Men’s health issues
Written by Ayesha Khan
Men are more prone to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer, yet they’re less likely to see the doctor. You’d take your Ferrari for a tune-up, wouldn’t you? So, let’s give your body – the machine that’s keeping you alive – the same sort of respect. When it comes to achieving overall well-being and health, the key is to balance exercise, diet, sleep, and downtime, and stay on top of stats like blood pressure and cholesterol.
Balance it out
It’s no secret that many men just don’t know when to switch off and are prone to a bit of a Superman complex. Sleep and meditation can help you disconnect. Compared to solid sleepers, insomniacs face a 45 per cent higher risk of having heart attacks. Conversely, snoozing more than 10 hours can lead to weight gain and poor mental health, so establish a happy medium. Meditating can also help you de-stress, lowering blood pressure and improving immunity.
All men should learn their numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar – and make the necessary lifestyle changes to stay within a healthy range. Your workout should include cardio, strength training, and stretching. And don’t forget to eat your vegetables – men who averaged about 1 servings of leafy greens a day were 12 per cent less likely to develop heart trouble than those who ate just one serving a week.
Check-ups are your friend
Men aged 50 or older should get routine check-ups. Be sure to eat fibre-rich foods like avocados, beans, and legumes to maintain a healthy digestive tract along with a lowering of blood pressure and reduction of the risk of developing diabetes.
Mind the salt
Men should think twice before reaching for that salt shaker. Sodium lurks in fast foods, processed meats, and canned and other prepared foods. Too much sodium increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s just as good to add potassium-rich foods like bananas, spinach, raisins, and tomatoes to help lower the risk of heart disease.
Some good-quality time in the sunshine is another key to overall health. Just 10 minutes of sun can deliver a healthy dose of vitamin D and releases endorphins in the brain. If daily sun exposure isn’t possible (and let’s face it, unless you’re a surfer, it really isn’t), add vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish to your diet, or take a supplement. The ‘sunshine pill’ reduces the risk of coronary issues and cuts your chances of developing pancreatic and colon cancers.