1. Stay hydrated. Unfortunately, many men don’t make staying hydrated a priority. As we get older is, we lose our sense of thirst and if you wait until you feel thirsty, it’s already too late and you are dehydrated.
Once you get used to getting enough fluids, you’ll want to continue because, everything works better when you’re hydrated. Your metabolism, brain, joints and even your eyes work better.
2. Get enough shut-eye. Everything works better when you’ve had a good sleep. It’s important to stick to a schedule and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Not getting enough sleep can be harmful and you may find yourself tired all the time. If you are finding you are often tired, you might have a stress or apnea condition that is making it difficult to get the sleep you need, be sure to talk to your doctor and get to the bottom of the issue.
3. Manage your stress. It’s no secret that stress can be a health hazard. It’s a factor in issues including heart disease, high blood pressure and other ailments. It also can make it difficult for you to enjoy the best things in life from relaxing, enjoying your family, engaging in meaningful conversation with friends or even getting absorbed in a good book and, of course, getting a good night’s sleep. It’s so important to find ways to combat stress. Taking time to breathe, starting an exercise routine, cutting down on caffeine and talking to your doctor are just a few examples of reducing stress.
4. Exercise. The standard, we’re told, is that all adults should exercise for at least 15 minutes, three times a week; however, only approximately 10 to 15 percent of older adults do that. If you’re trying to get more exercise a good place to start is ridding your mind of the recommended distance or time requirements. Simply go for a walk and when you feel you’ve hit 30 percent of what you can do —stop. Then go home, record the amount of time you exercised on your calendar and try to do 30-to-60-seconds more after giving yourself a day in between to rest. Exercise helps in so many ways: makes your body stronger, helps you sleep better, relieves stress, give you more energy, plus it can be really fun.
5. Be more flexible. Many people, even those who exercise regularly, don’t stretch enough. It’s important to remember flexibility is vital for your posture and for building strong muscles and stretching makes you more flexible. Be sure to stretch for a few minutes every single day.
6. Build muscles. Your joints are only as strong as the muscles surrounding them. So muscle-building, especially for older men, is as important for healthy shoulders, knees and other joints as it is for body strength. Talk to your doctor about what exercises will work best for you.
7. Balanced Diet. Maintaining a well balanced diet will help keep you healthy and feeling your best. Experts cautions against the popular low-carb diets for older men because too many proteins can be difficult to digest and are higher in calories than most complex carbohydrates. Simply keeping a well balanced diet consisting of Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts are good sources of protein, too.
8. Quit Smoking. It is never too late to quit smoking! As soon as a smoker quits, the body begins to heal the damage caused by smoking. Smokers who quit will quickly notice they can breathe easier, have more energy, lose the “smoker’s cough” and have a better sense of taste and smell. For long-term health, quitting smoking lowers the risk of hearth attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Quitting smoking can help men over age 60 feel better and help them to be more active with family and friends.
Men’s health tips
Here are some healthy tips (mostly from the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Association) to help you get started bettering your health:
- Have a physical exam annually
- Have your blood pressure checked annually unless you have certain conditions such as diabetes
- Have your cholesterol checked every 5 years unless you have elevated results or certain conditions including diabetes or heart disease
- If you have smoked and are between 65 – 75, have an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
- Have a diabetes test every 3 years depending on your risk factors
- Get screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50.
- Have an eye exam every 1-2 years if you have vision problems
- Have a dental checkup at least annually
- Get a flu shot annually
- If you're a smoker talk to your doctor. There are many options to help you quit.
- Discuss a prostate cancer screening with your doctor. It is not recommended after age 75
- A hearing test is only needed if you have hearing loss or problems
Always discuss your health concerns and test results with your doctor. No matter how you are feeling now, it’s important to get regular checkups, assessments and screenings to help reduce your chances of developing diseases particularly as you age.