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The quality of men’s health impacts not only men, but their families and loved ones. I'd like to cover three main points about men’s health. First, what are the health concerns for men? Second, why are men prone to these health problems? Third, how can men improve their health?
The Centers for Disease Control reports that men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 93% or workplace deaths. The increased death rates come from engaging in risky behaviors like not paying attention to their body, taking unnecessary risks, or overdoing things like work or physical activity. These risky behaviors are exacerbated by men's difficulty to connect emotionally. Generally, men feel uncomfortable expressing their feelings and instead islolate themselves. In so doing, men experience feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Because men isolate rather than express, they experience difficulty in relationships. The capacity for meaninfgul and fulfuilling intimacy can be problematic. Why are men prone to such health risks and behaviors?
Men receive unhealthy messages of what healthy manhood is. Images of bravado and “macho-men” are encouraged and celebrated in our culture. Men try to live up to these unrealistic and false images of self. As an attempt to avoid feeling weak or insignificant, men lose sight of their purpose, live unfulfilled lives, and adopt unhealthy habits that lead to increased health risks. So, what can men do to transcend these unhealthy messages of manhood and take better care of themselves?
Men, here is a five step process you can use to improve your health:
First, decide that your health is important. Remember that you will not be able to protect your family and care for them if you are not well and in full working order yourself. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In this case, it is you deciding that you are worth it to care for.
Second, you need to cultivate an awareness of your body and how you are feeling. Aches and pains are not meant to be ignored. They are your bodies signal that something is wrong. In the same way you would change your car’s oil after 3000 miles; your body also needs frequent attention.
Third, develop a goal and plan for how you would like your health to be. A healthy goal could include eating better; exercising routinely, developing a yoga practice, seeking relationship counseling, visiting your homeopath or other natural health care practitioner. A healthy plan also involves cultivating a proper support network for your goal. Enlist the help of friends and family for your desires of improved health. Find a workout buddy or encouraging person who can keep you accountable.
Fourth, do it! Nothing happens without your action. Make that appointment you've wanted to make. Implement your new eating or exercising plan. If you're having troubles getting started, reach out to your support group. Go back to step 3 and reevaluate your plan if it stops after a couple of weeks. Make adjustments as needed.
Fifth, enjoy your new changes! Reward yourself after a few months for maintaining your new, healthy life. Going back to step 1, use your new habit of awareness to notice how much better you feel. Be grateful for how much energy you have or how much better you sleep. Celebrate the new you!
It's possible for men to experience greater qualities of life that impact them personally, as well as for the families and friends they love and who love them in return!
Thanks for reading and be well!
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