Men’s Health Week 2019: Seven Numbers Everyone Should Know
But health week isn’t all about risks. It’s about awareness. Learning about these seven figures will help you be more in-touch with your body. These seven numbers may give you a wake-up call and help you make some much-needed changes to your lifestyle.
Whether you’re 25 or 50, it’s never too early or late to start taking better care of yourself. Check out these seven figures about men’s health from the Men’s Health Forum that will help you understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
This is the max measurement your waist should be. Waist measurements are taken around the mid-abdomen, directly above the belly button. Any measurement over 37 inches (94 centimeters) is considered overweight and puts men at risk for a variety of health risks including heart disease and diabetes.
Stubborn belly fat can feel impossible to lose, but if you incorporate a regular exercise plan and healthy diet into your routine, you’ll be able to shed extra pounds and lose those extra inches with patience and persistence.
Adult men need regular physical activity to stay fit and lower their risk for health conditions. You should strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week. Committing to 30 minutes of exercise for at least five days a week can have a tremendous benefit on both your physical health and psychological well-being.
Regular exercise can be a useful tool in managing anxiety and depression; sometimes, it’s difficult to disconnect from our thoughts. Exercise lets you put your feelings into motion and physically work through them all while releasing chemicals designed to make you feel happier and more positive.
You should eat five portions of fruits and vegetables everyday. You don’t have to go overboard or come up with intricate, complex recipes. A salad for lunch, a side of leafy greens for dinner and healthy fruits and veggie snacks throughout the day will do the trick.
Men’s diets are often heavily carb-based, which can be problematic. Keep five as your minimum, and don’t be afraid to push yourself and try replacing some of your go-to snacks and meals with healthier alternatives.
Pay close attention to detail, though. Salad dressings, for example, can be loaded in unhealthy fats, sodium and added sugar. You’ll be better off making your own with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Alcohol is a staple in many cultures, and it may be your most common coping mechanism. While there’s nothing wrong with unwinding at the end of a long week with a beer or enjoying some wine at a dinner, you shouldn’t consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week.
Heavy long-term drinking increases the risk of liver and pancreatic cancer, heart disease and weight gain. It can also significantly worsen your mental health, especially if you use alcohol to deal with anxiety, depression or general malaise.
Smokers die on average 10 years earlier than non-smokers. Smoking worsens your heart and lungs and can increase your risk of developing lung or esophageal cancer as well as emphysema. Second-hand smoke can also put your family’s health at risk. If there’s one thing you do for your health this year, quit smoking.
Do you know how to read your blood pressure? You may only have it checked during your annual physical at the doctor’s office. But the older men get, the more important it is to stay on top of their blood pressure. Many different factors can raise yours above the healthy limit, including a diet that’s high in trans fats and sodium, heavy drinking and inactivity.
Normal blood pressure for men is 120/80, and it should be checked along with cholesterol levels. Understanding how the two work together can assist you in making healthier choices and lowering your risk of heart disease and a heart attack.
One-third of suicide victims are men. With 75 percent of people who take their own lives male, it’s time to get serious about men’s mental health. An old but persistent stigma around the need for men to be stoic, emotionless beings has caused many to suffer in silence for far too long.
Men experience the full range of emotions that women do, and they’re also just as capable of developing depression, anxiety, eating disorders and suffering from low self-esteem.
Check in with yourself, and be honest. How do you feel? Find ways that you can promote a healthy state of mind in your life, including your outlets for stress, anger and frustration.
If you need help, talk to a therapist. There’s no shame in seeking a professional’s advice. In fact, it’s one of the manliest things you can do.
Balancing Health With Responsibility
Working hard and juggling a busy schedule with family and your hobbies can sometimes cause health to fall to the backburner. When you take care of yourself, you’re also taking care of the ones you love most. Being in good shape and watching your health will help prevent illness and disease, keeping you around for all the best moments as long as possible.
Check in with your doctor and get a physical. Start with a full-body assessment and learn about your personal health risks. What areas do you need to improve the most? It’s okay to start small. Adopting a healthy lifestyle takes time, but it always starts with the decision to make better choices.
This Men’s Health Week, take the time you need to evaluate your life so far. It may not be easy to always eat the most well-rounded meal or get your exercise in, but try not to think of nutrition and fitness as perks or afterthoughts. Instead, use them as foundations and frame your life around them.
With enough consistency, healthy living will become second-nature, and you’ll be well on your way to being in the best shape of your life.