Health and wellness may not always rank as your number one priority. Maybe it falls below work, taking care of your family, or other responsibilities and obligations in your life. But remember, staying healthy makes it so much easier to accomplish your goals and take care of those you love.
It’s time to move your health to its rightful place on your priority list. Read on for five tips to help your health and wellness rise through the ranks – all the way to number one.
1. Schedule regular healthcare visits.
About 72% of men visit their primary care physician (PCP) at least once per year. That’s pretty good, but there’s always room for improvement, especially for younger generations.
According to the 2021 Cleveland Clinic MENtion It survey, roughly one-third of Gen Z and Millennial men see their PCP less than once per year, and 19% of Millennial men avoid the doctor until something goes wrong.
But now, visiting the doctor is easier than ever with the expansion of virtual medicine, making it possible to receive healthcare from the convenience and comfort of your own home. In fact, two-thirds of men have used digital health services in the last 12 months.
You have options when it comes to your healthcare. Find what works for you, but be proactive. No matter your age, schedule regular visits with your healthcare provider to keep yourself in tip-top shape.
2. Fuel your body well.
The human body is incredible – give it what it needs, and it runs like a well-oiled machine. That’s why a well-balanced diet is so important. It’s packed full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that your body needs to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently.
Focus on filling your diet with lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. If you need a little help building healthy eating habits or achieving your nutrition goals, consider talking with a registered dietitian. Your doctor may even be able to refer you to a qualified registered dietitian in your area.
3. Stay active.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “motion is lotion.” It means that staying active is the best way to keep your bones and joints healthy and support your mobility as you age – and it’s absolutely true.
The benefits of exercise extend far beyond mobility. Physical activity also supports heart, immune, and mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week – that breaks down to about 30 minutes of physical activity five times per week.
What’s moderate-intensity physical activity? Think brisk walking or hiking, water aerobics, or riding a bike on fairly level ground – any activity that gets your heart pumping a little faster and makes you break a light sweat.
The CDC also suggests including muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice per week to help support bone strength, good posture, balance, and stability. Weightlifting, resistance band exercises, bodyweight exercises (like push-ups or sit-ups), heavy gardening (like shoveling or digging), and some forms of yoga all count as muscle-strengthening activities.
4. Focus on your mental health.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Life gets overwhelming. Work on developing coping techniques to help you stay afloat when the waters get rough, like deep breathing, meditation, journaling, or talking it out with someone you trust. Everyone is different, so it may take some time to figure out what works for you. Identify your limits, set reasonable boundaries, and try not to overextend yourself too often.
5. Prioritize self-care.
There are a lot of misconceptions about self-care.
You may believe that self-care is synonymous with selfishness or self-indulgence. But really, it’s all about taking care of yourself so you can feel your best physically, mentally, and emotionally.
You may think that self-care is only for women – that it’s cucumber slices on your eyes, a glass of wine, and a particularly sudsy bubble bath. But men can enjoy those things, too – and it doesn’t make you any less manly. Develop a new skincare or grooming routine, get a fresh manicure, or relax in a steam room full of eucalyptus.
If that doesn’t sound like your ideal form of self-care, take some time to figure out what makes you feel energized, fulfilled, and joyful. Maybe it’s spending time in nature – hiking local trails, hitting the water with your kayak, or connecting with the Earth, feeling the cool grass beneath your feet. Maybe it’s working on exciting projects – rebuilding the old car in your garage, crafting a new woodworking design, or planting your dream garden. Maybe it’s even exploring a new hobby, like beekeeping or photography.
Do whatever makes you feel like you.
You deserve to feel happy, healthy, and whole. Put these tips into practice to help you prioritize your health and feel your best every day.