What actions should you take?
- Schedule your screenings. Health care screenings detect certain health conditions early, when they are most easily treatable. Your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels should get checked regularly. Both a high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are risk factors for heart disease (2). Additionally, all men should get screened for colorectal cancer by age 45. Check out our Dress in Blue Day blog post for more information about the severity of colorectal cancer.
- Ditch the “be a man” mindset. If you experience any unusual pain or discomfort, do not ignore it. It could be your body telling you something is wrong. If you have something that is bothering you, contact your physician to make an appointment.
- At home check-ins. There are actions that you can take at home to assess your health as well. You can calculate your BMI to get a quick idea of your weight status. Waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio are other ways to measure your body mass at home. Also take note of your amount of physical activity. Adults should achieve at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise, or 75 minutes to 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
- Focus on your nutrition, particularly your sodium and sugar intake. Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. However, the recommended amount for adults is less than 2,300 mg per day, which is about 1 teaspoon of salt. Diets higher in sodium are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure which, as discussed previously, is a major cause of heart disease and stroke (3). Keep an eye on your added sugar amounts as well. Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Too much sugar in the diet is a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts label to see how much added sugar is in the product. A helpful conversion to know: four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.
- Block out time to destress. The spa is not just for women! Take some time to relax and clear your mind, whatever that may look like. Going for a walk, meditating, yoga, and taking a break from your cell phone are all simple ways to destress. Constant stress can cause permanent damage to your health. Make it a goal to carve out time for you each day.
You do not have to be a man to celebrate Men’s Health Week. Have a special man in your life? Use this as an opportunity to talk to him about his health and wellness. Nutrition for Longevity supports taking care of your own health and the health of the ones you love. That mindset is what motivates our team to eat with purpose. Get started with our healthy meal plans today. Choose from vegan, pescatarian, and flexitarian options.