Ahead of Men’s Health Week (15-21 June), we explore healthy lifestyle tips for men with Urban Business nutritionist, Clarissa.
Health differs for men and women. Physiological and anatomical differences mean that there are often different considerations between the two sexes in terms of requirements to keep the body healthy. This Men’s Health Week, take a proactive approach by following these basic health tips for men.
With our increasingly busy schedules, it can be difficult to make time for regular exercise, sleep and stress-reducing activities. Consequently, we may find ourselves eating on-the-go regularly with takeouts or ready meals, coffees and after work thirst quenchers. However, making time for a healthy lifestyle is key.
Read more: How to eat well when working from home >
Stress has been termed a health epidemic by the World Health Organisation. It can have significant repercussions on our health in both the short and long term. Whilst certain stressors may be unavoidable, there are ways to reduce stress aggravators and triggers. This includes over-consumption of sugars, caffeine and alcohol.
Try to bring balance to your blood sugar through eating regular, well balanced meals. Try to cut back your reliance on caffeine if you’re having more than two cups of coffee a day (or seven cups of caffeinated tea), and avoid drinking alcohol too often.
Regular physical activity is associated with lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, contributes to weight control, healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The NHS recommends that male adults do 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity such as swimming, running, HIIT classes or 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity such as walks, bike rides or light dance.
The key? Find something you love, whether that is boxing, running, yoga or spinning, and make it part of your weekly routine to see long-term benefits.
Eat to thrive
Of course it’s nice to treat yourself every so often, but when it comes to everyday meals, men should opt for a heart-healthy diet rich in nutrients. This can help to control weight, lower cholesterol and boost health.
Ensure you are getting in five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to ensure optimal intake of antioxidants, polyphenols, fibre, vitamins and minerals. These all play important roles in fighting disease and reducing inflammation.
Don’t fear certain fats. Monounsaturated fats from sources such as olive oil, almonds, cashews and avocados are fantastic for heart health. Additionally, omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the risk of chronic disease. You can find omega-3 in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies or some plant-based sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts.
Get your shut eye
Long term sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our weight, hormone balance, energy production, stress levels and cardiovascular health. Men aged 18-65 should aim for seven to nine hours sleep per night.
To help achieve this, try these top sleep tips:
- Refrain from drinking coffee for at least six hours before bed
- Avoid using electronic devices that emit blue light after sundown (or install blue light blocking apps)
- Incorporate meditation to help reduce stress and a wired mind at night