Health Tips for Men

When it comes to health care, we men are like ostriches. We bury our heads in the sand. We are much less likely than women to visit our doctors regularly, take symptoms seriously and live a healthful lifestyle. Maybe that’s one reason why women have a seven-year average survival advantage on us! Yet it’s obviously important that men of all ages become more proactive about their health. And an easy way to start is to follow these 10 basic steps to maintaining health and vitality.


1. Eliminate "White Foods" from Your Diet. White flour, white sugar and other processed foods are not only devoid of vitamins and minerals, but they’ve also been stripped of their natural fibre. As a result, they rapidly drive up blood sugar levels, which contributes to weight gain, diabetes and a host of other health problems. Avoid breads and baked goods made with white flour, sugar-laden sodas and snack foods. Instead, focus on eating fibre-rich fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.


2. Stay Away from Dangerous Trans Fats. While it’s important to reduce your overall fat intake, it’s even more important to watch the types of fat you eat. Deep-fried foods and anything made with hydrogenated oils (margarine, peanut butter, shortening, store-bought pastries and cookies) contain trans fats that raise your risk of heart disease. Eat only healthful fats, such as olive oil and the omega-3 oils found in salmon and other cold-water fish, which actually protect against heart disease.


3. Take a Potent Daily Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement. Although there is no substitute for a good diet, I am convinced that for optimal nutrition, you need to take a high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement. Even if you are eating right, it’s unlikely that your food contains all the nutrients you need. Poor soil quality, storage, processing and cooking deplete our food of vitamins and minerals. Taking a high quality daily supplement is "health insurance" against possible deficiencies.


4. Include Weight Training in Your Exercise Routine. Aerobic exercise is great for cardiovascular conditioning, but it’s vastly inferior to weight training in attacking the "flab factor." Recent research has shown that as little as once-weekly resistance exercise can improve muscle strength. Even the busiest or laziest among us can find the time and energy for that. Join a gym, consult a personal trainer or ask an experienced friend to show you the ropes.


5. Maintain Your Optimal Weight. Current statistics suggest that half of us are losing the battle of the bulge, but maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You’ll look better, feel better and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and other major killers. I know this is easier said than done, but if you just follow the four steps above, you’ll be well on your way.