Health, safety, and overall wellness are hot topics these days and this June we're sharing important health tips in honor of Men's Health Month. This is a chance, for you men, to check in with yourselves and reevaluate your fitness levels, eating habits, hydration, and mental health, too. Whether you are someone's husband, father, caretaker, brother, uncle, or son, you must take care of yourself in order to show up for others. Heart Disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States and worldwide, so please take a few moments to educate yourself and better yourself through positive action.
Healthy FatsWhether your six-pack is worthy of a Men's Health magazine cover, or your dad bod brings all the ladies ‘to the yard,’ healthy fats can work in your favor:
- Here Fishy, Fishy: Ever thought about swapping that steak for a piece of fish? Here is why – not only is fish a lean protein, but it also consists of omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to a healthy heart. Fish containing the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids are mackerel and salmon.
- Avocados: Known to be particularly rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, eating this versatile fruit can contribute to cardiovascular health. They are perfect for breakfast toast or easily tossed on a salad. Check out one of favorite ways to eat avocados HERE!
- Olive Oil: Apart from its beneficial fatty acids, it contains modest amounts of Vitamins E and K and is protective against heart disease. The monounsaturated fats in extra virgin olive oil make it a healthy cooking alternative to butter.
ExerciseOpening the pickle jar and lifting the remote don't count as exercise, bro. However, you don’t need to get "swole" to get the sufficient amounts of exercise vital to a healthy cardiovascular system:
- 30 Minute Goal: Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day whether it's walking, jogging, or an exercise class. Getting your heart pumping will help improve circulation and exercise that very important muscle – your heart! Getting your heart rate up can help expand your blood vessels contributing to the transportation of oxygen and overall cardiovascular health. TIP: To build endurance, try breaking up your workout into intervals and taking a couple of minutes of rest in between. For example, begin the 5 minutes of jump-rope, 5 minutes of jumping jacks, and 5 minutes of sit-ups, rest and repeat until you reach 30 minutes.
- Easy ways to increase your heart rate include going for a walk, riding a bike, climbing stairs, jumping jacks, or push-ups. If you don't have 30 minutes, break it up into 10 or 15 minute time increments! Fun ways to get your 30 minutes in may include activities such as swimming, paddle boarding, or indoor rock climbing.
- Don't overdo it! But, don't under-do it, either. Remember that it's important to work your way up to a comfortable work out regimen and pace. If you're just getting back into the gym or working out, start slow then build on your work out each week.
FiberMen, depending on their age, need anywhere from 30-38 grams of fiber per day. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure you are getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber works in everyone's favor, but for those on-the-go, this essential nutrient is required to having a complete heart-healthy diet. Plus, eating more fiber on a regular basis will help your body to keep things moving, if you get the drift, leaving you feeling less bloated while avoiding constipation. That's a win-win!
- Fruits and Veggies: fresh fruit and vegetables are one of the best (and tastiest) ways to make sure you're eating enough fiber – unlike chalky tablets and powders.
- Nuts and Seeds: Although small, nuts and seeds are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and those healthy fats we talked about. Try adding flaxseeds or hemp seeds on top of a salad or mix chia seeds into oatmeal. They will hep you to feel more full and easily add a ton of nutrition to your meal.
- Beans: Not only are beans a great source of protein, but they are high in minerals and fiber. They also have the ability to improve your blood cholesterol.
If you are looking for more information on these specific foods please take a look at our A-Z Food Guide to find out more!