“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the top five leading causes of death among men in the United states are: Heart disease, Cancer, Unintentional Injuries, Diabetes and, Stroke,” said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH). “In celebration of National Men’s Health Week, June 13-19, 2016, we are asking all HHSHH students to encourage the men and boys in their life to make their health a greater priority. Toward that end our Faculty offers the following self-care strategies men can adopt to reduce their risk of cardio-vascular and other chronic diseases that can shorten their lives”, she added.
Holistic Self-Care Strategies for Men
#1 – Get Physical! At a minimum, adult men need 2.5 hours of moderate to intense aerobic activity each week. In addition, they should include muscle strengthening activities two or more days a week to keep all major muscle groups strong, healthy and flexible. Regular exercise can substantially reduce the risk of cardio-vascular and other chronic diseases that can cut a man’s life-span short. You don’t have to do it all at once either. In fact, just a ½ hour walk daily can reduce one’s risk of obesity by 50 % and positively impact one’s physical health and sense of emotional wellbeing.
#2 – Eat to Live! A healthy diet is one that provides essential nutrients from nutrient-dense foods, contains food from all the basic food groups, and focuses on balancing calories-eaten with calories-burned to help you maintain a healthy weight. Limit food items that are high in sugar, salt, fat, alcohol and calories. Choose fresh, un-processed foods such as green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, whole grain products and lean protein such as Chicken, Tofu or Fish. To learn more about recommended guidelines visit: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.
#3 – Manage Stress! – A prolonged bout of stress can not only affect your health, it can affect your emotional wellbeing also. To keep your problems in perspective and keep stress at bay, make it a point to take good care of yourself. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and consider treating yourself to a therapeutic massage regularly. Even just one hour of massage can reduce the stress hormone Cortisol by up to 40% and increase “happy hormones” like Serotonin and Endorphins by 30-40%. Other ways to reduce stress are to seek support from a partner or friend, avoid drugs and alcohol, stay active and stay connected socially.
#4 – Know Your Numbers! Keep track of important numbers such as your LDL & LDH Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar levels and Body Mass Index (BMI). If any of these numbers are higher than normal, ask your doctor for suggested life-style changes to get them into a healthier range.
#5 – Practice Safe Sex! With HIV/Aids and so many Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) out there, ie: HPV, Herpes, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis etc., preventing sexually transmitted diseases is an essential self-care activity for men who are sexually active. Making sure to use a prophylactic (condom) can greatly reduce chances of getting or spreading a STD. Other effective strategies for reducing your risk include: a reduction in sex partners, mutual monogamy, and vaccination (for Hepatitis B & HPV). If you suspect you may have contracted an STD, don’t wait, see a doctor for treatment immediately.
#6 – Pay Attention to How You Feel! See your doctor for regular health check-ups and any medical screening tests you feel may be needed. Pay attention to signs and symptoms of disease such as: shortness of breath, pain in the chest, arms, shoulder, neck, jaw, or back. Notice if you experience excessive thirst, feeling weak, light-headed or faint. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, don’t wait; seek medical care from your doctor or neighborhood urgent care facility immediately.
#7 – Stop Smoking! Smoking raises your risk of serious illnesses and conditions including: Heart Disease, Stroke, Lung Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Blindness, Cataracts, and many types of Cancers. If you smoke, do your health a huge favor…seek support to help you stop. For more information go online to: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/.
#8 – Get Sufficient Sleep! Adult men need a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. Simple strategies to help men get the sleep they need include: keeping the same bed-time and morning wake schedules; turning off computers, TVs and electronic gadgets that emit sleep inhibiting blue-light; sleep in a dark, quiet, relaxing environment that’s temperature controlled; and avoid large meals or exercise right before bed-time.
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH) has been serving residents through two regional campuses for over 24 years. Boasting more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health courses and two Certification Programs, HHSHH is considered a trail-blazer for Holistic Health education in Southern California. To date, HHSHH has prepared more than 6,500 students for rewarding careers as Massage Therapists and Holistic Health Practitioners. To find out more about the classes or Programs available at HHSHH please visit us on-line at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.