Most of you guys know the basics of a healthy lifestyle: eat more fresh organic foods, don't smoke, exercise, and get an annual health exam. But there's more to being a healthy, desirable dude than choosing organic beef and hitting the gym a few days a week. Below are some great tips for boosting your vitality, longevity and sex appeal.
Chill Out and breathe. Breathing deeply reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases energy, and improves memory and immunity. A relaxed man also has better sex. Slow down for just 10-20 minutes a few days a week: try deep, belly breathing, get outside for a walk, take a yoga class, or try out a meditation app.
Laugh it up! Need an excuse for a guys night out? Hit a comedy club with the boys! Laughing eases stress, creates closer friendships, and lowers blood pressure. It may even boost your immune system. So bring some humor into your life, whether it's with friends, a funny book, or a movie.
Fuel for success. Skipping breakfast will make you feel lethargic and give you cravings later in the day for sugar and other foods that don't serve you. A nutritious breakfast that contains plenty of protein, fiber, and some healthy fats - think veggie omelet or a protein and greens smoothie with hemp seeds or almond butter - will boost your metabolism and give you sustained energy throughout the day. Protein and fat will help keep you full and satisfied, while fiber will regulate digestion, reduce inflammation, cut your risk for diabetes, and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
Go green. Drinking a few cups of organic green tea daily can improve memory and cognition in men. Rich in cancer-fighting polyphenols, green tea is also credited with boosting immunity, firing up your metabolism, and lowering blood pressure. Low in caffeine, green tea is great for giving you a little energy boost without the harsh effects of coffee.
Eat the rainbow. Every meal should include a variety of colorful vegetables to give you the widest variety of nutrients. Vibrantly colored produce is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients which reduce inflammation and prevent cancer and other diseases. They also help with weight management and healthy digestion.
Protect your peepers. You probably know the importance of protecting your skin with daily use of a non-toxic zinc or titanium sunscreen, but don't forget about protecting those eyes. Look cool and protect your eyes against cataracts, cancer, and even sunburn by choosing shades that provide 99-100% UV absorption or UV 400.
Go to bed. Staying up to watch your favorite show may be tempting, but being a night owl won't do much for your health. Research shows that less than 7 hours of sleep is detrimental to your health and well-being and even effects your ability to build muscle and burn fat. Quantity of sleep is important but what's most important is the quality of sleep you get. If you feel refreshed and ready for the day when you wake up, then you're getting good sleep. If you don't, it's time to change your bedtime habits: Turn off wi-fi and digital devices at least an hour or two before bedtime; eat your last meal 2-3 hours before going to sleep; stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule and ... use that DVR to watch your shows the next day.
Get busy. A relaxed, well-rested man has better sex. Healthy, safe sex can make you look and feel younger, reduce stress, boost immunity, enhance sleep, protect against prostate cancer, and improve cardiovascular health. Some studies even suggest a link between the frequency and enjoyment of sex with longevity. Yes sir, sex just might help you live longer.
Many men neglect their health and avoid regular check-ups, but not you! You're a modern, intelligent, enlightened guy who understands the importance of health and wellness, so be sure to check in with your doc once a year for blood work and blood pressure screenings, and get a colonoscopy and prostate exam (the easiest cancers to detect early and treat). Your nutritionist, trainer or doctor can help guide you toward good health, but ultimately it's up to you. Your everyday habits are what have the greatest impact on your long-term health and the more you practice these habits, the sooner they will become second nature.
• Authority Nutrition "10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea." Accessed April 2015.
• Chang, A., et al."Evening Use of Light-emitting eReaders Negatively Affects Sleep, Circadian Timing, and Next-morning Alertness." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 4 (January 27, 2015): 1232-1237
• Glaucoma Research Foundation."A Guide to Sunglasses." Reviewed April 16, 2013.
• Monash University "The Health Benefits of Meditation and Being Mindful." Accessed April 2015.
• Talking About Men's Health "Secret to Better Sex? Get Better Sleep!" March 25, 2015.