LAGUNA BEACH, California – (BUSINESS WIRE) – For all of the hand washing, wearing masks, and social distancing everyone has practiced over the past year, there’s something to be said: data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows historically low rates of influenza during the during pandemic. “Prevention has always been key to maintaining optimal health,” said Aaron Spitz, MD, Voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor at UC Irvine’s Department of Urology and author of The Penis Book. “Even small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference when it comes to feeling good, especially during Men’s Health Month.”
In advance, Dr. Sharp some of his favorite preventative tips for living longer, healthier, happier lives.
1. Exercise: Exercise is key to keeping your body strong and healthy. Because of this, it is important to be aware of how much you sit throughout the day. Studies show that spending too much time in a desk chair, on the couch, or in the car can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – and it also makes you more likely to get overweight. One solution: get up every half hour and stretch for a few minutes. Then aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily, including a brisk walk, bike ride, swimming, or sports like tennis or golf (try walking and skip the cart).
2. Drink plenty of water: This will reduce your chances of developing kidney stones, especially after a sweaty exercise. “The more you sweat, the less you urinate and the more concentrated your urine becomes, which means that minerals in the urine can crystallize into stones,” explains Dr. Pointed. By staying hydrated, you will also avoid the side effects of dehydration, which can include headaches and slow brain function. Even slight dehydration can affect mood and cognitive skills, so try to drink eight glasses of water a day. Dr. Spitz also advises “stock up on water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.” A diet high in fruits and vegetables also helps reduce kidney stone production by causing the kidneys to excrete less calcium in the urine.
3. Keep stress at bay: Chronic stress is linked to everything from allergies to heart disease. Start and end your day with a moment of mindfulness, which can be as simple as a 5-minute breathing exercise, to clear your thoughts and relax your body. There are many great techniques that involve slow, conscious breathing. A simple one is: While still in bed, inhale deeply through your nose, hold for five seconds, exhale through your mouth, repeat 5 to 10 times. Doing this simple exercise at night promotes more restful sleep by slowing your heart rate. Doing this in the morning will help you start your day calm and refreshed.
4. Eat Smart and Read Labels: You definitely have heard it before, but avoiding processed foods and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables will help your body run at full blast. “Try to avoid foods that are high in sugar, trans fats and saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol,” suggests Dr. Spitz vor, who also notes that certain types of cancer such as colon cancer and prostate cancer have been linked to higher consumption of meat, as well as smoked and processed foods. Adding five servings of nuts or seeds to your diet per week will provide you with omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent artery clogging that leads to heart disease. Walnuts and flax seeds are good choices. If you include at least 38 grams of fiber per day (or 14 grams per 1,000 calories) in your diet, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Fiber comes mainly from fruits and vegetables. A smart eating tip: wait 20 minutes before stepping back for seconds because that’s how long it takes for your body to realize it’s full.
5. Protect Your Sexual Health: Getting tested before getting intimate with a new partner (worrying numbers: 1 in 2 sexually active people will contract a sexually transmitted infection by the age of 35) is another Way to protect your sexual health. “When you have sex with someone, you pretty much have sex with anyone you’ve ever slept with, so it’s important to talk to your partner about past relationships,” says Dr. Spitz, who suggests using latex condoms, will lower your risk of an STI contraction and pregnancy. Using a silicone or water-based lubricant will reduce the risk of a latex condom breaking and increase pleasure. Oil-based lubricants can damage a condom and make it ineffective. Many condoms are already lubricated, such as Trojan Ultra Ribbed Lubricated Condom, Trojan Ecstasy, and Trojan Bareskin. A reassuring fact: every Trojan condom is electronically tested for pinholes.
6. Don’t skip your annual check-up: it starts with finding a doctor who you are comfortable with and then making sure you get all of the necessary tests and screenings for your age, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) the heart to identify irregularities and screening for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to detect prostate problems. Testing your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI) should be part of your annual checkup. And with increasing skin and colon cancer rates, you should definitely book your annual head-to-toe skin check with your dermatologist, along with your first colonoscopy at the age of 45 with a gastroenterologist.
7. Keep up your pandemic rituals: They are not always comfortable, but wearing a mask when you are in a crowd, especially in tight, enclosed spaces, not only reduces your exposure to Covid-19, but also to it seasonal colds and flu. Continuous vigilance while washing your hands will also prevent the spread of germs. “You want to create friction by lathering and rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds, which literally removes dirt and microbes from your skin,” advises Dr. Pointed. Be sure to dry your hands thoroughly as germs are more easily transferred to and from wet hands, and avoid touching your face to prevent microbes from entering your body through your mouth, nose, and eyes. If you feel a cold, consider a zinc-based tablet. Studies show that zinc, an essential mineral, can shorten the duration of a cold when taken when symptoms begin. Tablets like Zicam RapidMelts dissolve in the mouth – no chewing or swallowing required!
“It’s important to start somewhere,” adds Dr. Pointed. “Adjusting even some of these suggestions will pay off in the short and long term. Just talk to your doctor before making any significant changes to your daily routine. ”