For some men, doing a couple of crunches and getting a yearly physical is all they do to keep their health a priority. However, the reality is that men can do more to improve their health without having to sacrifice too much change in their lifestyle. With a few simple suggestions, a man can feel the best he’s ever felt physically and emotionally regardless of his age.
1. Diet and Exercise
While a dash to a fast food joint may be the quick fix, it’s important to maintain a diet that is rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats and sodium. One of the rising trends in dieting is a vegan lifestyle, as more and more people across the United States are recognizing the health benefits of becoming a vegan.
Going for a vegan diet means a focus on plant foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grains and legumes. Vegans also avoid any animal products, such as meat or dairy and even honey. Consuming vegan foods can help a man decrease both his blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reducing the risk factors commonly linked with heart disease. These plant-based options are often lower in calories and higher in nutrients, putting less of a fear of counting calories than on a nonvegetarian diet and helping any efforts with weight loss.
Relying more heavily on vegan foods can actually help older men in dealing with certain vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, with foods rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E. The elimination of red meat and other animal products and opting for a vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can actually eliminate dangerous hormones, and knock out foods that have been linked to the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Beyond a vegan diet, a regular exercise regimen for men with a daily focus on various muscle groups, as well as low-resistance cardio workouts to keep the blood flowing can help build strength over time.
2. Mental Health
Often, men tend to put mental health on the back burner, due to a stigma about wanting to open up and be vulnerable. The truth is there is no shame in talking to someone, and it’s even a good idea to do so.
Be vigilant for symptoms of mental health conditions like noticeable mood swings, headaches, and digestive problems. If you notice that in recent years you are using alcohol, tobacco, or even illicit drugs to quell those emotions, you are putting yourself at greater risk for other health issues while also sacrificing mental fortitude.
Older men may experience some personal uncertainty in the form of a midlife crisis, a time when men struggle with their own mortality and even sexual function due to lower levels of testosterone. Most men aren’t sure how to survive a midlife crisis, but the reality is that there are simple ways to navigate middle age.
Setting a bucket list of personal goals will help you layout the important things you want to do in your life, and boost your self-confidence in checking items off that list. If traveling is on your bucket list, opening your horizons to new locales could be the first step in facing a midlife crisis head-on.
3. Prostate Health
While younger men may not put a focus on certain ailments like colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, the truth is they are an important thing to keep tabs on at any age. It is important to understand early on why prostate health is important, as catching prostate cancer early can save your life.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in the male reproductive system, located in front of the rectum and below the bladder where it surrounds the urethra, through which urine and semen pass. Prostate conditions, including the diagnosis of prostate cancer, are often treatable if detected early. Regular prostate exams are especially important for older men to make a part of their care routine.
If you have a family history of prostate health issues, consult your primary care physician, who may direct you to a urology specialist who can show you the best way to approach your overall health at any stage of life. Be sure to monitor your body mass index (BMI) and weight to stay within a healthy range, and keep an eye on your sexual health to make sure you are having no issues with erectile dysfunction.