June is Men’s Health month, and what better time to encourage guys to take good care of themselves. We’ve browsed several sources to come up with helpful tips for men that make living long, healthful lives a little easier.
Floss – Yup, just brushing your teeth regularly doesn’t cut it anymore. We now know overgrowth of oral bacteria negatively affects your heart. Brushing and flossing not only gives you fresher breath, it helps keep your ticker going longer, too!
Wear sunscreen – Men over the age of 50, especially white men, are at heightened risk of melanoma, one of the deadliest cancers. If you’re going to be outside more than 20 minutes, slop on the sunscreen – don’t forget the tops of your ears! – with an SPF of 30. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat also helps.
Set aside an 8-hour sleep opportunity – Too little sleep puts stress on the body, increases risks of heart disease, and contributes to weight gain. Maintain a regular sleep time and let your body renew at night.
Exercise regularly – Exercising only on the weekends just won’t give you the benefits. Regular exercise is key, preferably 30 minutes 5 days a week at a moderate to vigorous pace. And if you don’t want to lose muscle – which we all do naturally as we age – then slot in 2 days a week of weight training.
Cut back on carbs and sugar – American adults eat about 77 grams of sugar daily, and that’s not even counting carbs. Refined flours, sugary snacks, loaded potatoes all keep our insulin high. Insulin is the hormone that tells us to gain weight. Long-term high insulin leads to Type II diabetes. No one’s saying you have to go keto, just keep the carbs in check.
Eat whole foods – If you’re eating whole foods, you’re avoiding the processed junk that’s loaded with carbs and sugar. If you can get more fresh vegetables and fruits in the mix while you’re at it, that’s even better. Fruits and veggies contain multiple phytochemicals that boost our health.
Maintain a healthy waist – We now know that the bigger the belly, the greater the risks of obesity-related diseases – heart disease, stroke, Type II diabetes, etc. Try to keep your waist below 40 inches. 37 inches is optimal.
Get your prostate checked – After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among American men. If you have trouble urinating, pain upon urination, or have blood in your urine, you could have a prostate problem. See your doc soon.
Get a colonoscopy – Nobody likes this procedure, but colorectal cancer is super easy to cure if caught early. It’s horrible if caught late. Begin getting screenings around age 50.
Drop the bad stuff – If you smoke, find a way to quit. If you’re around secondhand smoke, find a way to avoid it. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health, and secondhand smoke kills almost 7,300 non-smoking Americans every year. While alcohol in moderation is tolerable, alcohol in excess can cause body-wide harm, especially to the liver. If you need support with these issues, seek help from your doctor or another health professional.