12 GOOD HEALTH TIPS FOR MEN
As promised during my live face book video – here are the tips I discussed. This is a list of the most important choices for staying sound in body and mind for years to come. Some of the most important health tips which help give men of all ages a strategy for staying fit and well.
And since we are dealing with the game of life, “health is wealth and wealth is life”, I am taking this game very seriously. Obviously, there is no scientific way to prove that these are the 12 most important health practices for all men — or that they are in any right order. But I think that I can make a pretty good case for both the list and the order based on write ups by various research made.
Both screening tests and preventative practices are included in the list. But every item shares this one dynamic: They are all under your control. YES, YOUR control. YOU are accountable and responsible and it all depends on how you respect your body and how you want it to respond to your care. SO = It is advisable that you read through and internalise and take action!!! So here goes.
1) Don’t smoke. Smoking is estimated to kill over 400,000 people every single year in any one Continent. That’s the equivalent death toll of about three jumbo jet crashes every single day! Choosing not to smoke is, without a doubt, the single most important health decision you can make. (but, if you decide to continue…don’t blame anyone.)
2) Control your weight. This is not as easy a No. 2 choice as was No. 1. That’s because the connection between obesity and actual illnesses or deaths is often more indirect than is the case with smoking. But it is estimated that obesity is responsible for approximately 350,000 deaths every year, and that if men stop smoking in large numbers, it may even replace smoking as the No. 1 cause of death for men.
3) Drink alcohol in moderation. This message can be taken in both positive and negative terms. Truly moderate drinking (one to two standard size drinks per day) does reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, the No. 1 cause of death. However, excessive drinking is a major cause of both physical disease and social tragedy. Approximately 10 percent of people who start drinking socially will become alcoholics. The way drink is guzzled at parties is frightening and a ‘killer’ action. The decision to drink even socially should not be taken lightly.
4) Exercise regularly. This health practice has enormous physical and emotional benefits. Besides reducing the risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis, regular exercise can be helpful in raising our general mood and reducing the risk for depression. Jog with caution and treadmills are a good alternative.
5) Have regular cholesterol and blood pressure tests. Both high cholesterol and high blood pressure can be described as “silent killers” since they can cause extensive damage to your heart and arteries without producing any tell tale symptoms until it is often too late. Therefore, the only way to find out if you have a potential problem is to get tested. You can get portable testers to use each day at home. (Let people not blame your wife if you decide to meet your maker early – through your own negligence). It is advised that you have a comprehensive health checkup once a year.
6) Have regular colonoscopy and prostate serumantigen testing. I strongly believe in the value of both of these tests in detecting two common and potentially lethal diseases — colon and prostate cancer — when they are still curable. These are two cancers that can either be prevented or detected early enough to make a difference. Professional clinics abound….also, don’t believe the myth that having sex 2 or 3 times a week prevents prostrate cancer….. hmmm!
7) Take a baby aspirin every day (for most men) preferably at night. Unless you are truly allergic to aspirin (very rare) or at high risk for gastrointestinal bleeding (not very common), this daily dose of aspirin is one of the most beneficial and simple things you can do. It acts to reduce the risk of clot formation in the arteries leading to your heart and brain, thereby reducing the risk of both heart attacks and strokes. And it probably acts in many other beneficial ways we don’t yet fully understand. Don’t neglect your vitamins – multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin E, magnesium and calcium.
8) Practice safe sex. In this age of AIDS, you could make a good case for putting this higher on the list. But even less lethal sexually transmitted diseases can cause a wide range of disability, such as infertility problems and pelvic pain in women. And unless you are in a truly monogamous relationship, there is no good way to tell a partner is safe, so prevention using condoms is key. This is a very serious issue that most men take lightly causing their female partners grief because some may not want to rock the boat by saying they have contacted std’s through their partner. But ladies, you must speak out.
9) Have regular glaucoma screenings. I put this on the list because glaucoma is a major cause of blindness and it usually doesn’t produce visual symptoms until it has caused significant damage to the optic nerve. That’s why eye doctors call it a “thief in the night.” The other benefit of glaucoma screening is that your ophthalmologist (not an optician) will have the opportunity to check for other eye problems such as macular degeneration. Some see having to wear glasses as a sign of old age (so untrue), and walk in denial. You deny, you suffer consequences later.
10) Use a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF. Skin cancers are the most common of all cancers by far. Fortunately, most of them (basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) are rarely lethal, though they can certainly cause local disfigurement if not diagnosed early. Melanoma is both disfiguring and lethal, so it must be diagnosed as early as possible. But since it is so inconvenient to do a truly thorough check of the skin, at least by yourself, prevention is a very helpful tool. And that means the use of sunscreen and protective clothing and the avoidance of direct sun exposure between the “high hours” of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest. (You may think our skin would be exempt but it is better to prevent the occurrence)
11) Increase good fats and good carbs in your diet. Some of the standard nutritional advice of the past is undergoing change. And this is particularly true in the growing emphasis on making a distinction between good fats and carbs — such as omega-3 fatty acids and whole grains, which should actually be increased in our diet — and bad fats and carbs, such as saturated fats and highly refined grains, which of course should be decreased. In other words, just “cutting down” on fats and carbs is not precise enough anymore. (Have more of vegetable soup, fresh vegetables and pumpkin seed -ugbogulu)
12) Find time for some kind of meditation/relaxation practice. This goal is very flexible. It is more important to set aside some time for relaxation than it is to worry about a specific relaxation technique. Even physical activity that is “relaxing” in the sense that it gets your mind away from stressful thoughts can be helpful. All of us should take the time to “get away” mentally and emotionally at least once a day, wherever we are, or whatever we are doing. (May I say that Sex is not a good form of relaxation in some cases. Be wise and respect your body!)
Take all these tips very seriously! Print and place where you can see them. You definitely will not get to achieve all the points overnight, but once you are determined, a step a time will get you there. What you should do is place a milestone date against each one you know you are guilty of not giving attention to – a realistic goal – and your passion for life should get you there.
If you need some coaching assistance, do get in touch with me.
Here is the live video on this topic that I held on Tuesday 4th October. Not quite clear because it was about 8pm but the interactive message does make up for that 🙂 Enjoy….
(Tips are excerpted and edited from Dr. Timothy Johnson’s On Call Guide to Men’s Health)