Why do many men try to fool themselves into thinking they can wait to focus on their health until sometime in the future when they’re less busy? The reality is all too often that the habits many men develop and maintain in our 20s and 30s end up shaping them.
This is according to Dr. Martin Miner, Regional Medical Director of Vault Health (a men’s telehealth company). Dr. Miner is an expert authority on aging successfully and integrative men’s health.
Dr. Miner has revealed to Digital Journal six important habits that most men over 30 are NOT currently doing to improve their health (and instead should be). These are:
- Realizing that your body is communicating with you. Becoming acutely aware of your own physical and emotional feelings is something many men neglect to do, and it has a negative impact on their health as they age. Take command of your feelings and life and learn to take actions that steer the ship the way you want to go.
- Going to the doctor when you’re not sick. Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start.
- Rethinking your typical daily diet. The days of gorging without gaining weight are over. And as your metabolism slows, eating fewer calories can boost health. But you should also make sure to get adequate nutrients, vitamins, and fluids.
- Exercising consistently (instead of intermittently). Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood.
- Taking stress reduction seriously. The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease. Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you live and age well. In addition, testosterone levels are reduced in response to stress according to studies.
- Investing in your relationships. This is more crucial than ever coming off the heels of this pandemic when many people have slipped into isolation. Studies show that meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve mental and physical well-being and longevity. If you don’t currently have an active social life, look for opportunities to reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Seek out like-minded others at work, church groups, volunteer activities, gyms, alumni groups, or any other group that corresponds to an interest of yours.
Dr. Miner also notes that aging gracefully is not about trying to look like a 20-something. Instead, it is “about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care”.
So, what to do if you’re in this situation. Dr. Miner advises: “Ideally, you’ll have already been practicing healthy habits throughout your life. But even if you haven’t, it’s never too late to start taking proactive steps to maintain and even improve your health.”
He adds: “The good news is, it’s never too late to adopt new habits and improve your lifestyle.”