We want men to win better health so we bring you this from Dr Spar. He’s an integrative men’s health expert who focuses on helping men identify their personal ways to win. He advises the NBA and top executives nationally so he’s serious about the “W” in Win. Read on for Dr Spar’s winning ways.
Is it better to win or to be healthy?
As an optimal men’s health expert and Ironman triathlete, my motto is, when you’re healthy, you can win. Because without optimal health, it is tough to achieve whatever goals would be a “win” for you.
But health means a lot more than just not being sick.
With better health to win in mind, what are my top 5 ways for men to win?
1 – Be a Winning Eater
While there is no perfect diet that fits everyone’s goals, tastes, lifestyle, and culture, there are general tips that would help most men (or women) stay on their game in order to win at whatever matters to them – whether it’s losing weight or staying more focused.
If you do the Better Nutrition Men’s Health Evaluation that I developed with Ashley, you’ll see what that diet would look like. Fill it out truthfully, then read our expert tips on the last few pages to see what you could improve on.
The bottom line to being a winning eater:
- Focus on more plants
- Eat less processed foods
- Eat less sugar
- Choose organic, wild, or grass-fed
- Limit your portion sizes
Lastly, I will say that the evidence for intermittent fasting can help a lot with weight loss and even longevity. This means shortening the window of time during which you eat all of your meals to about 8 hours – from noon to 8 pm – for instance. Give it a try and see how your body reacts. It’s been life-changing for many of my patients.
2 – Manage your Stress
Winners are responsive to situations, not reactive.
One of the things that differentiates us from animals is that we can use our conscious mind to decide how to respond to a given situation; we don’t have to just react by instinct. That can make the difference between learning, growing, and improving a situation vs worsening it.
The vast majority of successful men find some way to manage their stress so that they aren’t controlled BY it – they control it. You will win at relationships, on the sports field, and at work, if you can learn how to take a beat before jumping down someone’s throat. Mindfulness is the tool to help us learn how to do just that.
3 – Sleep like a Winner
Lack of sleep causes E.D., depression, aging skin, and weight gain, among other problems that keep men from winning.
If you want to win at anything, including sex, you need to be rested. You may think you can get away with 6 hours or less a night, but the vast majority of guys suffer over time when they get less than 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep also causes memory issues, inability to concentrate, and lower testosterone – which means less muscle and less sex.
How do you improve your sleep if you have trouble falling or staying asleep?
Try these tricks:
- Cover ANY and ALL lights in your bedroom. That means all LED lights from any devices.
- Don’t use any screens 1 hour before bedtime OR use blue-light filters if you do.
- Keep your room cool. Consider getting a chiliPAD to help regulate temperature.
80% of men get less than the recommended 75 minutes of physical activity a week. Exercise helps prevent body and brain aging and is the most powerful tool you have to stay healthy.
“Physical activity is linked to nearly every positive health statistic you can name, including healthier weight, higher testosterone, and better mood. ”Dr Spar on winning
Find something you like to do and commit to doing it. It can be playing a sport, walking briskly, cycling, or swimming. If you write down what you commit to doing and when, you are much more likely to actually stick to it.
Simply put, if you don’t engage in some sort of physical activity on a regular basis (that means 2-3 times a week), you are much less likely to win at anything.
5 – Know your Why
Did you know that people who have a clear sense of purpose for getting up in the morning live 7 years longer than people who have never thought about it?
It sounds simple, but just going through the exercise of thinking about what really matters to you and writing it down (ideally writing it out regularly wherever you list out your “to-do’s”), makes it more likely you will achieve your goals.
In other words, it’s hard to win when you aren’t clear on what it is you want to win at (I grew up in the south, so I can finish my sentences with “at.”).
What would be a “WIN” for you? Write it down. Focus on it.
Now you are in your way to winning.
If you want to drill down into these winning concepts further and get more in-depth health recommendations from me, take my Men’s Health Quiz. It only takes a couple of minutes (even on your phone), and you’ll be surprised by how much you can learn!
Learn more about Dr Spar’s peak performance program Tack180