A Father’s Fitness

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While some men in our life may view doctor’s appointments as time consuming or embarrassing, others ignore their aches and pains and hope they go away. But most health issues can be prevented with basic maintenance. Here are ten things your man should be doing to keep his motor running.

Visiting His Doctor – For Real
Everyone should get checkups to stay on top of their health, but men are much less likely to make the appointment. A doctor’s physical exam can help find any issues or illnesses that may hinder or shorten a man’s life, while blood tests can evaluate his nutritional status and detect any vitamin deficiencies.

Not Overdoing It
He may have been a sprinter in high school, but that doesn’t mean he can go for a five-mile run today. If your man has decided to get healthier, it’s wise for him to increase his fitness efforts at a progressive pace. Support your fella as he works his way toward good health by taking small steps toward big fitness goals.

Increasing His GOOD Cholesterol
When it comes to cholesterol, doctors want men to keep their overall number low, but more importantly have a high ratio of HDL, or good cholesterol, to LDL, or bad cholesterol. The higher a man’s HDL, the lower his risk of heart attack. Genetics plays a role in HDL levels, but exercise, weight loss and cutting back on simple carbs will also aid the cause.

Exercising at a Moderate Intensity
As a general goal, guys should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity almost every day, but 20 minutes will do in a pinch. If your man wants to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, he may need to exercise more. Cutting back on sitting time is also important.

Having a Heart!
One of four men will die from heart disease, and of those only about half of them have symptoms. Getting regular screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol is good, but doing all the basics such as quitting smoking, exercising, eating fruits and vegetables and keeping stress to a minimum are more important.

Fostering His Male Friendships
A man should have a couple of close male friends that aren’t co-workers or neighbors. By not basing his friendships on convenience, he is cultivating true relationships based on common interests and compatibility. It’s good for him to have at least two guy friends that he can really talk to or watch a football game with. Most experts agree that healthier social ties lead to living a longer, fuller life.

Being Ready for Sex
As men get older, getting an erection isn’t as easy, and too much stress, drinking and sleep loss can also hinder a romantic evening. Of course, good nutrition and exercise go a long way, especially in the bedroom. Endurance and a positive self-image do wonders for the libido and make the physical part of sex way more enjoyable. If he doesn’t do it for himself, then guilt him into doing it for you.

Not Trying to Exercise Out of a Bad Diet
He’s not 20 anymore, so he can’t inhale a triple-burger and fries and expect to undo the damage by working out. Even if your man exercises intensely, he can’t change his body if he eats high-fat, fried and sugar-laden foods. Consuming excess calories will have him feeling full, flabby and tired. Exercise sustains weight loss, but a healthy diet is what drives it.

Taking His Vitamins
Diet is important, but it’s hard to get all of our vitamins from food. A man’s doctor can suggest a multivitamin and supplements if needed. If you need to explain it to him in “car” terms, it’s like getting a little extra insurance on his ride to make sure it’s all covered.

Living Life!
Guys, like women, have a hard time doing nice things for themselves. Whether he wants to start a new book, take a spin class or just spend a couple of hours alone in his man cave, feeling happy and content goes a long way toward overall wellbeing. Why save up all the fun for vacation or spring break?

These simple tactics may not apply to your man, as some males are truly on top of their health. But if your man needs a little prodding to keep his motor humming, some basic maintenance can go a long way. ■

Sources: menshealth.com, abcnews.go.com and mensfitness.com.