There is no secret to healthy living, it is a combination of good decision making and developing healthy habits. Good nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle; which also includes routine health exams, regular physical activity, not smoking, and knowing your health risks. In honor of Men's Health Week, we offer the following tips for a healthy life.
Get Routine Exams and Screenings
Sometimes they're once a year. Other times they're more or less often. Based on your age, health history, lifestyle, and other important issues, you and your health care provider can determine how often you need to be examined and screened for certain diseases and conditions. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancers of the skin, prostate, and colon. When problems are found early, your chances for treatment and cure are better. Routine exams and screenings can help save lives. Find out more.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away." There's more truth to this saying than we once thought. What you eat and drink and what you don't eat and drink can definitely make a difference to your health. Eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day and less saturated fat can improve your health and may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Have a balanced diet, and watch how much you eat. . Check out the Eat Right section on www.fitcitychallenge.org for suggestions on how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Don’t forget to visit Fit City Fit Foods for recipe ideas that help meet this goal.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is at an all time high in the United States , and the epidemic is getting worse. Those who are overweight or obese have increased risks for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Eat better, get regular exercise, and see your health care provider about any health concerns to make sure you are on the right track to staying healthy.
More than 60 percent of American men and women do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. For adults, thirty minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week is recommended. It doesn't take a lot of time or money, but it does take commitment. Start slowly, work up to a satisfactory level, and don't overdo it. You can develop one routine, or you can do something different every day. Find fun ways to stay in shape and feel good, such as dancing, gardening, cutting the grass, swimming, walking, or jogging. Check out the Get Moving section on www.fitcitychallenge.org for suggestions on how to incorporate more activity in your life.
Health concerns associated with smoking include cancer, lung disease, early menopause, infertility, and pregnancy complications. Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among those who are middle-aged. Second-hand smoke - smoke that you inhale when others smoke - also affects your health. If you smoke, quit today! Mecklenburg County Project ASSIST program offers resources to help you kick the habit. For other healthy living tips and resources, visit www.fitcitychallenge.org.
Know Yourself and Your Risks
Your parents and ancestors help determine some of who you are. Your habits, work and home environments, and lifestyle also help to define your health and your risks. You may be at an increased risk for certain diseases or conditions because of what you do, where you work, and how you play. Being healthy means doing some homework, knowing yourself, and knowing what's best for you... because you are one of a kind.
Be Safe - Protect Yourself
What comes to mind when you think about safety and protecting yourself? Is it fastening seat belts, applying sunscreen, wearing helmets, or having smoke detectors? It's all of these and more. It's everything from washing your hands to watching your relationships. Did you know that men at work die most frequently from motor vehicle incidents, machine-related injuries, homicides, and falls? Take steps to protect yourself and others wherever you are.