Around 80% of the major diseases threatening the lifespan of men – including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes – can be prevented by making the right lifestyle choices, according to the World Health Organization. Often, men make their way through their careers and daily lives, impervious to the important role they can play in their own health and well-being. The following tips may help to ensure you do everything you can to make the most of your life.

Regular Health Screenings Are Vital

Believe it or not, from the early age of 28, men should already start having their yearly checkups for various readings and conditions, including blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease (the latter should start at around 20), diabetes, dental issues, eye health, infectious diseases, and even mental health. Your family doctor should be able to give you a full run-down of the tests that are appropriate for your age. Some (such as prostate cancer tests) need to be carried out later in life – for men with an average risk, for instance, prostate cancer tests should be carried out at around the age of 50.

Consuming A Healthy Diet

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Depending on your activity level and the recommendations of your doctor, a change in diet may be required. Currently, a diet that many doctors recommend is a Mediterranean-style diet, comprising lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, pulses and grains, and healthy, Omega-3-rich fats. Amino acids are also healthful nutrients you should consume in abundance. These can be divided into essential and non-essential acids. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and need to be consumed in food. Just a few include lysine (vital for immunity and found in red meat, Parmesan cheese, soybeans, and spirulina); methionine (for cell functioning, found in eggs and fish); and leucine (key for stamina and performance and found in canned beans, squash seeds, meat and eggs). If you are very sporty, talk to your doctor about how to include more amino acids into your diet.

Protecting Men’s Health

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Men tend to put off obtaining support for mental issues like depression and anxiety because they think they are supposed to be self-reliant and meant to take charge of difficult situations. However, depression and anxiety can be so serious that they interfere with everyday tasks and wrest from the quality of one’s life. It is therefore important to tackle mental health proactively every day. Physical activity is a powerful way to keep cortisol levels down. For an extra push, include a few holistic activities into your weekly workouts. Yoga and mindfulness meditation in particular are used in situations in which stress is high (including rehabilitation for cancer and substance abuse recovery) because of their known ability to keep stress down long-term.

Keeping your health in check involves both long-term and immediate actions. To start your health plan, speak to your doctor about how often you should screen (and for what conditions or aspects of health). Adopt a healthy diet, stay active, and don’t forget to be as vigilant about your mental health as you are about your physical health.

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