/ by UK HealthCare
On International Men's Day, take some time to reflect on your health and consider how you can better fine-tune it.
No matter how old you are, here’s what you can do to be the healthiest version of yourself:
1. Don’t put off regular healthcare visits.
You might feel perfectly healthy and not see the need to go to the doctor, but it is important to make sure you see a healthcare provider regularly. Some medical issues, like high blood sugar and high cholesterol, may not have any early symptoms, but a physician can do tests to assess unseen problems.
2. Kick your tobacco habit.
Men are more likely to be cigarette smokers than women. If you're a smoker, quitting might seem daunting, but the good news is that it's possible! Kicking the habit has immediate and long-term health benefits, but the bottom line is this: If you stop smoking now, you’ll have a better quality of life and more years to live it.
Here are 11 strategies on how to quit smoking.
3. Be aggressive in cancer prevention.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in men. The American Cancer Society recommends most men get regular screenings for prostate, lung and colon cancers at age 50. If you have a family history of cancer, talk with your healthcare provider about when you should start regular screenings.
4. Work up a sweat.
Men need about two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week, but you can break that up over several days. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Check out our six-step guide for developing a healthy and enjoyable exercise routine.
5. Appreciate your shuteye.
Those who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. Most adult men need about seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Not getting enough sleep? Try these tips:
- Avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
- Avoid stimulating substances like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine later in the day, too.
- Make sure your bedroom is always free of distractions, like TVs or other sources of light.
6. Be smart about food and drink.
Adopting sustainable healthy eating habits – not short-term fad diets or unrealistic restrictions on food – can help you shed unwanted weight, reduce your risk for disease and improve your overall well-being. Check out our five-step guide to eating healthier.
If you like to enjoy some bourbon, a craft beer or glass of wine at the end of a long day or during dinner, that's fine, but limit your alcohol intake to no more than two drinks a day. Also, be aware of the signs of alcohol abuse, which is more like to occur in men.
7. Don't neglect your mental health.
And don't be ashamed to acknowledge when you're feeling off. Men are less likely to recognize symptoms of depression than women, so understanding the common warning signs is important. Some common symptoms of depression in men include:
- Loss of interest in favorite activities.
- Sleep problems.
- Persistent grumpiness or sadness.
- Reduced sex drive.
If you're experiencing these symptoms, talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Medications and therapies are available that can help you find relief.