Whether you’re a father, stepdad, big brother, or bachelor with no children, chances are you’re an important part of someone’s life. You matter, which means your health matters too. In honor of all men, we’ve come up with a few ideas to help you feel your best. We call it the Five Point Check-in:
- Strength and balance: One of the best ways to reduce the chance of injury is to maintain strength (especially in the abs and back) and balance. While lifting weights builds muscles, yoga can improve strength, balance, and flexibility! You don’t have to fold yourself into a pretzel to get started—check out these yoga tips geared especially for men.
- Minding your mind: Stress is a major factor in most guys’ lives, so you deserve to do something every day to help manage it. Have you ever thought about meditating? We’re not talking about sitting in a lotus position with your thumbs and middle fingers touching. It’s more like finding a quiet, comfortable place to relax and treat your brain to a little “mindful mindlessness.” If you have trouble getting the hang of meditation, try it just for a minute or two at bedtime.
- Food vs. fuel: Are you battling the “gut bust”? Weight gain in the tummy is a common challenge. While we can’t focus weight loss on one specific area of the body, we can modify how we regard the act of eating. Try thinking of food as “fuel.”Just like an auto racing team calculates the amount of fuel to put in the tank to get an IndyCar past the checkered flag with barely a drop left, we can benefit from taking this same approach (within reason, of course—this isn’t a starvation track). When we think of the body as an energy-burning engine (which it is) and food as the fuel that makes the engine run (which it does), then we can make wiser choices about what, how much, and when we eat each day.
- Valuing your time: Finding time to take care of yourself can be next to impossible, especially if you have a spouse or children. What to do? How about combining healthy activities with “quality” family time? Fun runs and bike rallies are good for the whole gang. Enjoy a date night couple’s massage once a month. Little spurts of lower-impact activity can be beneficial too — while the kids are at soccer practice, try a leisurely walk or jog around the field alone or with your partner.
- The numbers game: In addition to vital signs that you can measure at home (weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, and even resting heart rate), you’ll want to get an annual checkup with your physician to keep an eye on your cholesterol and overall heart health. As you mature, your doctor will also check your testosterone level and conduct a prostate exam periodically.
For the gear head
Here’s something to help you track every aspect of your wellness—activities, nutrition, rest, recovery. Check out these handy fitness apps; some can even provide progress reminders and motivational messages to a smart watch while you’re on the move.
If you’re a gadget king with a desk job, you can add movement to your workday routine with an adjustable sit/stand desk. (Fit tip: No matter what work you do, try to walk around for at least one minute every hour in the office.)
The next time it’s guys’ night, try sharing some of these ideas with your buddies and find out what they’re doing to get or stay in shape. And remember, since being active, especially outdoors or with children, sometimes results in bumps, scrapes, bruises, and maybe a little muscle strain, be sure to keep Teladoc close by. Download the app and you’ll always be just a tap or two away from a licensed physician 24/7 anywhere in the U.S. Now go pull out everyone’s roller blades and have a great Father’s Day!
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