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It is no secret that men take great pride in being perceived as tough. What does this mean? Providing for their family, being mentally strong, and being confident—adult men put immense pressure on themselves to be the best versions of themselves but ironically, are not willing to do as much as they should.
According to leading experts, most men avoid going to the doctor. As silly as it may sound, these men would rather silently suffer or choose to believe that they can figure it out on their own, rather than taking a simple visit to a doctor. This is not only an unhealthy approach but is also not necessary. It is counter-productive to not utilize healthcare providers and physicians who can help supply proactive information on how to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to stay informed to live your best overall life – whether that be nutrition, exercise, or mental health.
Believe it or not, men die on average five years earlier than women. This may be due to the fact that men are typically more dangerous and bolder in their decision-making. This isn’t to say that taking a risk is a bad thing, just that men tend to neglect their health and at times ignore their own well-being, telling themselves they will eventually figure it out. However, the top three causes of death for men are (in order), heart (cardiovascular) disease, cancer, and unintentional injury. Besides suffering from an unintentional injury, this is crucial to know because if you monitor your health and make thoughtful decisions, the chances of you living a longer and healthier life drastically increase.
On the bright side, once these facts come to light, one can start their journey to recovery and begin to get their health back on track. Those modifications can come through proper diet, simple lifestyle changes, and if necessary, medical or surgical intervention. There is a great opportunity to improve lifestyle habits in many men. In the United States alone, men self-report numerous risk factors for poor health, which include smoking, obesity, binge alcohol drinking, and not exercising. Improvements in these areas will add years on to a man’s life and will improve mental health as well. Furthermore, social factors that may have a negative impact on health are serving in the armed forces, incarceration, and high-risk jobs such as construction, mining, and shipping. Men should be counseled about the potential employment-related hazards they may encounter in these and other jobs.
The simplest and best thing a man can do for themselves is eating clean. Yes, we all love a greasy cheeseburger and an ice-cold beer but in the long run, the key to a healthy lifestyle is feeding yourself food that your body actually wants!
There is a reason why you feel groggy and sluggish after a fat-filled dinner—it’s your body rejecting it and telling you that it would rather have something else. There is always going to be a certain vegetable or protein that you don’t want to eat. The great thing is we now live in a world where there is essentially an alternative to everything, allowing you to still indulge in your favorite guilty pleasures.
Dieting isn’t easy and for most men, it can be an excruciating battle. It’s hard to say no to a slice of pizza and not engage in “Taco Tuesday,” but when you lack good health, everything else suffers. Those extra calories are going to slow you down, you will have a harder time concentrating, and will even make you grumpy.
The key is to reward yourself, but only if you put in the work. There is nothing wrong with having a soda or eating a dozen chicken wings as you watch a football game, but doing this every day, that’s where you’re going to run into trouble. Most of your meals should consist of lean protein, organic vegetables, little carbs, and a lot of water. Boring? Of course, it is! But the results will have you feeling energetic and ready to take on the world.
A good strategy to take is setting a day where you know that you are going to want to lounge around all day and binge on your favorite foods—typically on the weekend. Life is meant to be enjoyed and part of the many pleasures we experience comes from a tasty meal. As good as it would be to eat these sugar-filled treats and salty snacks, the hard truth is that it is simply not doable. Setting a day where you do treat yourself will not only allow you to munch on your favorite foods, but it will also help teach the valuable lesson of discipline.
For some, clean eating is the tricky part and for others it is exercise. In today’s fast-paced world filled with social media and ten-second video clips, it is easy to feel uninspired when you check your phone only to witness how hard someone else is working which in turn will make you feel as if you are falling behind. There is no point in comparing yourself to how hard or little someone else works because they aren’t you and are not going through the same trials and tribulations. It’s best to stay in your own lane and figure out what works best for you.
Whether you enjoy working out in the gym or at home, the key is to just do it (Nike has a point)!. It’s so easy to say that you’ll start tomorrow. Tomorrow then becomes the weekend, that becomes next Tuesday, then suddenly, a month goes by, and you haven’t exercised a single day. No one expects you to work out like a professional athlete. Whether it be walking around the block for 30 minutes a day, or signing up for CrossFit, exercise is not only great for your body but your mind too. This is a time to be alone with your thoughts and listen to your favorite band or podcast, all the while giving your body what it truly needs.
Even though social media can be a distraction, it is also an amazing place to find information. Nowadays, you don’t even need a personal trainer because, with a few flicks of your thumb, you can find an expert who can give you quick and reliable information on how to get in shape. The best part is a lot of these people create exercises that you can do right from the comfort of your home!
No one said dieting and eating healthy is easy, but that is why it is so rewarding. It is a testament to yourself, a way of proving that through hard work and dedication, you can accomplish something that most men struggle with. The key is to be consistent and not allow yourself to fall victim to your guilty pleasures. There are many ways to stay active without “exercising.” Playing sports with your friends, taking long walks, and even certain interactive video games are awesome ways of being active without the intimidating need to enter a gym. Even though junk food and certain fast food options may seem more affordable, there are simple ways to eat clean without breaking the bank.
Getting started is difficult, but in the end, this journey is worth it. You will feel better, be a kinder person, and will drastically increase your health so you can spend more time with your loved ones. The time for excuses is over. No more saying tomorrow or that you are too busy. Look, we’re all busy and all have other things going on in our lives, but fortunately, the staff at Chai Care can supply you with healthy tips and methods on how to get your life back on track!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.