is what abcnews.go.com learned when they asked physicians the definition of “health”: “We asked a dozen physicians to define exactly what it means to be in “excellent health,” and they gave us the checklist that you need to complete before boasting about your super fitness.
If you can check off at least eight of these 12 qualities, then you’re more than a good guy — you’re a physical specimen possessing rare genetic gifts. We may have you stuffed for posterity.”
As some studies have reported, the average life expectancy for women in the US is 80.1, while for the American men this number is 73.4. Globally speaking, the numbers are also surprisingly lower when it comes to men. With some health-awareness and a decent lifestyle, you can surely beat the numbers.
Becoming more informed about your health and learning some simple and effective ways to live a healthy lifestyle can be a game-changer for you and help you maintain your health. Here are some tips for you as a man to promote self-care:
I’ve always believed in taking multi-vitamins daily to help meet the daily requirements and prevent mineral deficiencies. The only problem was that I thought multi-vitamins could substitute for my lack of eating healthy food.
Vitamins and minerals should not be a substitute for your lack of eating quality, whole food. Your vitamins and minerals should come from food first, with the multi-vitamins added to supplement your diet only if necessary.
Our soil today is not as rich in nutrients as it was when our ancestors farmed, so this causes our fruits and vegetables to be mineral deficient. Today, it would take for you to eat as much nutrient dense foods as you can to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which most of us don’t do consistently.
If you don’t feel healthy in your body, or you feel like your body is deficient in the required daily vitamins and minerals, you may need to consider supplementing with quality, whole food vitamin and mineral supplements. To best know, you could get a thorough checkup with your doctor, and have a Blood Panel test done for your vitamin and mineral levels.
This is one of the best ways to find out where you might be deficient. Then you could take it from there. Not getting enough of certain nutrients can negatively impact your health and even result in chronic diseases. Here are the necessary vitamins and minerals men need.
These may all be found in your daily multi-vitamin, so you won’t need to take them separately. In choosing which multivitamin is right for you, consider factors like allergies, specific health concerns, how many pills a day you are willing to swallow, your age, and your budget.
For instance, if you’re 35 years old, you may need to consider multi-vitamins for 35+ men. This is what I did for my husband. While it’s possible to meet your nutrient needs through a well-balanced diet, many fall short of the recommended amounts.
A 12-month study found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25%. In the elderly, vitamin D and calcium also optimized testosterone levels, which led to a reduced risk of falling. To boost testosterone and reap the other benefits of vitamin D, try to get regular exposure to sunlight or take around 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement daily.
In one study, zinc and vitamin B supplements increased sperm quality by 74%. Zinc also boosts testosterone in athletes and those who are deficient in zinc.
One study in infertile humans found that ginger can boost testosterone levels by 17% and increase levels of other key sex hormones.
D-Aspartic acid- a natural amino acid that can boost low testosterone levels. Research suggests that the primary way it works is by increasing follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.
Leucine– Studies show that leucine enhanced testosterone 20 percent within five weeks.
BCAA- A study from the NCBI shows that “endurance exercise along with modest supplementation of BCAAs, but not an overdose, may have some synergic effect on sperm function and testosterone production.”
Studies show that 77 percent of men don’t take in enough magnesium, that many of us are deficient in vitamin D, and that the vitamin B12 in our diets may be undermined by a common heartburn medication. We haven’t even mentioned our problems with potassium and iodine.
Research shows that men have a greater tendency toward binge drinking than women do and, as a result, a much greater risk of drinking-related problems.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), binge drinking typically means having four to five drinks in a two-hour span, a practice that is almost certain to bring your blood alcohol level to the legal limit of .08. It is noted that men have a habit of doing this much more frequently than women.
Drinking too much alcohol can seriously affect your health over the years. Besides increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease, it can be dangerous for fertility. So now we get into men’s sexual health when it comes to learning the ways alcohol consumption can affect the body.
It can reduce testosterone levels, influence sperm mobility and, eventually, cause impotence. And you don’t want to disappoint your lady, right men? Among other notable problems alcohol can cause cirrhosis, several types of cancer and mental issues, it’s important to drink Responsibly!
According to everydayhealth.com, Prostate cancer is the number 1 cancer risk for men. About 160 of every 100,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), and just over 29,000 men died from it, according to the CDC.
It is important for you to have regular checkups with your doctor and have your prostate checked if you’re over 40. It is the leading type of cancer among the US men, with more than 160,000 new diagnoses yearly. The key to beating cancer is an early diagnosis, while it still hasn’t started progressing in further stages.
Having trouble with urination, be it blood in the urine or simply painful urination is a red alert for scheduling an appointment with your urologist. These two conditions are among the leading causes of death both in men and women. Both are preventable through a balanced diet and exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure to be physically active at least three times a week. Reduce your sugar intake to 30 grams a day. This is particularly important if you are older than 55 years old. You’ve got to have a big heart but let’s make it healthy as well if you want to be a healthy male in the family!
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression, a number that has risen by 18 percent from 2005 to 2015. In addition, nearly half of these people don’t get treatment. This is largely due to the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, as noted in Men’s Health magazine.
More than 5 million men in the U.S. experience depression each year. According to Josh Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health, men are more likely than women to report fatigue and other physical symptoms of depression as their chief complaints.
Contrary to the popular misconception, depression is not a female problem only, but not many men will ask for help. That can lead to profound consequences for your mental and physical health, as depression can trigger a number of other conditions.
If you are fatigued for no apparent reason, if you have troubles sleeping, if your weight oscillates heavily, if you experience headaches, irritability or inexplicable anger, don’t be ashamed to see a therapist. It’s for your own good and getting back your fun personality full of energy!
Prevention is the key to solving numerous health problems before they get too serious. Be sure to schedule annual appointments with your doctor and do a complete physical exam. I’m the scheduler for all doctor appointments in my family, so I make sure to schedule my husband’s doctor appointment too.
Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to see your doctor more often if you feel any unusual symptoms or notice some changes in your health. A rash or any skin change, changes in your stress levels, insomnia, changes in urination or stool as well as any other symptom is equally worthy of your attention.
Listen to your body and read the signals it sends you. Yeah, sometimes they are confusing, but our bodies are trying the best they can. How about helping them?
Stick to a healthy sleeping schedule, balanced diet, and a high-quality exercise routine, and don’t forget to wave at your doctor occasionally. Being in charge of your health primarily means being responsible.
Here is a good read by David D. Burns, MD, for someone suffering from symptoms of depression. If you know someone who needs further help with depression, refer them to this self-help book. I’ve found self-help books to be very effective in my own life experiences. Hopefully, this book can help someone.
What Steps Do You Take to Live a Healthy Lifestyle?
Sources & References
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Healthy Living isn't difficult. It requires an ongoing lifestyle change with patience and an open mind. I teach this mindset all the time. After 11 years of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a pain-free one, I think it's important to share my knowledge and research with those who are ready to make that shift in their health and wellness.