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Taking Care of Our Men

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He pays close attention to the size of his bankbook, ensures his car gets a regular checkup, and cleans his stereo system meticulously. Yet, when it comes to taking action on his own health, he is notorious for ignoring health complaints, and takes preventive steps only as a last resort.

He pays close attention to the size of his bankbook, ensures his car gets a regular checkup, and cleans his stereo system meticulously. Yet, when it comes to taking action on his own health, he is notorious for ignoring health complaints, and takes preventive steps only as a last resort.

Recognize this man? Many women will. Health concerns for men can start to develop as early as their 30's, so the right time to take preventive steps is now! How can we approach our reluctant man about his health?

Female Persuasion

I think it's best for women to make health changes for themselves first. Whether it's joining a gym, seeing a healthcare practitioner, or stocking the pantry with healthy food items, men are bound to follow along.

If a woman finds herself with a real stubborn fellow, she must take charge. Research clearly shows that married men or men who are in relationships live longer, healthier lives. Whether it's making deals or compromises or setting goals as a couple, changes in health can occur.

Heart Health

This is a key issue as it is estimated that one-half of all male deaths are due to some form of cardiovascular disease, much of which is preventable. Risk factors are smoking, lack of exercise, family history, and obesity.

Making a Difference

Men of all ages should visit their health care practitioner for a full checkup, including blood pressure and total cholesterol reading. The doctor may also suggest additional blood tests to determine homocysteine and blood sugar levels.

Exercise regularly and use stress management techniques.

Eat a nutritious diet geared toward preventing and even reversing heart disease. Select a range of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (cold-water fish, egg whites, chicken, turkey, and soy) and whole grain foods. Foods high in soluble fibre help to reduce cholesterol. Healthy fats in moderation such as those found in nuts, seeds, flax, and fish oils are also excellent for preserving and maintaining arterial wall function and optimizing heart health. Eliminate, wherever possible, refined flours, sugars, full fat cheeses, red meat and partially hydrogenated fat (a.k.a. trans fatty acids).

Proper supplementing with vitamins and minerals is also essential.

Acupuncture, acupressure, hypnosis, behavioural therapy, and exercise have been shown to help men who smoke quit for life.

Mental Health

Suicide rates for men are four times higher than those for women. Men are far more likely to keep emotions bottled up to the point where health can suffer. High blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety attacks can be linked to this underlying stress.

Encourage your man to engage in physical activity, talking, journaling, and/or meditating, and, if necessary, psychological therapy to release and deal with potentially harmful stress.

Sexual Health

Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability for a man to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, is a condition that has been reported to affect between 10- to 30-million men in the US alone. Causes of ED include stress, poor blood flow, alcohol and/or drug intake, and fatigue.

A promising study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy (May-June, 2003; 29 [3]) reports that 92.5 per cent of men experienced normal erections when treated with a combination of arginine (a semi-essential amino acid) in a drinkable solution equivalent to 1.7 grams per day and pycnogenol (a compound of pine bark) in three 40-milligram tablets daily.

Supplements For Optimal Health in Your Man

  • Selenium - 200 micrograms daily for heart health.
  • Fish oils - Integral for heart health and maintaining proper blood flow (two to three capsules daily).
  • Green food supplements - loaded with disease-fighting nutrients calledphytochemicals. Mix into your man's juice or breakfast shake daily.
  • High quality multi-vitamin - A nutritional safety net that should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet.
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