It’s not uncommon that many resources for nutrition and wellness, including my own, are targeted at women. That said, I know there are men out there in search of guidance as well. We can all use some encouragement when it comes to adopting healthy habits and being mindful of how we care for ourselves; my male clients are no exception.
So gentlemen, listen up: These 5 tips for living a long, healthy life were especially designed for YOU.
1. Get moving!
A strong heart and cardiovascular system is key to longevity, so physical movement is extremely important. Plus, it’s essential to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise relieves stress and burns fat while also building muscle, which, in turn, helps to burn more calories. Remember, men tend to carry extra fat in their midsections, which contributes to heart disease and puts your overall health at risk.
Be active! Go running, speed walking, weight lifting, mountain biking, swimming, anything that moves your body and gets your heart pumping. I recommend starting with 20 minutes of movement per day. Even if it’s just a walk around the block, get started and you’ll soon see your body will crave more.
2. Stress less.
Stress promotes free radicals, which damage your cells, lower immunity, create inflammation and, over time, lead to signs of premature aging and other possible health concerns, like heart disease. Studies have shown that chronic stress can raise cholesterol levels, which directly affects your cardiovascular health. Bottom line, reducing stress can go a long way in keeping your body healthy. For most of us, it does take a little effort, though.
- Exercise more.
- Medidate every day; just five minutes of slowing down, taking deep inhalations and pausing between meetings can help.
- Drink more water: If you drink a lot of coffee, cut back on the caffeine in favor of water or tea (I like Runa).
- Consider aromatherapy. Lavender essential oil is a proven stress reducer. Add a drop or two to your pillow at night or on the soles of your feet after your shower to create a soothing, zen-like atmosphere.
3. Cut back on the alcohol.
Aside from added calories, alcohol — even wine — contains sugar and yeast, both of which are inflammatory to your body. Whether it’s the wine you enjoy with dinner or the beers and cocktails you consume on the weekends, moderation is key. Small amounts of alcohol have actually been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and heart disease, but overdoing it wipes out the benefits. You don’t have to cut it out completely, but when you do indulge, consider carb-free options like gluten-free vodka and green juice and make sure the wine is sulfite free.
4. Eat more fish.
It may be a stereotype that men love red meat, but if that describes you, take note: beef, pork and lamb generally have more cholesterol and saturated (“bad”) fat than chicken and fish. And since red meat is much slower to digest, I don’t recommend eating it late at night or every day. Instead, opt for fish like wild salmon, which is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and easily digestible and optimal for gut health. Plus, fish is versatile and easy to cook. If you do eat red meat, be sure to choose grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free, lean cuts.
5. Increase your probiotics.
Everyone can benefit from adding a good quality probiotic to his or her diet. Probiotics contain healthy bacteria, something every gut needs. Most of your immunity is located in the digestive tract, so healthy digestion is key to your overall health. Recent studies also show that probiotics can help prevent depression and stimulate good moods since a number of hormones are produced in the gut. If supplements aren’t your thing, consider increasing your intake of fermented foods, like sauerkraut and pickled vegetables, which are known to be natural probiotics.
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Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.