In sports, victory may be the overall goal, but the winning run in baseball cannot be achieved without touching all the bases. The same is true for winning in the game of Life. The most efficient way to slam that winning homerun is by eating healthy, living well, and protecting your heart.
Nutrition: First Base
Food is fuel for your body. As you round first base, take inventory of your diet to ensure adequate energy and nutrients for the course ahead. Fruits and Vegetables? Check. Plenty of water? Check. Whole grains? Check. Lean meats? Healthy fats? Less added sugar? Check, check, check. The first base checklist highlights key ingredients for a well-balanced diet that helps the body produce energy and promote a sense of health and wellbeing .
Healthy Diet: Fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals, fiber and free-radical fighting antioxidants necessary to protect your cells and promote normal bodily functions, including immune system function. Try to incorporate a wide range of colors through your fruit and vegetable intake to maximize nutrient consumption . In addition, it is important to choose whole grain carbohydrates over refined white flour, such as 100% whole wheat or whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, and brown rice. Be conscious about selecting lean meats such as pork tenderloin or ground turkey. Not only are these low-fat options, but they supply complete proteins for healthy bones, muscles, and skin. Eggs and low-fat dairy are also good sources of complete protein and other nutrients. If meat is not a part of your diet, consider alternative protein sources such as quinoa, nuts, edamame, tofu, beans, legumes and whole grains. These choices are also low in dietary fat and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. .And don’t forget to consume healthy fats such as fatty fish (salmon, anchovies, etc) avocados, nuts and olive oil. †
Hydration: Did you know that water is the single largest component of your body? It is an essential fluid that plays numerous roles including, but not limited to, digestion and body temperature regulation . Keep a reusable water bottle within arm’s reach as a reminder to stay hydrated.
Lifestyle: Second Base
You hit second base feeling well-nourished and ready to take a closer look at your everyday life. Do you engage in regular exercise? When do you schedule time for yourself? Was this your year to quit smoking? Have you kept in touch with your friends? Do you get enough daily nutritional support from your diet or supplements? While a wholesome diet goes a long way toward promoting well-being, so too does a healthy lifestyle.
Stop smoking: According to the American Heart Association, quitting smoking can have positive effects on your body, such as less shortness of breath when physically active and a return to a normal sense of taste and smell. Even more, the longer you go without smoking, the more your body will recover, thus reducing potentially serious health risks . Make this your year to quit and direct your focus toward health-promoting habits and hobbies such as exercise or traveling.
Physical Activity: Whether you prefer shooting hoops in a game of basketball, pumping iron at the local community center, or hiking a mountain trail, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week. In addition to weight control, studies have found exercise helps improve brain health, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your overall ability to do physical activities .
Core Supplements: It is easy to spread yourself too thin when juggling work, family, friends, finances, diet and exercise, and sometimes your meals aren’t as nutritious as you’d like. Dietary supplements offer a way to support your health by helping fill nutritional gaps. A men’s daily multivitamin, vitamin D, and omega-3 from fish oil are good supplement options to consider for your daily regimen. Discuss your intention to supplement your diet with your doctor or health care provider to learn which supplements are right for you.†
Time For Self: When you create time for yourself, you can positively influence diverse aspects of your life. Yoga and meditation are two approaches that encourage personal reflection and can help with stress reduction, organization, mental processing, and positive thinking. Taking a walk or getting out in nature can be other options to consider to taking time for yourself to destress and reflect. You may be surprised to see how finding time for yourself can improve your relationships with others, too.
Health: Third Base
En route to third, you are encouraged to stay healthy as the umpire motions you toward home plate. Annual checkups and doctor visits are critical when keeping on track with your health goals. Areas of special interest include prostate exams, testicular exams, weight management, cholesterol assessment, blood pressure screening, blood sugar screening, colorectal health screening, skin health checks and bone health screening. Just remember, detection is the first step . Take it upon yourself to be proactive and schedule an appointment with your physician today.
Once you make your way around the bases, you will confidently stride to home plate with the scoreboard flashing “Victory.” A roar of applause will explode from the stands as your friends and family celebrate your success. A winner? Yes!
MEN – Give yourself a point for every health area below that you score “On Track.” If your final score is under 9, don’t give up. You can do it!
The following self-assessment is meant to help you understand your current health state. It is not meant to diagnose or treat a condition. If you think you may have a medical condition, or if you have a health or lifestyle concern, be sure to contact your health care professional.
Healthy Diet --Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. Reduce intake of added sugars, sodium, and saturated and trans fats.
Hydration --Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. Try to limit alcohol intake.
Quit Smoking --Set a goal date. Seek alternative relief via healthy habits and hobbies.
Physical Exercise --Aim for 30 minutes 5 times per week of cardiovascular or resistance training. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Time For Self --Try yoga, golf, or another activity of enjoyment (such as meeting up with close friends).
Core Nutritional Supplements Consider a men’s multivitamin, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fish oil supplement.
Weight Management --Achieve a healthy weight for your body.(BMI Calculator)
Health Concerns --Schedule regular appointments with your doctor.
Prostate Exam --Once a year starting at age 40.
Testicular Exam --Monthly, self-administered exam from ages 18-39.
1-4 Points--Base Hit
9-10 Points--Grand Slam
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Klees, Lynn. “2.2 – Why Is Nutrition Important to Health?” Nutrition 100 Nutritional Applications for a Healthy Lifestyle, Affordable Course Transformation: The Pennsylvania State University. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://psu.pb.unizin.org/nutr100/chapter/why-is-nutrition-important-to-health/.
Slavin, Joanne L, and Beate Lloyd. “Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables.” Advances in Nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), American Society for Nutrition, 1 July 2012. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649719/.
“Current Dietary Guidelines.” Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and Online Materials | Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/resources/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-online-materials.
Popkin, Barry M, et al. “Water, Hydration, and Health.” Nutrition Reviews, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2010. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/.
American Heart Association. “The Benefits of Quitting Smoking Now.” org, 8 July 2021. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking-tobacco/the-benefits-of-quitting-smoking-now.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Benefits of Physical Activity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Apr. 2022. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm.
Tri-City Medical Center. “Your Guide to Health Screenings by Age [Infographic].” 29 Dec. 2018. Accessed on June 1, 2022: https://www.tricitymed.org/2016/09/guide-health-screenings-age-infographic/.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.
Melissa is a registered dietitian (RD) and works in our Medical and Scientific Communications department as a Science and Health Educator. She has worked for Pharmavite for over 20 years educating consumers, healthcare practitioners, retailers and employees about nutrition, dietary supplements and overall wellness. Prior to joining the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Melissa launched and managed Pharmavite’s Consumer Relations department. Melissa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and completed her dietetic internship at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange New Jersey.
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