Yeah Yeah I know, it’s a great big topic. How to be a healthy man. Been there, read that, done it. Okay so maybe it’s not the most innovative tidbit of information you’ve ever read but here’s the thing I like about it. It will give us a great jumping off point to expand into other topics that have to do with being a healthy male. And really that’s what this site is all about, being a healthy male. Well, that’s a big part of it. Really the big umbrella overriding theme is how to be a complete male – basically the tools and resources and thoughts and ideas that we can all share to add and/or subtract different pieces to our worlds in order to live a complete life. So let’s dip our toes into how to become a healthy man. None of these are earth shattering and in my opinion most of them are fairly interchangeable, and by that I mean none are head and shoulders more important than any others. They all work in conjunction to help you become a healthy man. Except for the first one. I believe that #1 has the greatest impact in yours and my well being. With it all things fall into place and it is probably the hardest to attain. Which reminds me, I need to write my full post on that soon! Here we go.
Learn To Accept Yourself
As in all of yourself. Learn to accept your good parts and your bad parts. Now the more feminine side of this would be to say to learn to love yourself but I don’t think that’s full transferable. There are certainly parts of myself that I certainly don’t love – I can try to control too much outside of my influence sometimes, I can get obsessed with exercising EVERY SINGLE DAY, my mind can wish bad karma things happen to people sometimes, you get the picture. But the thing is I acknowledge these less than desirable traits and I’m okay with them. They don’t bother me. I don’t like myself any less or think they are weird or make me any less or more than what I am. They are all a part of what makes up me. And I’m fine with all of those parts. I simply am me.
Okay, as I am typing this I realize I lied. I do find some of these more important than others. This one is pretty high up on the list as well. In my opinion the MOST beneficial type of exercise a man can do is to lift weights. If you do nothing else, lift weights. That’s my opinion. I simply don’t see where you can go wrong here. If you decide not to lift weights then for the love of Peter do some form of exercise. Box, martial arts, tennis, swimming, hiking, whatever. Except running, don’t run. I don’t like people who run. Kidding! (Mostly). You’ve heard the saying if you’ve got your health you’ve got a lot? I believe in that fully. If you are functioning in a healthy body it tends to make most other parts of your life better. Your energy flows outward in a positive manner from a healthy body.
I got no problem with going for wings and beer, no problem at all. But in the general scope of your diet aim to intake the important things like fruits and vegetables and protein. Eat the good kind of fat. Don’t have a bag of potato chips as a meal like one of my besties HD used to do. Hey, he was busy don’t you know. Whatever. Personally I aim for a mostly Paleo diet but don’t beat myself up when I have Mexican once a week. With margaritas. And chips. That’s okay because 75% of my meals are well balanced with vegetables and meat with a round or two of fruits during the day. I meal prep my breakfast and most lunches on Sunday and it takes a lot of work away during the week. Another 15% of my meals are still pretty decent, think burger with the bun, salad instead of fries. Then probably like 10% of my meals are crap, like 4 tacos on Taco Tuesday. But in the grand scheme, my diet is pretty good.
See A Doctor
I’m talking about all doctors here. Of course go for your physical once a year if you can. This becomes increasingly important as you get older of course but it doesn’t hurt the young studs to go every few years just to get checked out. On top of that it’s important to get the vision checked every year if you need corrective lenses, every few years if you don’t. And see a dentist twice a year for your checkups. The easy thing to do is to set the next one up every time you are leaving the office. That way it’s months away, you toss the appointment card in the trash on your way out the dentist office, and forget about it until you get the reminder text or email 5.5 months later. Easy. Of course if you’ve got a chronic health issue it’s important to stay on top of that as needed as well. Just keep your doctors on regular maintenance rotations.
Don’t Lose Your Head
Life has up and life has downs. That’s how it works. When a bunch of shit goes wrong and you find your mind going to a dark place remember there’s doctors and resources for that too. Don’t let it go on too long. There is still a lingering stigma in our society about going to see a therapist or a psychologist or a psychiatrist or a shrink or whatever the hell the difference is. Know that it’s okay to seek that kind of help, just like you would from a doctor when your leg is broken. One of the biggest benefits from seeing a head doctor is simply the validation. The knowing that other men have gone through similar and felt like you feel. And chances are if you are speaking to a therapist (or whatever) they have had some pretty good experience in that kind of thing you are going through and can offer up real advice and relevant resources and help. Don’t be the tough guy that tries to muscle through the suicidal thoughts. Don’t lose your head.
It’s kind of sad to see. So many people around me do exactly the same thing every day. The only brain stimulation they get is the data that flows across their computer and phone screens. The computer screen during the day and the phone screen away from work. I kid you not MOST of the people I know can’t tell me the last time they picked up a book and read it. The only sort of “information” most people seem to get these days is gossip and whatever the tabloids feed them. Remember the saying, just because you read it doesn’t make it true. Make it a priority to keep learning stuff. And I don’t mean you need to learn a new language every year, just pick up books or magazines or whatever and read about stuff you don’t already know about. And that is interesting. Not more president bashing or or celebrity shit. Who cares?? Read a history book. Get into fantasy books that take you to a new world. Learn how to fix a sink. Just something other than the screen time. Stimulate your brain.
It is well documented that having a good social circle improves your health. It does you a world of good to have a nice group of guy friends. Even a few that you can do something with from time to time helps. A good relationship with parents is great if you have the opportunity to as well. The main thing is don’t just have work colleagues and the crew at home. Those are fine but it’s important to have more than that. This is how a man wakes up middle aged and wondering what happened. A BIG part of it is because he has allowed his entire life to become work and home and has lost all his good friends along the way simply because he got tunnel vision. This, like anything in life worth having, takes work. You have to put the effort into it. Several years ago one of my good friends blasted me for being a shitty friend. And he was right. For 20 years he consistently put more effort into keeping our friendship going than me. I simply let him do the majority of the work and almost lost the friendship because of it. I listened and changed my effort level. It’s worth it.
I’m going to end on this one even though I think I could go on for a while. To give yourself a sense of accomplishment it’s good to continually challenge yourself. This can come in many forms. You can push yourself to lose 10 pounds by summer. You can work towards adding 20% to your bench press. You can do some hustling to bring in an additional 15% income next year. Give yourself a goal of going out one night a month with a buddy. Pick out 12 books and tell yourself you are going to read one a month for a year. Whatever it is just do some things that force you out of your day to day hamster wheel of life. Like me writing this blog and website. I don’t know how to do it but I’ve wanted to try it for a long time. It probably sucks but that’s besides the point – I have had a blast the last few months figuring it out. I’ve learned something.
There’s a lot of things that make up being a healthy man. I’ve scratched the surface with my thoughts here. I’ve got a whole bunch more but this is what bubbled to the top of my tired mind when I thought about this topic. In my opinion the ones I’ve discussed here really can lay a good foundation upon which other things can be layered upon. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. Please share your comments and ideas and with a little luck we can help each other with some new ideas and fresh perspective.
This is how we continue to learn.
All my Best,