November 10, 2020
We’ve all heard the stereotype that men don’t look after their health like women do. Truth is, these days, many more men are taking time for self-care, stress relief and to look after their overall well-being. Even so, wellness might still be a foreign concept for some gents, so if this is still new to you, we’ve got some tips.
Find a Doctor
Men more so than women avoid visiting the doctor when they’re sick and are less likely to schedule yearly check-ups than women. But doctors aren’t just for when you’re sick; they can help you stay well!
Find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable discussing all aspects of your health. Then, make a calendar appointment to see your physician at least once per year. Your doctor can help monitor your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol as well as your wellbeing and provide advice on exercise, diet, and any supplements that may be beneficial.
Kick Unhealthy Habits or Become More Moderate
If you’re a smoker, you’re putting yourself at serious risk of contracting lung cancer, which causes more deaths than all the other main cancers combined. While the fact that cigarettes and even to occasional cigar are unhealthy is hardly breaking news in 2020, quitting smoking is the number one thing you can do right now to improve your overall health.
Alcohol overuse is also on the rise, particularly during the pandemic. While drinking in moderation is likely not a big concern, alcohol in excess can cause liver disease, heart disease and high blood pressure. Consider occasionally switching up that extra beer or nightly whisky with sparkling waters, flavoured soda or tea.
Watch Your Waist
A pot belly is common in men, particularly those over 50, and while a little excess weight is no cause for real concern, if your waist measures more than 40 inches then it’s time to make some changes.
Make the effort to eat a balanced diet incorporating lean proteins, lots of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats and you will notice a positive change in both how you look and how you feel.
Cultivating healthy eating habits is a mood booster too: eat mindfully by sitting down and focusing on your plate, chewing with intention and really savouring your food. Don’t just munch on the go or eat in front of the TV, or while you’re doing something else. That’s an extremely easy way to overeat.
Exercise is also essential for maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Men need to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or swimming, to stay fit and healthy. The amount of moving you need to do depends on your age, so consult a doctor to get some advice on how much exercise is right for you.
Get a Prostate Check
You know that doctor you feel comfortable with? Schedule a regular prostate check with them. Uncomfortable as it may be, regular checks can help you catch prostate cancer in the early stages, and that’s important because it’s the second most common cancer among men.
If you experience unusual symptoms, go to your doctor for advice rather than waiting it out or self-diagnosing. Better yet, don’t wait for a wake-up call; manage prostate health while you’re well.
“The easiest way to try to avoid having to take a prescription drug or have surgery for an enlarged prostate is to prevent and manage any inflammation and this can be done with natural supplements,” suggests Ric Walline, Natural Choice Advisor, Calgary Co-op. “The most common herb for this is Saw Palmetto which has many clinical studies verifying its efficacy. As with most supplements it is important to get a high quality product, and some of the great brands we offer are A.Vogel, Flora, Can Prev and Prairie Naturals. As a man in my 60’s I can attest to the benefits of taking a supplement for prostate health!”
Walline also notes turmeric (curcumin) is also a great way to keep inflammation down and the benefit is that it is a general anti-inflammatory so may provide other health benefits.
Be Kind to Yourself
Mental health is just as important than physical health. It’s essential to check in with yourself often and be honest if you are experiencing anxiety or depression. Pressure at work or at home can lead to stress that can be overwhelming and highly damaging to your mental state.
Developing habits such as meditation and yoga or just practicing taking time out for yourself is primordial when it comes to staying balanced in your head. Don’t be afraid to talk with people you trust—and support your male friends if they need to do the same.
Making small lifestyle changes and taking steps to be more aware of looking after both the mind and body can have innumerable benefits on your health. If you need advice about natural options, visit your local Co-op Natural Choice advisor to get some guidance.
Please Note: Health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health advice. This general information is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Any information, advice, or suggestions given by Calgary Co-op staff is not a replacement for medical advice from your Doctor, Dentist, or professional Practitioner. Consult with your healthcare professional with any questions you may have.
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