5 Healthy New Year's Resolutions for Men
Experts share their thoughts on the top 5 things men can do to get healthy in the new year
New Year's Resolution No. 4: Quit Smoking
Giving the nicotine habit the boot is one of the most popular resolutions
for both men and women. It is a difficult task, and for some people, success
does not come until after multiple tries.
Experts say the best way to deal with the problem is to get help. "You
get no extra points for being macho," says Brott.
There are a number of resources for support. You may visit your primary care
doctor and/or join a smoking cessation program in person, online, or by phone.
You may consider medication, or nicotine replacements such as patches, gums,
sprays, inhalers, and lozenges. Or you may contact groups such as the American
Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the CDC's Office on Smoking
and Health for help.
Robert Stenander, corporate services clinician for the Illinois Institute
for Addiction Recovery, recommends face-to-face support groups. The personal
interaction, he says, can help raise accountability, and can provide vital
"You can describe and talk about what your issues are with regard to
your smoking cessation, and you've got other people who may be able to give you
some hints and suggestions as to what they've encountered," says
A relapse is a real possibility, but it's important to look forward and
avoid negative thinking. "Don't give up," says Stenander. "Don't
get yourself in a defeatist attitude that you can't do something. Let's talk
about what you can do."
If one smoking cessation method doesn't work for you, try another one. You
may also consider different support groups as some may work better than
Don't forget that you can also enlist the support of family and friends.
Many former smokers have found loved ones as a vital source of
New Year's Resolution No. 5: Ease Stress
Got stress? Who doesn't? Men have their lion's share partly because society
hasn't given them the freedom to process pressures that well, says Bonhomme.
"A lot of times men will hold things inside ... they won't talk about
The pent-up negative feelings can cause feelings of anger and hopelessness,
promote destructive behavior, or manifest themselves in physical ailments.
Research shows stress can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular, nervous,
immune, and digestive systems.
Bonhomme suggests exercise as a "masculine" way of relieving
tension: "If you've had a stressful day and you work out, you burn off
It also helps to identify what is causing the stress, and try to deal with
the issue, says Brott. Sometimes, he says this may mean talking to your
girlfriend, wife, or a minister.
If none of these methods work, talk with your doctor, or a psychologist.