Being in the best health you can be isn't about crossing your fingers and hoping to avoid disease - it's about taking preventive action. Take a look at these tips for men on how to maximize your health and live a healthy, fit life.
Exercise becomes more important as men enter their 30s, when hormones, including testosterone and human growth hormone, begin to decline. Exercise helps maintain lean body mass and is also a natural antidepressant and stress reliever.
When you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. Don't forget to replenish your body.
To help maintain muscle mass, consume quality proteins after workouts to build and repair muscles. Eggs, lean meats, salmon and yogurt all make the grade.
A healthy diet doesn't begin and end with eggs and meat. Men should also focus on fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Diets that include just five total fruits and vegetables a day have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also a part of a healthy diet. Fish oil supplements can provide some added health benefits, including reducing the risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and Alzheimer's disease. You can also find omega-3s in fish, winter squash, tofu, walnuts and ground flax seed.
Even if you're healthy, don't avoid the doctor altogether. Until age 40, men should have a brief physical every two to three years. After 40, physical exams should be more frequent and include cancer screenings.
You should also go to the dentist yearly and maintain your flossing and brushing habits. Good oral hygiene helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
Good personal hygiene will keep you smelling fresh and reduce your chance of infection. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as excessive sweating, which might indicate more serious health issues.
Ahhh -- shaving. To help prevent razor burn, always shave with the grain, avoid applying pressure, rinse with cold water and apply aftershave to restore skin moisture.
But the best thing to do for your skin? Wear sunscreen. Sun exposure is responsible for many of the visible signs of aging, like wrinkles and age spots, and it also can lead to the most deadly form of skin cancer.
As your skin ages, it's important to incorporate sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on a daily basis, as well. Moisture regularly to keep your skin radiant.
Aging may also bring on andropause, a decrease in testosterone that can cause moodiness, fatigue, weight gain, depression, decreased sex drive, decreased muscle mass and bone loss. Most doctors recommend exercise, a healthier diet and elimination of alcohol before hormone replacement. For more information, see our Men's Health and Lifestyle Guide.