PRIORITISING YOUR HEALTH - WHAT CAN MEN DO BETTER?
For many males, we tend to be the “bread winner” in the household.
It is becoming more common that we take on excessive workloads, to the extent that it begins to take a toll on our health, be it mental and/or physical.
We become sleep deprived, lack energy, notice a reduction in our productivity and we even notice negative things popping into our personal lives.
For this reason, it’s important to remember this…
BEFORE, I go on, the following input comes from Dylan Mena, Owner of A1 Coaching - Take it away Legend!!
YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST.
When you board a flight, the flight attendants take you through the standard safety guidelines in the case of an emergency.
Notice that they always tell you to fit your own mask first before attending to anyone else?
Because if you don’t look after your own health, who will…?
Amongst the busy life you may live, make sure you’re dedicating some time and energy to looking after yourself.
Here’s some key principles to help live a healthier lifestyle…
REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
It’s no secret that regular exercise has many positive benefits to our health.
But are you making time for it?
It doesn’t have to be a vigorous program in the gym.
It can be anything from yoga & pilates, resistance training, walks or runs by the beach, or even engaging social or competitive sport.
Some might even prefer doing some basic bodyweight exercises within the comfort of your own home.
My advice – do something you enjoy!
If you enjoy participating in a particular activity, you’re much more likely to make it a habit and part of your weekly routine.
Engaging in regular activity can improve your cardiovascular health, body composition, weight loss, energy levels, hormonal profile, strength, mobility, digestive function, cognitive function, the list goes on…
Not only will this help you to be a healthier individual, but it can also have a positive impact on your productivity at work.
Open the opportunity to get more done in shorter time frames, and potentially freeing up more time for yourself – win/win.
A WELL-BALANCED DIET
Perhaps one of the easiest ways we can look after our health is ensuring we provide our body with a nutritious diet.
We all need to eat.
If we can make some better choices as to what those meals consist of, we can be providing our body with much higher quality energy sources, packed with micronutrients we need to have our body working at a higher capacity.
A few key considerations to help improve your diet:
The less processed, the better.
Our society is surrounded with fast food and convenience foods. Unfortunately, most of this type of food has been through multiple processes, stripped of important nutrients and filled with preservatives to increase shelf life. Sodium and sugar levels are through the roof, and it provides us little benefit besides filling our stomach.
Aim for less processed foods as often as possible.
Natural sources of fruits, vegetables, proteins & grains are always going to provide you with a better micronutrient profile, whilst also reducing your ingestion of unnecessary additives.
Variety – keep mixing it up.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.
In fact, when you do it properly, it can be so much more enjoyable.
You might have heard the saying “eat the colours of the rainbow”
What that means is, aim to get a good variety of foods into your diet, as opposed to eating the same thing day after day.
Different foods offer different nutrients.
So, to get the most from your nutrition, look to have a variety of different protein sources, and mix up your carbohydrate & fat sources too.
Even when we do something we love; we are bound to be faced with stressful times.
It’s important to take measures to help us balance out times of stress with times peace & quiet.
Whilst the two above factors can definitely help with stress management, some others we also might consider include:
Working on improved sleep quality can go a long way in improving your health.
Sleep is one of the bodies biggest forms of recovery.
It’s an opportunity for your mind & body to wind down and reset for the day ahead.
If you’re lacking in sleep, then you’re not allowing that recovery to take place.
Instead you wake up the following morning, still carrying stress from the previous day, and so the cycle continues.
My recommendation here would be to work on your circadian rhythm.
Get your body used to waking up and going to bed at similar times.
That way, you’re teaching your mind & body when it’s time to be alert and productive, and also when it’s time to wind down and switch off.
Meditation & Breathwork
More recently there has been a growing trend of meditation and breathwork practices as a form of stress management.
This is because it opens the opportunity for you to slow down, stop and reset.
For some, finding that time can be a challenge.
The beauty with these practices is, they can be quite time efficient.
Meditation and breathwork can take as little as a few minutes, and there are a number of different apps that offer free guides to help you through it.
Taking just a few minutes a day to calm the body down can have positive effects on your daily health.
Remember, there is nothing selfish about prioritising your health.
In fact, it will only improve other aspects of your life.
*** If you found this article useful, feel free to share it but like always, before making any decisions about health and fitness, nutrition etc – please consult a professional in the relevant space.