7 Easy Ways to Improve Men’s Health

Author: Brian JonesMan lifting

Men are more likely than women to avoid taking care of their health. They’re also more likely to have unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.* Men, you don’t have to make drastic changes to improve your overall wellbeing. It’s easy to make simple changes every day that can have a big impact in the long run. Check out these seven easy tips for men to begin living healthier lifestyles today.

Stop Making Excuses

“I don’t have time.”

“I’ll get to it next week.”

“It’s too expensive.”

Many of us have used these excuses and others to avoid going to the doctor and making healthier choices. It’s time to stop making excuses and start committing to your health. Schedule time for medical checkups, get some exercise and prepare nutritious meals. If money is a concern, look for free and affordable health and wellness programs. Taking care of yourself is worth the time and effort.

Get Some Exercise

Regular exercise keeps your body strong and healthy. Men who are physically fit and active tend to have a decreased risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in men according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If you’re new to working out, consider working with a trainer or joining a group fitness class. If the gym isn’t your style, look for other activities such as swimming, hiking or playing in a softball league. Try to include both strength and cardio exercises into your workout for the best results.

Portion Control

If saying no to your favorite junk food sounds impossible, start by cutting back. Reduce the amount of unhealthy food you eat by serving smaller portions of it. Instead of eating chips out of a bag, put some in a bowl to control the serving size. Eating from smaller plates can help you eat less food and still feel full. Instead of getting the large French fries, order a medium. There are many easy ways to cut back on your junk food intake.

Eat More Good Food

As you limit the bad foods you eat, make an effort to eat more foods that are good for you. Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a balanced diet. It doesn’t have to be all salads all the time. Look for recipes with grilled vegetables this summer. Vegetable substitutes for your favorite foods, like zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta, allow you to enjoy the flavor you love and the health benefits you need. If you’re a Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions patient, contact registered dietitian Megan Hall for more great tips to manage your nutrition.

Reduce Stress

Stress can lead to weight gain, a decline in mental health, a higher risk of heart problems and other serious side effects. Men, take stress seriously and take steps to reduce stress in your life. If you can’t eliminate stressors, make an effort to reduce them. Managing stress can look different for everyone. Find ways to stay calm by taking deep breaths, hanging out with friends, exercising, listening to music or participating in whatever relaxation technique works for you.

Get Regular Checkups

Regular checkups help you manage your health and detect early signs of serious conditions. Your regular health screenings should include cholesterol, blood pressure, skin cancer and colorectal checks. Don’t forget to schedule dental checkups too. It’s important to take care of your oral hygiene with brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist. Tell your doctor about your family health history and be honest about your lifestyle. Your doctor needs to have a complete picture of your overall wellness, even if you smoke, drink or skip your workouts.

Go to Sleep

If these easy life changes sound exhausting, here’s one you might enjoy: Get more sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep is an important way to maintain good health throughout your life. Generally, experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble falling asleep, try turning off your electronics before bed and avoiding caffeine late in the day.

Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month, which is a time to raise awareness about common men’s health issues and encourage men to be proactive with health screenings. Use this month as an opportunity to make healthier choices and encourage the other men in your life to do the same. As part of Men’s Health Month, Hy-Vee is offering free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) tests from their Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles. The screenings will take place all month long in Hy-Vee parking lots across the region. Click here to view a complete list of dates, times and locations.

About the Author

Brian Jones is a Clinical Pharmacist at the Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. After growing up in Newton, Iowa, Brian received his BSPharm from the University of Iowa. Brian’s favorite part of working at HPS is acting as a final check and resource for patients so they feel confident that their care will be safe and effective. He’s excited about all the breakthrough therapies and advancements in care that have developed recently. Outside of work, Brian likes to ride his bike, golf, listen to music and explore the Des Moines area.

*For more information about men’s health trends and statistics, visit Statista.com.