4 Hacks to Improve Men's Health

MelissaK Blogger

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Men are  more likely to experience worse health outcomes than women, according to the World Health Organization.

 

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools, startups, and research to help men track health data, find a good healthcare provider, optimize productivity, and lose weight. Here are four hacks to get your health heading in the right direction.

 

Find the right doctor faster

 

The American Heart Association found one of the top reasons men don’t go to the doctor is that… they don’t have one! Fortunately, Zocdoc makes it easy to find doctors near you that take your insurance. You can also read patient reviews and book appointments online.

 

No insurance? Fill out a short questionnaire, and startup Stride Health will give you a personalized health plan recommendation you can buy on the spot.

 

Know your numbers

 

A simple blood test can reveal your risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, but individual blood tests can cost hundreds of dollars. Insurance often doesn’t cover this additional testing, according to Compass Professional Health Services.

 

Testing companies like WellnessFx allow you to purchase a package of tests for the price of what one test typically would cost if you ordered it through your doctor. Depending on the package you choose, you can test blood markers for cholesterol, inflammation, fasting glucose, thyroid, kidney, hormone, and vitamin levels, and see the results on a dashboard you can share with your doctor.

 

Give yourself a break

 

Given the constant stream of demands on your attention, managing your energy can be more important than managing your time.

 

As a species, our physiology requires periods of recovery between bouts of work, according to The Energy Project. Most people’s work “ultradian rhythms” last 90 to 100 minutes, after which a break is vital for restoring energy for the next work cycle.

 

Use this knowledge to get the most out of your work day. Schedule meetings or focused work sessions for 90 minutes, then take a walk (and leave your phone). Catch up with coworkers or eat a snack before starting your next 90-minute session.

 

Eat more fat, less sugar

 

In 2009, Dr. Peter Attia was a surgeon and a competitive cyclist and swimmer. He also was clinically overweight and insulin-resistant despite exercising three to four hours per day and eating a high-carb, low-fat diet.

 

In about 18 months, he went from 20% body fat to 13% while preserving lean muscle mass by reversing his diet to a higher-fat, low-carb diet.

 

Based on his personal experience and that as a clinician, he recommends five ways to lose weight and improve health:

 

  1. Reduce – and ideally eliminate – sugar from your diet. This guideline specifically refers to sucrose (table sugar) and high-fructose corn syrup.
  2. Eat complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like broccoli or yams typically have more fiber and are less likely to stimulate a hormonal response.
  3. Limit your fruit consumption, and avoid dried fruit and fruit juice completely. Fruit is touted as an important part of a “balanced diet,” but it also tends to be high in sugar. If you’re craving fruit, steer toward berries, which have less sugar.
  4. Reduce your overall carbohydrate intake to a serving per day. This is especially important if you’ve followed the other steps and haven’t met your weight-loss goals.
  5. Increase your fat intake as you follow each step. Fat provides calories and nutrients in place of the carbohydrates you’ve reduced, without spiking your insulin levels. This is important when you’re trying to lose weight. Get fats from a variety of foods, including omega-3-rich sources like pastured eggs and wild, fatty fish, aged cheese, nuts, avocados, and olive and coconut oil.

 

Gents, what tips and tricks do you use to stay healthy?

 

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