This article appeared in the November 2022 issue of The Link. To receive Oak Valley Health’s community newsletter, subscribe now.
Unhealthy behaviours can be dangerous, but small changes can make a big impact.
Did you know that according to the Canadian Men's Health Foundation, over 70 per cent of Canadian men have unhealthy habits – almost all of which are preventable. "It’s important to recognize positive and negative actions when it comes to your health," says Dr. Adeel Sheik, a Urologist at Oak Valley Health’s Markham Stouffville Hospital Surgery department.
“Some of the common unhealthy behaviours of Canadian men are lack of sleep, smoking, alcohol consumption, inactivity, and unhealthy eating,” says Dr. Sheikh. “These behaviours can also lead to chronic stress, which can cause or impact a wide-range of serious health issues.”
Here are some tips that men can incorporate into their daily lives to create healthy change.
A good night sleep
Make sure you turn off the TV at least 30 minutes before bed – even if that means saving the last episode of the series you’re binging until tomorrow. Being tense before bed can cause your body to produce cortisol, which can inhibit restful sleep.
Smoke free environment
Quitting smoking can be tough. But when you are ready, try to time it right. Avoid the holidays, stressful work deadlines, or when the Leafs are in the playoffs. A calm period may lead to greater success.
Make sure you give your body a couple days a week alcohol free. One tends to drink slower when eating, so think about reserving that glass of wine or two for around the dinner table.
Remember: you might not be in your prime anymore. Understand that you should exercise based on your current fitness level. Activity can include a trip to the gym, but it can also be walking the dog, mowing the lawn, or maybe try some parkour (or maybe not).
Watch out for temptations. Stay away from fast food. If you need a quick snack, check out the grocery store. They usually have healthier prepared meals than what you might order from fast food places.
Know your history
Knowing your family history can help your future. Hereditary diseases can be kept at bay when you know how to keep yourself healthy and plan for routine check-ups.
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