Water’s Edge Counseling & Healing Center believes in nurturing an individual’s whole self, including biological, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. For men, this can be particularly challenging. Many haven’t learned to be proactive about their health, and some try to ignore the signs their body gives them. Others simply focus on being “silent and strong.” Eventually, though, the importance of creating a healthy lifestyle becomes a reality for all of us.

Here are five simple tips for men, or the men in your life, to help develop healthy lifestyle strategies and improve the biological parts of self.    

  1. Schedule regular medical visits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States die five years earlier on average than women. They also pass away at higher rates from three leading causes: heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries. Connecting more frequently with a medical professional could help prevent diseases from occurring, identify risk factors for a particular condition, and catch a diagnosis early.  
  2. Quit smoking. Quitting begins with cutting back on tobacco use over time, working toward a final goal of cessation. Once an individual can quit smoking, immediate health benefits will emerge. Some of those benefits include improved lung function, a drop in heart rate which lowers risk for heart attacks, and carbon monoxide levels in the blood that drop to normal. 
  3. Tend to your mental health. Pay attention to changes in mood, anxiety, or any new emotional symptoms. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, men with mental illnesses are less likely than women to receive mental health treatment. Water’s Edge Counseling & Healing Center offers individual therapy support for men, as well as weekly support groups. Check our website or call us for a current list of groups being offered. 
  4. Increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Plant-based foods will increase an individual’s overall intake of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Fruits and vegetables also add antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help fight off toxins and diseases and support the daily function of major organs.
  5. Incorporate intentional movement throughout the week. There are so many ways to do this, and many are fun. Some examples might include biking, walks with your family, swimming, yoga, or even mowing the lawn.

Men, take this reminder and these simple tips and find ways to start incorporating one or two of them into your life today. Your health enables you to work, play, and excel in the things that matter most – and as you grow older, you’ll discover it’s the most valuable asset you possess.

– Angela Goens, MS, RDN, LD, Lead Dietitian