Lifestyle Changes for Better Health

Men’s Health Week, which takes place June 13-19, promotes awareness for a variety of preventable health issues that men face while encouraging them to take charge of their health. Making even the smallest lifestyle changes can make a big difference in how you look and feel while helping to reduce your health risks.

Make the most of Men’s Health Week by keeping the following tips in mind as you work to stay on top of your health.

There are no such things as magic foods. While we would love to find a magical food that chases away all of our ailments, there is simply no such thing. There are certain foods that healthy men need to eat. These include fruits and vegetables; whole grains; protein from beans, eggs or lean meats; and lower fat dairy like 1% milk. These foods may not be magic, but they’ll give you magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin D, fiber, and protein, all of which can help you maintain good health.

If healthy food is there, then you’ll probably eat it. Ditch the frozen pizzas. Keep healthy, easy-to-prep foods in your kitchen like carrots, apples, oranges, low-fat yogurt, and eggs. Also keep your kitchen stocked with fresh, canned or frozen vegetables and fruits, lean meats, canned beans, and canned tuna or salmon.

Get into the habit of cutting calories. You can do this by skipping foods high in solid fats and added sugar. Limit fatty meats like ribs, bacon (we know and we’re sorry), and hot dogs. Limit cakes, cookies, candies and ice cream to special occasions. An easy way to practice portion control is by using smaller plates so you don’t eat as much.

Water is your friend. Water is a better choice than many routine drinks. Beverages can add about 400 calories a day to men’s diets. So, limit high-calorie beverages including those with alcohol. Skip soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and other sugary drinks. If you need a little flavor in your water, add some fruit.

Learn to love sweat. Sweat is not bad, especially when it’s associated with regular exercise. Be active whenever you can. Vary your activities to stay motivated. Set a goal of participating in two and a half hours or more of moderate physical activity a week. Activities can include strengthening your arms, legs and core muscles at least two days a week. If time is limited, keep in mind that just 10 minutes of activity at a time makes a difference.

These tips can represent a great pathway toward your better health, and Men’s Health Week is a great time to start on your path. Remember to discuss any changes in your diet and exercise routine with your professional health care team. They’re on your side and will help guide you in the right direction.


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Written by Dr. Melodie Mope

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