You guys are ambitious – and many of you enjoy challenge and competition. So when it comes to what you “should” be doing for good health, it’s easy to set the bar REALLY high. Of course, it’s impossible to bat 1.000 on all fronts all the time, so doing so also makes it easy to get discouraged.
But you don’t need to go gung-ho with big sweeping changes. You can make smaller tweaks that pack a punch. They’re also fairly simple, so they’re more likely to stick.
6 of our faves:
1. More fruits and vegetables. Those colorful garden gems are associated with reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and preventing some types of cancer. In men, berries can also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and tomatoes are associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer. Make sure you eat at least one fruit or vegetable at every meal, prepared as you like: raw, sautéed, roasted (but not fried).
2. No need for a crazy intense workout. You already know exercise is good for the body, but what about the mind? A study from the University of Maryland found that just 150 minutes of physical activity a week is key to managing stress.
3. Eat fish once a week. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that this simple choice can cut your risk of a fatal heart attack in HALF. Look for varieties that are high in omega-3 fatty acids – like wild Alaskan salmon, arctic char, black cod and sardines.
4. Try Chilean red wine. Their cabernet sauvignon is 38 percent higher in cancer-fighting flavonols than French wines. Just keep it to two glasses so you reap the benefits without the downside.
5. Trade crunches for planking. Don’t laugh – the plank pose goes beyond strengthening ab muscles by strengthening your entire core. This is good news for your abs AND back pain. Just lie face down, push up into a benchlike posture, keep your back flat and hold for 10 seconds. Over time, work your way up to a full minute.
6. Happy marriage = long, healthy life. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, an unhappy marriage increases your chances of getting sick by 35 percent and can shorten your life by an average of four years. Carve out time for just the two of you and regularly talk about what’s on your mind. Most of all, be kind to each other. It seems obvious, but it’s not always easy. And it goes a long way toward a long, healthy, happy life.
Want more tips? Check out the rest of our series in celebration of National Men’s Health Week.
Sources: Men’s Health, New York Times