June is Men’s Health Month, and a great time to make one or two lifestyle changes that can have a major impact on your health and well-being.
“Whether you’re in need of a major or minor change in your health, just remember those changes more in terms of a marathon more than a sprint,” says Justin Jones, Health and Wellness Consultant for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.
“Just a few lifestyle changes along with a little bit of awareness can really go a long way,” says Jones.
One of the changes that can make the biggest impact is to focus on your diet and see food as fuel. Jones says the more whole foods and unprocessed foods you eat, the better. All protein is also not created equal. Stick with items that are high in protein, but low in fat, such as chicken, fish and nuts.
Jones also says it’s OK to enjoy bread and pasta – but try to choose a whole grain option with no added sugar if possible. You can also spice things up with seasonings.
He also says not to forget that “real men eat salads.”
“If you can make your refrigerator a little mini salad bar with lots of vegetables, lettuces, and your proteins, that’s a great start.” After that, Jones says you can focus on what you can add to your diet, not take away.
And don’t forget to incorporate some exercise. Jones says to consider starting a challenge with family or friends or set a goal and work to attain it.
“One number that I want you to think about is 150. That’s the number of minutes I want you to get in moderate intensity exercise,” says Jones.
That breaks down to about 30 minutes, five days a week. But you don’t need to go to the gym to have it count. “Go out explore, hike. It’s a great way to get your 150 minutes in,” says Jones.
And don’t forget those regular checkups with the doctor. Jones says women are winning in that department. Jones says, “don’t be that guy who waits until he’s sick to see the doctor.” Remember that annual screenings can help catch something that could really stop you in your tracks.