Admit it. There are several habits you do that could be harming your health. Some are minor, while others can potentially be a risk factor for certain diseases. Nonetheless, these habits could stifle your relationships with others or have adverse consequences. This is not to shame men (women have bad health habits too) but to inform and rethink how you approach certain things that could be improved. And whoever said that improvement was bad?
Maybe you haven’t given it much thought, but we can benefit from bettering ourselves. And part of getting better is to take a hard look at how we take of our health and well-being. That’s an excellent place to start, and here’s a checklist on how to begin:
Checklist of bad health habits that can improve
- Being untidy
It’s hard to find peace in the middle of disorder. Does this sound like you? Take a look around where you live. No matter where your home is – big city, suburbs, or country – a man’s home is his castle. It doesn’t have to be spic-and-span clean 24/7, but at least have it neat most of the time. Each day, clean a section of your home regularly. It’s much easier to keep your home clean when you do something as simple as picking up your dirty clothes, putting them in the hamper, or stacking dirty dishes into the dishwasher each night. These small tasks give you a sense of accomplishment and even pride in how your home looks. Mentally, that’s a win-win.
- Poor personal hygiene
There are many things to say about someone who is physically unkempt. Answer these questions honestly: Do you take a daily shower? Do you keep your beard and hair trimmed neatly? Do you brush and floss your teeth twice a day? Do you keep your fingernails clean and manicured? Do you wear clean clothes every day? How you present yourself when you walk out of your home each day says a lot. Well-groomed men tell the world, “I respect myself,” while the guy who skips good-grooming habits also sends a message of, “I don’t care, or I’m unworthy to look good.”
Taking time to care for your hygiene is worth the effort. For instance, not taking care of your teeth can result in tooth decay or tooth loss. Skipping a daily shower and, most likely, your love life may suffer. A simple head-to-toe hygiene check can keep you on top of looking your best for the world to see.
- Living on takeout and ultra-processed foods
A frozen pizza or a burger and fries on occasion can be okay. But if fast food, TV dinners, and overly salty bagged foods washed down with sugary beverages or alcohol are your go-to meals, you are harming your health. Man cannot live on processed foods alone.
You must reconsider your food choices to avoid developing chronic diseases and gaining excess pounds. Start by looking up healthy recipes and making a grocery list of healthy foods. This list should include fresh or frozen vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, low-fat dairy, lean beef, poultry, and fatty fish that will phase out your old unhealthy eating habits. Your brain, heart, kidneys, and digestive system will thank you. Once you eat healthier, there’s no way you’ll want to go back to eating a nutrient-poor diet.
- Not being physically active
Hands down, a regular exercise routine is one of the best investments in your health. Physical activity is your body’s best friend, from aerobics to strength training to stretching. Increased energy and stamina, better sleep, reduced risk of infections and disease, strengthened immunity, better concentration, enhanced self-esteem, and increased longevity, it simply makes sense to move more each day.
Check with your doctor first if it’s been a while since you’ve worked out. Set realistic exercise goals. Begin gradually, easing yourself into movement, and slowly increase the duration, intensity, and length of your exercise sessions.
- Ignoring your mental health
Mental health matters. Unfortunately, this important aspect of health is often neglected by men. Most men grew up being taught to “man up” or “keep a stiff upper lip.” Men who do show emotion run the risk of being stigmatized or ostracized by other men. Yet, talking about what’s bothering a man struggling with mental health is what’s needed to work through their problems and hurts that need addressing. When these issues are ignored, they fester, and men often resort to drinking, using illegal drugs, or engaging in risky behavior as they act out their feelings in an unhealthy manner.
Men need to know there is nothing wrong with seeking mental health help. Find a trained and experienced mental health counselor you feel comfortable with. Learning appropriate ways to deal with anger, depression, anxiety, and stress can help immensely to gain the mental health you need and is a quality of life issue you deserve.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.