International Men’s Health Week 2022 runs from tomorrow to Sunday (Father’s Day). Many men may have health concerns but few seek the support that they need. Did you know that men are about twice as likely as women to have a heart attack? Men’s health matters, too! Here are a few tips to stay healthy:
- What’s your blood pressure? Knowing your blood pressure and keeping it in the healthy range are key to staying healthy. High blood pressure, i.e. hypertension, is often called the “silent killer” and can cause damage in the arteries, heart, kidneys, eyes and brain. The ideal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. Slightly high blood pressure? Exercising more and cutting back on alcohol can have an immediate beneficial effect.
- Cut back on sodium in your diet. The American Heart Association recommends that the adequate intake of sodium for healthy, young men is 1.5 grams per day, but usually men take more than twice that amount per day. Most of this comes from eating fast foods, processed meats, canned or pre-packaged foods and restaurant food. Try to avoid these types of foods and focus on fresh, whole foods. Men who consume as much potassium as sodium have lower risks of heart disease, so add more high potassium foods like bananas, tomatoes and spinach into your diet.
- Eat your vegetables and fruit! It turns out that eating 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day is good, but having 10 a day is better. Time and time again, studies show that eating vegetables and fruit helps the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.
- Go nuts! People who eat around a handful of nuts (approximately 20g) on a daily basis have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as respiratory conditions, diabetes and infections. Munching on nuts reduced the risk of heart disease by nearly 30%, the risk of cancer by 15%, and the risk of premature death by 22%. Researchers at the Imperial College of London found that most of the reduction in risk was associated with an intake of approximately 15 to 20 grams per day, and no further reduction was noticed if the intake was increased. Click here to read more.
- Stay active. Head outside to play a sport with friends, swim some laps or take a long walk to listen to that podcast you downloaded. Create your own workout routine and make an effort to keep it. Exercise has numerous benefits for your physical, mental and emotional health.
- Get checked for colorectal cancer. If you are age 50 or older, it is time to get screened for colorectal cancer (get checked sooner if you have a family history of colorectal cancer). Of the various cancer screenings available to men, this one is the best deal because it can prevent, not just diagnose, cancer. A colonoscopy can find and remove precancerous colon polyps.
Stay healthy. Happy Men’s Health Week!