Most men know the basic health drill: eat more fresh, mostly organic foods; don’t smoke; exercise; and get an annual health exam. But there’s more to being a healthy, sexy man than choosing organic beef and hitting the gym a few days a week. Follow some of the “secrets” we list here and, in just a couple of weeks, you’ll see a boost in your vitality—and you might just live longer, too.
Take a time out. Getting into the Zen of the present moment 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; getting outdoors for a walk (without your headphones); taking a yoga class; or checking out a meditation app.
LMAO. Here’s a good excuse to go to a comedy club with the guys: Laughing eases stress, promotes social bonding, 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.
Power-up the morning. Skipping breakfast will make you feel lethargic and give you middle-of-the-day cravings for sugar and other foods that will expand your waistline. A balanced breakfast—say, a bowl of oatmeal topped with raisins, walnuts, and a dash of flax seed, plus a side of eggs—will rev-up your metabolism and maintain your energy. Plus, fiber in your daily diet regulates digestion and can moderate inflammation, cut your risk for diabetes, and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
Pour a cup of green. Drinking a few cups of green tea each day 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 the next best thing to a glass of water for hydration, too.
Eat a rainbow. Every meal should include a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can reap the health benefits. Vibrantly colored produce is packed with flavonoids and carotenoids, powerful compounds that help reduce inflammation. Antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens may be some of the best cancer-preventing foods. They also help with weight management and regulate digestion.
Look sharp. You know to protect your skin with daily use of sunscreen with at least SPF 15, but don’t forget about protecting your eyes. Get your Joe Cool style and protect your eyes against cataracts, cancer, and even sunburn by choosing shades that provide 99-100% UV absorption or UV 400.
Hit the sack. Jimmy Fallon might be funny, but the late hours won’t do much for your health. The number of hours of sleep needed varies for everyone. What’s most important is the quality of sleep you get. If you feel refreshed and ready for the day when you wake, then you’re getting good sleep. If you don’t, it’s time to change your pre-bedtime habits: Turn off digital devices an hour before bedtime; eat your last meal before 7 p.m.; stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule and … watch Jimmy the next day while you’re working out.
Sex it up. A relaxed, well-rested man has better sex. In turn, 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.
Your wellness provider can help keep you in good health, but the responsibility ultimately falls on you. Check in with your doc once a year for cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, and a colonoscopy and prostate exam. There are not many cancers that we can either prevent or detect early enough to make a difference, but these are two. You’re worth it, right?
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.
Monash University. “The Health Benefits of Meditation and Being Mindful.”
Talking About Men’s Health. “Secret to Better Sex? Get Better Sleep!”