Men: Stop Doing These 10 Things
I have had it with men and their collective death wish!
No, I’m not talking about suicide, which is a real problem for so many men.
I’m talking about the fact that men are so morbidly consistent.
Not in a good way. No. In a very bad way.
Men today are consistently doing everything that will increase their chances of dying too early. As a naturopathic doctor, I hate this because my goal is to help men live longer, better, healthier lives. In other words I want to decrease the death toll!
What are men doing so consistently that undermines their health? I’ll tell you...
1) They are sitting down for long periods of time every day.
What’s a long period of time? As a general rule, if you are sitting down for more than 90 minutes, you’ve sat down too long and you need to get up and move around. Especially among older men (but really for men of any age), lack of movement leads to a bad cardiovascular system, poor circulation, erectile dysfunction, more serious health problems and eventually death.
2. They refuse to seek a doctor’s help for their chronic symptoms.
I am not 100-percent sure why, but men in our culture just hate depending on another person for anything. There’s this idea in our culture that to be a man you have to exist on your own and solve all your own problems. And if that’s true, then there aren’t any real men in the world.
Still, most men believe this lie, and they’re putting their health at risk unnecessarily because of it. Just go see a naturopathic, integrative or functional medicine doctor.
3. They think they’re not going to die early from their poor lifestyle choices.
When I was young, I believed this too. So goes the man story. I sat down a lot and ate a lot of food I probably shouldn’t have because I was “immune.” This works OK when you’re young, but the problem is that some older men “don’t stop believing.”
I love the idea behind “don’t stop believing,” but ideally you’re not believing something that will put your health at risk. If you think you’re immune to bad lifestyle choices, wake up!
4. They eat way too much processed meat.
Processed meat is a chemical nightmare. Grass-fed, organic meats are fine and filled with nutrients. It’s the cold cuts, bacon, salami (you know, all the good stuff) you need to worry about.
5. They always say, “Tomorrow I’ll make up for the sleep I lost tonight,” but then it never happens.
Losing sleep disrupts your circadian rhythm, increases stress and inflammation, and makes it more difficult to do all the activities that are part of a healthy lifestyle. We all “know” this, but men consistently play the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” card and sacrifice their health for…well, for who knows what?
6. They use their phones in bed and then wonder why they can’t sleep.
Hello! It’s a bright light! Your body thinks it’s daytime already, so it blasts the cortisol and sends your body into morning mode. But wait—it’s only 9PM. Your body doesn’t give a damn; it saw the light, and it’s awake for at least a few more hours.
To get better sleep, turn off the electronics at least an hour before bed. Don’t watch a bright screen. Read a book. (Read my book!)
7. They forget to ask “why?”
I love popping the hard questions on my patients. They come to me and tell me they want to “be healthy.” I ask them, “Why?” They look at me like I have three heads.
“Why” is the most important question you could possibly ask yourself. Why do you want to be healthy? Because you’re afraid of dying? Because you want to see your kids graduate college? Because you enjoy being active? Because you want to climb mountains?
Whatever the reason is, you have to find it. A longer life isn’t necessarily a better life.
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8. They put off their daily BM.
Where did we get the idea that “work” was more important than removing waste products from our bodies? Imagine if the garbage truck didn’t come by your street because the drivers decided to call it a day and play some pool. You’d be pissed!
Your body is just as pissed when you don’t “take out the garbage.” And believe me, that stuff piles up quicker than you think.
9. Overeating because “they are men and they can handle it.”
How old are we? 23? Your metabolism is slowing down. Everyone’s metabolism slows down. If you don’t like a slow metabolism, you can speed it up with vigorous daily exercise. Otherwise, good luck getting younger! Actually, fasting intermittently can help you live longer.
10. They look for easy fixes.
There is no easy fix. Going from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle is hard because most things that are easy are unhealthy in the long run.
What should do you?
Stop doing all of these 10 things. Get up every hour to do some exercise, and make sure one exercise break is 30 minutes long and you sweat. Don’t look for easy fixes. Eat reasonable portion sizes. Go to the bathroom when your body asks. Ask “why.” Put away your phone. Get a solid night’s sleep. Stop eating processed meat. Accept that poor lifestyle choices will send you to an early grave, and please—ask for help.
Stay tuned and stay well,
Geo Espinosa, N.D., L.Ac, C.N.S., is a renowned naturopathic doctor recognized as an authority in integrative management of male and urological conditions. Dr. Geo is the founder and director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC), a center of excellence in research and integrative treatments for urological conditions.
Learn more at Dr.Geo.com.