Men are notorious for not going to the doctor when they should, which makes them more likely to die from leading causes of death than women. And, unless the physical issue has us in great pain, we tend to take our health for granted, putting off any minor discomfort as something that can wait till tomorrow.
Ironically, men will schedule regular maintenance for their cars so they don’t break down, but neglect their own bodies. Studies show that at least one-third of men haven’t been to the doctor in over one year. Meanwhile, most men change the oil in their cars every 3,000 to 5,000 miles like clockwork.
While skipping your vehicle’s maintenance requirements can have an adverse effect on its performance and longevity on the road, the same can be said about the human body. Many risk factors for long-term chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, can be silent for years before they cause recognizable symptoms.
It’s time men start treating their bodies more like their cars. After all, you wouldn’t ignore a pinging noise from the engine or an oil leak on your driveway, would you?
Below are 10 simple things that might keep your internal engine running smoother and increase your longevity:
1. Develop an exercise routine or activity you enjoy
It’s important to find an activity you enjoy to enhance your fitness and help reduce stress. Playing tennis, racquetball, working out at the gym or simply walking your dog can all keep you fit and feeling better.
2. Cut back on saturated fats
While you might enjoy a good steak every so often, consuming excessive amounts of animal proteins can be hazardous to your health. Red meat contains harmful saturated fat, which is known to increase the risk of heart disease and colon cancer. You may want to intake more vegetables and fish to reduce cholesterol levels.
3. Try to get a good eight hours of sleep every night
Quality sleep can be hard to come by, especially if you’re under a lot of stress. Find a routine that allows you to turn in at a reasonable hour and avoid staring at a computer screen or watching the late night news at least a half-hour before hitting the pillow.
4. Drink alcohol in moderation
Keep your alcohol intake at a moderate level. Limiting consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink a day for women has been linked to heart-health promoting effects. However, despite what you may think, that nightcap you insist on having can actually have an adverse effect and interfere with the quality of sleep you get.
5. Fuel up on fiber
Fiber is a vital part of your daily diet. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all loaded with fiber, which has been shown to help prevent various cancers and reduce cholesterol.
6. Find and maintain a healthy weight
Finding a healthy weight can sometimes be difficult, depending on what’s currently going on in your life. But, if at all possible, find a weight you’re comfortable with. A few extra pounds can affect your health as well as your confidence and self-esteem. Trim down on food portions and focus more on vegetables, fruits and whole grains instead of red meat, pizza and fast food.
7. Choose snacks that are good for you
Candy bars aren’t good for you – so avoid them. Men tend to rely mostly on three meals a day, while women are more likely to snack between meals. It’s better to have an apple or other fruit, celery sticks, or baby carrots than to gorge on something bad for you. Combining protein with the right amount of carbs can prevent overeating and keep fatigue or irritability to a minimum.
8. Keep your radiator full of water
Just as your car needs water and coolant to prevent overheating, your body needs water to keep it properly hydrated. By doing so, you can better identify hunger, maintain energy levels, and help muscles function optimally. About 64 ounces of water per day should do it, particularly on hot days, when you’re exercising or when alcohol and caffeine are part of the menu – because all can be dehydrating.
9. Schedule an annual physical exam
Your annual physical exam is your time to go over your general health with your doctor. During your visit, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history and ask you questions in order to better understand your concerns or specific health issues. They may do a series of tests, check your blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate, among other things.
10. Get a prostate exam if you’re over the age of 40
Consider getting a prostate exam to eliminate the possibility of prostate cancer. Reaching the age of 40 doesn’t make it automatic, but catching it in its early stages makes an enormous difference in your chance of survival. Prostate cancer has one of the best remission rates of any type of cancer.
Keeping yourself healthy should be as important to you as maintaining your car’s vital parts working properly.
Now’s the time to follow though by making sure you have the best health care rates available and the coverage that best fits your needs. Whether you call it Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, your health is your most valuable possession. Why not get a free health insurance quote today?
Do you take better care of your car than you take care of yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.