As humans, we need to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get regular physical activity in order to maintain our health. Interestingly, these health needs can look different in men and women. While everyone needs both healthy foods and exercise, men need more of certain nutrients than women, and men even benefit from different types of exercise than women.
The effects of a healthy lifestyle also look different between the genders. Certain illnesses and diseases affect one gender more than the other, and a particular diet and exercise routine can decrease the potential of these illnesses developing.
Nutrition for Men
Generally, men need to consume more calories than women (between 2,000 and 2,800) because they tend to have more muscle mass. Protein is the foundation of all muscles, so it’s important that men get an adequate amount of protein every day. Men should also strive to consume more fiber, which helps them to better absorb the nutrients from the food they eat. They also need to consume more high-energy foods, such as whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet
Certain diseases are more prevalent in men than they are in women, and they include gout, kidney stones, lung cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. The high prevalence of these diseases is largely due to diet. Even Parkinson’s disease may be related to diet, as women may not experience this illness as often due to having higher estrogen levels. Foods high in estrogen include bananas, apples, eggs, oatmeal, avocados, poultry, and soy products, including soymilk. Although estrogen is beneficial for men, too much of it can create more health issues.
Physical Activity for Men
Even though men tend to burn more calories than women while exercising and while at rest, it’s still important for men to be physically active on a regular basis. Physical activity can decrease the risk of several illnesses, not just the ones that men are more prone to developing. Men also have a shorter average lifespan than women, but regular exercise can help extend their lifespan.
Men tend to require more physical activity than women and benefit more from aerobic exercises and weightlifting. Unfortunately, some health conditions may prevent some men (and women) from being physically active. Because physical activity is beneficial to overall health, it’s important for everyone to be as active as possible. Even those with limited mobility can benefit from certain stationary activities.
Health in Later Life
Healthy habits in a man’s younger years usually continue on with him into his later years. This is a good thing because as we age, our quality of life tends to decline rapidly— if we become sedentary and indulge in poor eating habits. A healthy lifestyle allows for both men and women to retain a higher level of independence later in life. Older individuals who have been able to remain independent in their daily activities have an enhanced quality of life in comparison to their peers who need additional personal care.
Not only does being healthy and active decrease the risk for the development of certain diseases, but it also decreases the risk of elder falls. While many elder falls occur in nursing homes, more than half of all elder falls occur within the person’s own home, and many senior citizens live alone. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of fatalities from falls. But, fortunately, there are services available that allow treatment in the comfort of your own home in the event you can’t make it out to a doctor.
Fortunately, men (and women) who haven’t been active in their younger years can still start a healthy and active lifestyle. Even those with limited mobility can do simple, small exercises that may even increase their mobility. A healthy and active lifestyle increases the overall quality of anyone’s life, even in their elder years. As long as you’re alive and still have some range of mobility, it’s not too late to start living a healthy and more active lifestyle.
Featured Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash