Guys: How to Tell if You're Healthy
We all want to be healthy. Paying attention to signs of good health not only feels good, but is also a smart way to help you spot potential health problems before they get serious.
Signs of Health
- Your resting heart rate is between 70-75 beats per minute. Your resting heart rate is a great indicator of your overall fitness level and state of health. Although a resting heart rate will vary with age, for the average healthy male, a rate between 70 and 75 beats per minute is a reasonable target. To measure your pulse, place two fingers on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, look at your watch and count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by four to get your heart rate per minute.
- Your urine is pale yellow. Your urine can reveal important information about your state of health. Ideally your urine should be pale yellow. However, if you drink a lot of fluids, your urine will likely be clear (this is also healthy). On the other hand, if you are dehydrated, your urine will have a dark, brownish tinge. In this case, drink more water. If you notice a sweet smell, an odd odor, a drop of red, or some other color change that seems unrelated to any food, medication or supplement you've recently consumed--don't ignore this. Contact your doctor.
- You are not carrying around extra belly fat. Men who carry around belly fat are at greater risk for health problems than men who carry around fat in other areas. Some of the risks include: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and sleep apnea. For most men, the risk factors increase with a waist size greater than 40 inches. To measure your waist, place a tape measure around your bare abdomen just above your hip bones until it fits snugly around. Relax, exhale, and measure your waist (and don't suck it in!).
- Your concentration level is strong. Many of us pride ourselves on having sharp minds. However, if you are having trouble concentrating, remembering things, or staying motivated, your stress level may be too high, or you may be at risk for depression. Don't stuff your feelings inside. Contact your doctor for a consultation.
- You are able to maintain a healthy erection. Erectile dysfunction is common for men with diabetes, and is also linked to other health issues such as high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Although you may be reluctant to bring up ED with your doctor, don't let embarrassment keep you from getting help.
Healthy Lifestyle Practices for Men
If you want to remain a healthy, follow the tips below.
The best way to stay healthy is to prevent problems before they occur. Incorporate these basic healthy lifestyle choices and you'll be that healthy guy you want to be.
- Go to your doctor. Visit your doctor yearly for a physical exam.
- Take part in preventative care. Get the recommended screening exams (i.e. cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, depression, obesity, cancer).
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, get help with quitting. Also, do your best to limit your exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Alcohol in moderation. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Stay physically active. Get 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise five to six days a week. Take a rest day.
- Eat healthy whole foods. Nourish your mind and body with a healthy diet. Choose foods that are low in fat and sodium, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, consider smaller portion sizes, and eat organic as often as possible.
- Remain at a healthy weight. Being overweight puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other health issues. Eat healthy, whole foods and exercise regularly to keep yourself in good form.
Pay attention to your health. If you notice signs that fall out of the range of a healthy guy, this may indicate an underlying health issue. Don't ignore them. Contact your doctor.
"Men's Health." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 4 May 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/men.htm
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Men's Health: Preventing Your Top 10 Threats." MayoClinic.com. Web. 4 May, 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mens-health/mc00013
Mayo Clinic Staff. "10 Symptoms Not to Ignore." MayoClinic.com. Web. 4 May 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/symptoms/GA00054
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