How can a man improve his health?

Happiness, Health

Good health is vitally important to men – if you want to be a sexy lover or father children, if you want to be a good family man and support your wife and children, if you want to excel at sport, if you want to succeed in business you need to look after your health.

Good health and concern about your health is not for wimps, it’s for all men whatever your goals and aspirations. It’s a great weapon in your fight to come out top, to succeed, to be looked up to, to live the life you want.

So let’s have a look at some of the best things you can do to improve your health, simple changes you can make that will give you a head start in the rat race of life.

You won’t look attractive to anyone if you have a runny nose and all the other signs of a cold, so make sure you drink enough water, as research has shown that water plays a vital role in our immune system’s ability to fight infection, making those who drink sufficient less likely to suffer from flu and colds. How do you know if you’re drinking enough? Check the colour of your pee – it should be pale, straw-coloured, although some medication and B vitamins will make it darker. If you do get a cold, try herbal echinacea tablets.

Research has shown that taking echinacea more than halves a man’s chance of catching a cold and shortens the symptom time for those who did get the cold by 1.4 days.

Think about ways of dealing with stress. The Duke University Medical Center (USA) says daily meditation practice can significantly reduce stress-related elevated blood pressure.

There’s also a simple self-help technique from Touch For Health that works really well. You simply hold your frontal eminences – the two bumps on your forehead about midway between your eyebrows and your hairline – and think about the stressful event. If you watch people under stress, they often do this naturally, but you can do it consciously and turn it to your advantage.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. A UK study has shown that vegetarians are half as likely to get prostate cancer as meat eaters. Reduce your intake of meat to increase the possibility of avoiding this common cancer in men. You don’t have to become a vegetarian or a vegan, but decide to eat a few plant-based meals every week – the days when vegetarian and vegan men were seen as being weak and feminine are long gone, so tuck in to some tasty vegan meals knowing you are helping yourself to stay healthy for longer. Check out the film “Game Changers” too.

Get to grips with your weight. Research shows that overweight men have lower sperm count. If you’re overweight, aromatase in your fat tissue converts testosterone to a weak form of oestrogen, a female hormone. High levels of female hormones reduce your sperm count. Overweight isn’t sexy and, no, it’s not a good form of contraception, as being overweight means you will be significantly less healthy. It may work as a contraceptive by making you less sexy and attractive though.

Alcohol doesn’t do a lot for your sperm count either. Excess alcohol causes testosterone to drop and damages sperm. Alcohol makes you feel good because it temporarily reduces your ability to make sound judgements; it affects the part of the brain that is concerned with assessing information. So moderate your alcohol intake at business meetings, moderate your alcohol if you are planning a family, moderate your alcohol if you don’t want to get killed in a car accident.

The Mayo Clinic says:

“Drinking excess alcohol can give you a beer belly, but beer alone isn’t to blame. Drinking too much alcohol of any kind can increase belly fat, because alcohol contains calories. If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.

“For men age 65 and younger, moderation means up to two drinks a day. For men older than age 65, it means up to one drink a day. The less you drink, the fewer calories you’ll consume and the less likely you’ll be to gain belly fat.”

If you want to be happy and live to a ripe old age, make times for friends too. Since the 1930s, researchers from The Harvard Study of Adult Development have studied more than 800 men and women, following them from adolescence into old age. The research has shown that one of the most important factors in achieving a long and happy life is maintaining strong social relationships. Spending quality time with loved ones, belonging to clubs and societies, and being an active participant in the local community is, for most people, an important factor in achieving happiness and longevity.

So, don’t overwork, don’t believe that the only thing that matters is success and material achievement. Make time for other things that are perhaps even more important.

When I worked as a therapist, female clients would often complain that their partners did not spend enough time with them but were always working. Men would complain that they spent a lot of time working in order to support their families and give them the life style they want, but weren’t appreciated. This suggests a lack of communication. Talk to your partner, find out what they want, discuss your plans and hopes – may be the better car or the extra holiday would be gladly foregone if it meant more quality time with you.