Men's Health: Lifestyle Improvements and Self-Care Help Prevent Disease

Men's Health: Lifestyle Improvements and Self-Care Help Prevent Disease

  • Posted Jun 05, 2018
  • hchadmin

June is Men’s Health Month and Holy Cross Hospital encourages you to care for yourself, and your loved ones, by reminding you, or the men in your life, of the importance of taking the necessary steps to jumpstart positive lifestyle changes that will improve all aspects of well-being – body, mind and spirit.

Trying to "do it all" and "have it all" and the hyper competitive means some use to achieve those goals can leave many of us burned out physically, mentally and spiritually. So consider self-care and well-being habits as investments in yourself – investments with a high rate of return in the form of a happier, healthier more productive you.

Lifestyle modification can consist of a variety of strategies such as healthier eating, exercise and physical activity, getting adequate sleep, reducing stress and spiritual fulfillment. However, it's important to remember that no two men are the same and you should tailor whatever strategies you use to your own life and goals.

Ensuring that you get enough physical activity will go a long way toward improving your overall quality of life. Although the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes, you should still start gradually and perform the types of physical activity that are appropriate for your current fitness level. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends the following activities for adults:

•    Do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
•    Perform muscle-strengthening activities that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week.
•    Do activities that you enjoy, be it weightlifting, walking, yoga, swimming or biking...because almost any exercise is helpful. 

Men's busy schedules can sometimes make it difficult to eat correctly. However, proper nutrition is a key component of any strategy to live healthier. Keep these guidelines in mind when planning your meals:

•    Eat three meals a day. Meals should consist primarily of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
•    Control portion sizes. Take time to enjoy smaller amounts of food.
•    Limit foods high in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and added sugar.
•    If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation.
•    Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.

While it's important to know the physical aspects of disease prevention, knowing how to maintain a healthier spirit is important as well. Keep these things in mind:

•    Remain optimistic. Research shows that happiness and a positive attitude are associated with lower rates of disease. Focus on your thoughts — stop negative ones and replace them with positive ones.
•    Control stress. Stress relievers like deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, and keeping a journal, can be helpful in controlling the impact stress has on your body.
•    Do everything in moderation. Don’t try to do too much at one time – make sure to have time for proper nutrition, sleep, work and play.
•    Create a network. Maintaining a close circle of family and friends can provide you with support when you need it.

Lastly, getting annual screening tests from your primary care physician (PCP) is vital to sustaining your health and helping prevent or control health conditions. Having a PCP who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, just visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

As your trusted health partner for life, Holy Cross Hospital is committed to providing resources that promote well-being though body, mind and spirit and is dedicated to helping you Live Your Whole Life.


Photo: Jenny Hill

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About Holy Cross Hospital

Holy Cross Hospital is a nonprofit, Catholic hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, dedicated to innovative, high quality and compassionate care. For nearly six decades, Holy Cross has continuously expanded its services to provide leading-edge care for their patients in Florida and for those from elsewhere in the United States. Holy Cross also offers an International Services program to ensure that patients from outside the U.S. receive the care they need.

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