Top 10 Nutrition and Fitness Tips for Men
The 10 nutrition and fitness tips below are especially for men. Here's to your good health!
- Reel in salmon. Heart disease is a top health concern for men. Salmon and other fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines and albacore tuna supply heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that omega-3s may help reduce risk of heart disease, so dine on fatty fish at least twice a week.
- Add fitness to your agenda. Staying active can help keep health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes at bay. Even office "desk jockeys" can find ways to keep moving. Hop off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way, or park the car far from the office entrance. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up every hour and take a quick walk down the hall or do some stretches.
- Fill up on fiber. Foods high in soluble fiber may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which, in turn, may lower risk of heart disease. Make oatmeal, oat bran, peas, beans, barley, citrus fruits, apples and strawberries a regular part of your meals.
- Watch your weight. Men who carry extra weight in the "gut" (abdominal area) are at increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight, shed some pounds by trimming portions and increasing exercise.
- Bone up on strong bones. Two million American men have osteoporosis, and another 12 million are at risk. One way to help your bones stay strong is to get enough calcium and vitamin D. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 1,000 mg calcium and 400 to 800 IU vitamin D daily for adults under age 50 and 1,200 mg calcium and 800 to 1,000 IU vitamin D daily for those 50+. Low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese are calcium-rich. Look for vitamin D-fortified milk, yogurt, cheese, orange juice and cereals.
- Put your plate in the right proportions. Here's an easy way: Visually divide your plate into quarters. Allow one-quarter for lean meat, poultry, fish or another protein source (such as eggs, beans or soy) and another quarter for a grain or starch like whole-grain pasta or bread, brown rice or potatoes. Heap the remaining half with a combination of fruits and/or vegetables.
- Don't overdo drinks. Although some research suggests that moderate alcohol consumption may protect against heart disease, health experts do not recommend drinking alcohol for better heart health until more is known. If you choose to drink, stick with no more than one to two drinks per day. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits count as one drink.
- Get out and play. Be a kid again and enjoy the games of your youth. Whether you play with the kids or join an adult league, sports like baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball are always fun.
- Snack strategically. Instead of hitting the vending machine, stash nutritious snacks in your desk or office fridge. Some drawer ideas: whole-grain crackers and peanut butter, a jar of almonds (stick to a handful), and ready-to-eat whole grain cereal. For the fridge: cut-up fruits and veggies, low-fat cheese sticks, and containers of yogurt.
- Break the fast. Breakfast gives you energy to start the day, but don't count on doughnuts or muffins to provide staying power. Even if time is tight, you can still fit a nutritious breakfast into your morning. Try instant oatmeal made with low-fat milk and sprinkled with dried cherries and walnuts; a breakfast smoothie that blends low-fat yogurt, a splash of OJ, frozen strawberries and a banana; a breakfast burrito made with scrambled eggs and turkey sausage topped with a sprinkle of cheese and salsa, wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla; or a whole grain toaster waffle spread with peanut butter and topped with banana slices.