Though anyone can develop physical and mental health issues like heart disease, cancer and depression, men are more likely than women to make risky choices, ignore unusual symptoms and fail to take preventive health measures like visiting their doctor for annual screenings. One potential contributor to these problems is the unrealistic cultural norm that men should be “strong” and not exhibit any signs of vulnerability.
Many men’s health threats are largely avoidable with healthy lifestyle choices. In observation of Men’s Health Week, what are some additional simple steps you can take to improve your well-being?
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
To avoid malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, you should eat a range of whole, non-processed foods, like whole grains, lean protein and plenty of fresh produce. These choices also provide heart-healthy fiber and natural antioxidant compounds that can help lower your risk of disease. When buying groceries, shop the store’s perimeter, which is where you’ll usually find the freshest foods. Spend less time inside the aisles, where processed foods tend to be.
2. Get Regular Checkups
Men are notorious for avoiding the doctor and disregarding possible signs of illness. However, early detection is critical for many conditions, such as high cholesterol, skin cancer and prostate cancer. If any health issues run in your family, you already have some idea about what you should ask your doctor to look for. You can also monitor your health at home. For example, buying an inexpensive cuff can help you keep track of high blood pressure.
3. Make Time to Work Out
No matter how busy you get, you should carve out time for physical activity in your daily routine. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American men, and regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent this outcome. It can also help you improve and maintain your overall physical and mental well-being.
4. Break Unhealthy Habits
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health, and can cause COPD, emphysema, heart disease and many types of cancer. Other self-destructive behaviors include alcohol and drug use, which can lead to addiction, harm your relationships and detract from your ability to live a happy, fulfilled life. If you smoke, drink or use drugs, talk to a doctor who can help you develop a plan to quit.
5. Check Your Mental Health
There’s a close connection between your mental health and your physical health. Pay attention to the signs of disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia, especially if you have a family history of mental illness, suicide or substance abuse.
6. Focus on Self-Care
Chronic stress can damage your well-being in more ways than one. To combat this serious health risk, start finding ways to relax and fit self-care into your schedule. Consider taking up relaxing hobbies like meditation, journaling or yoga.
Achieve the Future You Deserve
Pillars Recovery is a residential addiction treatment facility in Orange County, CA, where you can learn to live a full, productive life against a stunning beachfront backdrop. A combination of evidence-based treatment and immersive experiences provides our clients the resources they need for lasting recovery. To begin your journey, contact us today.