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Men can be men. This is a common sentiment about trying to get your male spouse or boyfriend or yourself to take some proactive action. It’s high stakes when it comes to your health and overall sense of wellness – there’s nothing more valuable than your health and being free of limiting symptoms or illness. It’s Father’s Day coming up and whether you’re a father or not, it’s a good time for men to take health-promoting action. It may be time to schedule a check-up with your physician or naturopathic doctor or chiropractor, and I’ve provided a few simple tips below that can promote better health and reduce common ailments and illnesses in men.

Improve your sleep

Quality sleep is fundamental to ensure a good mood and energy for the next day and for good immune function and even can help retain muscle mass and muscle function. Some tips to ensure a better night sleep are to set a bed time and stick to it, turn off stimulating devices such as the TV, tablets and smart phones and turn off the lights in the bedroom. Herbal teas can serve as natural sleep aids to help relax your nerves and mind – chamomile, linden, passion flower, lavender are some examples to drink 1-2 hours before your bed time.

Adjust your protein quality

Red meat has benefits in that it provides a good source of zinc, iron and vitamin B12 and of course protein. However, high intakes of red meat increase your risk for type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. I suggest you eat smaller portions of red meat instead of the sizes commonly found in restaurants – a normal serving size is between 2-4 ounces based on your weight. Try other types of proteins by switching out red meat including beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, poultry, fish and dairy products. These are simple tips you can implement today.

Protect your back to prevent back pain

It’s normal and beneficial to take part in intensive physical activity… but it’s important to maintain a good posture or alignment to avoid back injuries. Avoid lifting very heavy weights alone. Make sure to keep weights closer to your body when you carry items so you avoid the strain when you hold them too far away from your body.

When bending to pick up a weighty item, bend your knees and avoid bending your back. It’s also important to avoid sitting for more than 30-60 minutes at a time – go for a walk around the office/house, do a chore at home as a break, or simply do a few stretches and then you can return to your seated activity. For more tips, visit your chiropractor or physical therapist.

Improve your heart health

Since you will be decreasing red meat serving size, add more vegetables to your plate – they’re low in calories but high in nutrients and fiber. UK researchers recently published a study in the medical journal Heart in 2016 concluding that eating a high-polyphenol containing diet improved the function of arteries in people with high blood pressure. The study found that the benefit came when study participants ate 6 servings daily of fruits and vegetables (including a serving of berries and 50g of dark chocolate).

One easy way to change your diet is simply to have a serving of vegetables with every meal and to eat 2-3 servings of fruit as a snack through the course of your day. It’s best to plan for dietary success by sitting down and planning your meals for the upcoming week, then writing out your weekly grocery list, of course make sure you purchase enough fruits and vegetables. It may help to prepare your next day meals the night before so you’re not rushed in the morning.

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Dr. Rahim Habib ND
About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or www.FamilyNaturopath.ca.