National Men’s Week is from June 15-21, 2015 this year. Whether it’s a significant other, child, sibling, parent, friend or coworker, most of us have male loved ones. Men can often overlook or neglect their health but implementing some daily steps can help keep them strong and healthy throughout their lives.
This, of course, is great advice for everyone but encourage the men in your life to adopt healthier eating habits by limiting food and drinks that are high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol. Instead, suggest a diet that contains of a variety of fruits, vegetables and other natural food sources.
So many people dread the idea of exercise but, really, a sedentary lifestyle is bad for all of us – especially, those who sit at a desk all day. The good news is that there are many ways to be more active so it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Some people love using machines in a gym, while others prefer to get outside. For those who prefer something of a slower pace, yoga is another great option. By starting small and experimenting, it will be easy to avoid feeling discouraged while finding an activity that actually feels fun.
Get Enough Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal health. Unfortunately, insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions and can make us more prone to having accidents. Whether our schedules are disruptive, we stay up late watching television (or playing on social media!) or we struggle to relax, most people have failed to get enough sleep at some point in their lives. Remind the men in your life to make changes that will allow them to get the rest they need to be healthy and happy (and apply that advice to yourself as well!).
Kick Bad Habits
Most things are okay in moderation but habitual use (or abuse) of certain substances can be extremely harmful to our health. In honor of Men’s Health Week, commit to broaching the, sometimes, uncomfortable topics by informing loved ones about the dangers associated with alcohol, tobacco and other potentially harmful substances. Offer support to those who are willing to address the issue. You might feel like a nag but you could save someone’s life!
Some stress is actually good for us but most of us remain in a state that is far from healthy. If someone you know is showing signs of strain, talk them about strategies for managing the stress in their lives. Getting enough sleep, eating right and exercise are good ways to help the body cope and a growing number of studies have shown the benefit of adding meditation. Of course, masking the problem will not help in the long run so encourage your loved one to address any underlying issues.
See a Doctor
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, it’s better and, usually, easier to prevent a problem that to try to solve it. Encourage the men around you to see their healthcare providers for regular checkups and to follow the recommended guidelines for being screened for certain cancers and diseases.