When it comes to health, men can be very extreme. Either they think that being buff with very well-defined muscles is healthy, or they simply don’t do anything at all and become couch potatoes. There’s no middle ground for men when it comes to health. This can be attributed to the fact that men have been viewed for a long time as strong-willed to the point of being stoic. Add to that the concept of machismo then the resulting figure is a rugged, devil-may-care appearance.
With the changing times, a lot of men accept the fact they are also human and need to take care of their bodies which are subject to wear and tear. Recently, men have even become more conscious about their appearance, taking extra precaution to keep their skin looking healthy, their hair trimmed to a clean length, and their fashion style in check. Here are some health tips that are mainly directed for men which can apply to the general population.
Avoid Trans Fats
The concept of fat in your diet has been a very mixed one. A lot of people say that you should avoid fat in all its forms, while other people also say that a small amount of fat is useful. What you should try to avoid, no matter how though it may be, is trans-fat. Foods deep-fried in oil or any type of food made using hydrogenated oils contain trans-fat. Hydrogenated oils include peanut butter, margarine, cookies, and store-bought pastries. What trans-fat does is that it increases your susceptibility to heart diseases. We mentioned a bit earlier that there are some forms of fat that are healthy. These are the fats found in omega-3 and olive oil. You can find these fats easily in cold-water fishes like salmon. These ‘healthy’ fats, opposite to trans fat, protect you against heart diseases.
Laugh it Out
Since men are viewed as serious creatures, smiling or even laughing might be seen as a sign of weakness. However laughing not only increases stress, promotes social bonding, and lowers blood pressure, it may also boost your immune system. It doesn’t have to be a hearty laugh all the time, even a slight chuckle or laughing at your friend’s shenanigans will do the trick. The best thing about laughing is that you can do it almost anywhere; all you need is to find the simple and funny things in life.
Breakfast is Key
For the busy man, rushing out in the morning to fight with rush hour is a very common thing. However, having fiber in the morning means less hunger late in the afternoon, when you’re most likely to feel tired and feast on a sugary snack. An early start on eating also keeps your metabolism more active throughout the day. Of course, you don’t have to eat a very full breakfast before you head out, or you will end up tired the rest of the day.
Get Some Z’s
After work, it can be relaxing to watch shows well into the night. However, those late night TV shows might take a toll on your body in the long run. It is recommended that you have at least 7 hours of sleep. Seven hours of sleep a night not only helps you live longer, but also decreases the levels of your stress, sharpens your memory, and reduces your cravings for snacks when you feel tired the next day. What you can do is set a specific bedtime and stick to it.
Don’t Agonize Too Much
When you’re in pain because of a bad back or a pulled muscle, staying in your bed will only make it worse. Prolonged bed rest has been shown to worsen a bad back since it weakens back muscles or prolongs the suffering. If you didn’t notice it yet, married men may suffer more than single men because of all the pampering. When you’re down for the count, the best solution is to get up, take a pain reliever and walk it out (slowly). Of course, when your injury is serious, then you shouldn’t stay at home in the first place. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help when you can’t handle it.
Color Your Food
No, we don’t’ mean artificial food coloring; but foods that naturally have bright, rich colors are packed with flavonoids and carotenoids. Don’t let the names overwhelm you, these compounds bind to damaging free radicals in your body, lowering inflammation. Experts estimate that eating nine fistfuls of colorful fruits and vegetables each day will give you the health benefits you need.
Go beyond Brushing
If you want to eat more than yogurt or applesauce when you get old, investing in some floss is essential. No matter how long or thorough you brush your teeth, there will always be a good portion of bacteria you will have missed – in between your teeth. A lot of new toothbrushes advertise that they can take care of it for you, but it doesn’t compare to the benefits flossing will give you. In addition, bacteria that linger in between your teeth can increase your risk of heart disease.
When men think about yoga, they immediately think about women in tight spandex doing ridiculous poses. This should be a very good reason for you to join one and regularly attend it. If you need more motivation, then remember that yoga has a lot of health benefits. These benefits include stress reduction, regulate blood pressure, and also help with your flexibility.
There might be some mystical notion about yoga, but what it does is just loosen your muscles which make them more adaptable. In turn, you may be less likely to get injured when you play sports or the like. Some of the poses might seem ridiculous and insane, but if you’re in a yoga class you’ll soon know the reason for it. In fact, those ridiculous poses can reach and work muscles that are ignored during routine sports and daily life.
You Are Not An Island
It’s a given fact that women live longer than men. There are a lot of jokes about it, but the fact is that women form tight social networks and talk about their problems. If you face life’s problems alone, it will make you more stressed than you should be and you end up looking older than you really are. The loss of a loved one, for example, causes enough stress to wreak havoc on your body. However if you have a shoulder to lean on during those trying times, the inner aging can be reduced.
Beer Belly Begone
A lot of men these days fasten their belts below their waists. It’s not a fad, but it’s a painful truth about the gut to accept. Researchers suggest that your waist should be less than half of your height.
Most of the health tips for men are directed to keeping their physical and mental health in check. It doesn’t hurt to socialize every now and then also. If you are regularly healthy and take care of your mind, not only will you age slower, but other aspects in your life will be benefited as well.