It’s the time of year people start reflecting on their lifestyle choices, considering what resolutions they can make to improve themselves and their health in the coming year. Men who are looking to make 2019 a healthier year than years past should think about making a few simple changes they can commit to following through on.
The key is to make your goals realistic, but don’t undersell yourself. You can do more than you give yourself credit for.
Here are some easy ideas for how men can make 2019 their healthiest year yet.
Establish a balanced exercise routine
With exercise, it’s important to take into account the whole body, which means doing more than lifting weights or doing leg presses day in and day out. A balanced exercise routine should include strength and cardio workouts that target different parts of the body.
“It’s recommended that adults get up to two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, with at least two days dedicated to strength training,” according to Medical Daily. “That physical activity can include speed walking, jogging, biking, and swimming, among other activities.”
When measuring success, don’t get hung up on pounds lost. Body measurements (i.e. waist, hips, thigh, chest) can give you a more accurate measurement of your progress.
“It’s helpful, for example, if your weight hasn’t changed but you’ve dropped two pant sizes,” Livestrong.com explains. “It shows you’ve probably gained muscle and lost fat so the scale shows a net loss of zero.”
Emphasize whole grains and produce
One New Year’s resolution could be as simple as adding some color and variety to your diet. Less-active men should eat 2 cups of fruits and 3 1/2 cups of vegetables per day, according to fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org. The more active you are, the more fruits and vegetables you’ll need to eat. Don’t let your new exercise routine give you an excuse to eat more junk food.
The same principle goes for whole grains. “Eating at least the recommended amount of whole grains may help lower your risk for health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity,” says research cited by oureverydaylife.com.
If starting an entirely new diet regimen sounds too intimidating, make a goal to eat one more fruit or vegetable per day. When you’re able to meet that goal, take the next step and add more fruits and vegetables to your daily meal plan.
Schedule a doctor’s visit
Surveys compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015 found that men are about 20 percent less likely to see a doctor for an annual checkup than women. Putting off visits to the doctor can mean symptoms go unreported and untreated for longer, putting you at higher risk of long-term health effects.
Make your annual checkup one of your healthy 2019 resolutions. Before you go, make a list of any symptoms you’ve noticed, even things you might consider too small to be worried about.
For instance, many men with hypogonadism or low testosterone may not recognize their symptoms for what they are. ViTal4men recommends telling your doctor about symptoms such as decreased energy, irritability, depression and low libido, as these may be signs of low testosterone. Your doctor can perform a simple blood test during your visit to determine whether your testosterone levels are low. Normal testosterone levels in healthy men should be between 350 ng/dL and 1,000 ng/dL.
For more information on symptoms of and treatments for low testosterone or to take a free testosterone level test, call or visit a viTal4men primary care location today.