By Dani Williamson
In June, we celebrated Men’s Health Month and I am thrilled to get to share with you, gentlemen, some information to help kick-start you on the road to living optimally. Men’s health involves the entire body. Below are the top health issues most of us think about when discussing men’s health:
1. Low Testosterone
2. Erectile Dysfunction
3. Prostate Enlargement
4. Prostate Cancer
Even though those are important health topics, those issues will not improve if you don’t first address the root cause that created the problem to begin with. I tell patient’s daily that you must eat well, move well, sleep well, decrease stress and have community. Whether you are a man or a woman, those key points are essential to vibrant, healthy living.
But let’s start with the basics. Below are three simple ways to improve your health for both men and women.
1. Eat Well
2. Move Well
3. Sleep Well
We eat entirely too much food in the U.S. A recent study showed that if we simply eat 25% less daily, we will reduce our weight and BMI by over 5% a year. Simply pushing the plate away when we are 75% full will assure that you don’t overeat. Cutting down gluten, dairy and sugar will help to decrease inflammation, and it is well known that inflammation is the ROOT of chronic disease. The American Heart Association released a study several years ago showing that a major cause of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure is sugar consumption. Consuming 25% or more of your daily calories in added sugars doubles your heart disease risk as opposed to those who had only 10% added sugars in their diets. Decrease the portion size by 25% and work on cutting down gluten, dairy and added sugars.
Are you getting enough sleep? Your body heals when you sleep. Studies show we need a minimum of seven hours of sleep at night. If your room is loaded with electronics, they may need to be removed in order to decrease the EMF exposure and begin to get solid sleep. If you snore, a sleep study could rule out sleep apnea. CPAP machines are not pretty, but they do save men’s lives every day. If you can’t breathe, you could have an oxygen shortage that could be severely affecting your health. Ignoring all of these factors can also lead to obesity, which causes more deaths in the U.S. than cigarette smoking. Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, lung disease as well as erectile dysfunction in men. Each of these can take a large portion off your life expectancy.
Men’s health is way more than one area, it’s a full body approach. Since June was men’s health month, it’s the perfect time to take charge of your health and live the way you are designed to live. Remember, a lot of these factors are preventable and can be turned around with small steps towards a healthier lifestyle. So get busy! You have a lot to live for.
It takes a lot of movement to burn a lot of calories. Did you know for every bagel you eat; you need to walk two and a half miles? That’s a plain bagel by the way, no cream cheese. Movement is essential to whole body health and healing. Cleaning up the diet is necessary, but studies show that moderate exercise of at least a minimum of 150 minutes a week is needed to increase the benefits of a clean diet. Get outside with the kids and move, walk like you’re forty-five minutes late four days a week, sign up for a 5k or start training with a buddy.