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Health 101: What you need to know

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 in Fitness

Too many guys know about managing their health too late. It’s not uncommon for me to recieve e-mails with questions begging for advice on how to lose a beer gut- or worse, how to deal with dieting after getting diabetes due to bad “gamer” eating habits caught up with them.

Let’s cut the crap for a second. Unlike what fast food commercials and bad American sitcoms would like you to believe, real men are healthy, and they proactively work towards being healthy. Real men do not need a triple-stacked hamburger with extra cheese to be men (because apparently in the world of Hardees, “Man” and “Heart Attack” are synonymous). Sure, we all like good food now and then- but too many guys are buying the concept of health stoicism so much, they end up regretting it later in life.

So let’s cut that out right now. In this article, I’m going to address the very basics of keeping healthy- things you absolutely need to know right now about eating, exercise, and even a little bit of sexual health. You don’t really know how little you know until you think about it.

Fact 1: You need to be eating healthy right now.

Metabolism be damned. I don’t care if you can eat raw lard and stay skinny: eating healthy is going to pay back both now and in the future. Sodas, while extremely tasty, should be sparingly drank, as with alcohol and any other high sugar drinks (this includes Vitamin Water). You do not need a plate loaded with food- eating smaller portions more often is better for your metabolism and it gives you more energy. Junk food (chips, candy, and virtually anything else you can imagine a fat trucker eating) should be eaten sparingly. No-one’s saying you can’t have a good old burger every once in a while- but when you eat them regularly, you WILL get fat- even if right now you aren’t visibly packing on the pounds.

One point about this: once you lose a battle, you do not lose the war. All of us have had days where we have chugged 30 sodas or consumed two boxes of Krispy Kreme- this does not mean you must give up on your diet plan. One of the best dieting plans I have ever heard (which was written in an ancient book about weight training) was simple: eat healthy 6 days of the week, and give yourself a reward on the seventh. Even if you can go all seven days healthily, don’t consider it the end of the world if you eat poorly: just get back on track ASAP.

Fact 2: You need to be exercising right now.

One of my biggest gripes as of recent is that many guys think that “healthy” is the same as “as skinny as humanly possible”. This is not true. Being skinny or underweight does not mean that you are exempt from exercising- exercising is for everyone, no matter what. You should be doing a balanced exercise routine at LEAST twice a week to maintain body health- the effects will be easily noticeable when you begin. Fat or thin, muscular or weak, you need to have a good weight lifting/cardio/stretching routine- not to “get buff” or “get thin”, but just to stay healthy. We will have articles on how to get muscular- but right now, just accept that even if you want to keep a skinny weakling body type (for whatever strange reason you may have), you still need to be pumping some iron, just not 300lbs.

Fact 3: You need to be sleeping better.

I soundlike a hypocrite saying this with my late nights often spent writing articles for Well Cultured, but you need to get more sleep. Sleep is the glue that holds everything together- and trust me, going without will destroy you in ways you cannot even imagine. The lack of sleep will lead to poor mental performance, poor physical performance (this includes sex), and overall poor hygeine. Consequently, oversleeping will make you sluggish and lazy, and in some rare cases (like if you sleep after eating), it can even contribute to weight gain.

Fact 4: Stop masturbating so much.

This doesn’t need to be said in more detail than this: overdoing anything will have bad consequences. While you’re certainly not going to grow hair on your palms, you can easily desensitize yourself, both physically and mentally.

Fact 5: Your skin needs to be treated too.

As I’ve said on here before, I am 110% against makeup of all kinds for men (for women, it is good and sometimes desperately needed). Still, that doesn’t mean you don’t keep care of your skin. If you have acne, purchase a good cleansing solution and use it correctly. If acne is not a problem, make sure to rub some lotion on your hands/face/wherever fairly often. This will not give you skin “like a woman”- rather, it will just keep it from getting nasty.

Also, I’m going to basically send a big middle finger to the paranoid people out there. Get a tan. For most of us pitiful Anglo-Saxons, we are much paler than we think we are- and trust me, even the “pale” actors/models have at least a base tan at all times. Don’t go oompa-loompa orange- just get yourself a bit of sun. It will look (and feel) healthy. Trust me, humans crawled outside for hundreds of years under the sun, going out to the beach once in a while is not going to give you skin cancer- put on some sunscreen and just enjoy it.

Fact 6: Treat your hair right.

Excessive hair abuse (or hair neglect) will make you look stupid. Wash your hair often and this will not be a problem. Don’t get excessive hair coloring done or obsess over heavy product (the more firm the gel, the more your hair is abused, really). While this shouldn’t apply to most of our readers, don’t nuke your hair or do anything crazy- trust me, for some of us, we won’t have that hair forever.

That being said, the second you begin to go bald, go to a good stylist and have her work with it, or just shave it bald. Bald is confident. Combovers are not.

Fact 7: Wear good clothing.

This applies to shoes more than anything else. Wear shoes that feel good and let your feet breathe and walk naturally- avoid wearing sandals or other poorly fitted shoes. Many good shoe stores will now assist you with finding your “fit”, and make getting shoes that feel comfortable and let your feet breathe a breeze.

Also, with general clothing, NEVER go too tight. Fitted is good, skin-tight, blood-vessel-constricting wear is not. I am not kidding when I have heard horror stories about what happens to your package when you wear tight “girl jeans”. Avoid that for your future children, or even just your future sex life.

Fact 8: Shave like you mean it.

When you shave, shave well- don’t just go over your face quickly with no shaving gel, you will get ingrown hairs (and in many cases, cut yourself). Make shaving a pleasant ritual- it’s generally best to do so after showering. Use warm water, lather up with a good shaving cream, and follow the grain of the hair as best you can. Your face will thank you.

Fact 9: Have good posture.

Good posture is confidence. I’m not kidding. Not only does good posture keep you from having to go to a chiropractor later in your life, but good posture projects confidence and strength- so it’s a damn important thing for both your social and physical health.

Okay, let’s do a test right now. If you are sitting down right now, check your posture. Are you leaning back far into the chair, hunched back, or somehow sliding down the chair? Then you have bad posture. While most of us geek types have devised some interesting ways to get comfortable in computer chairs (or beds, or whatever), it’s not good for the back, or even your arms/wrists as you twist and contort to type.

Similarly, even your stance while walking is a factor in good posture. Keep your shoulders back, eyes out, and avoid slouching. The era of the “teen geek slouch” with your hands jammed into your pockets and your eyes at the floor is over. Walk around like you own the floor you stand on.

Fact 10: Keep good mental health.

As silly as this sounds, your physical body also reacts to your mental health. Be it trying to jog a mile or make love to a beautiful woman, if you don’t have good mental health, you won’t have good physical health no matter how hard you try. Keep studying, reading, writing, meeting new people, and keep yourself mentally healthy overall, and you will have a much better time with any of the facts above, bar none. If you are depressed, there is no way in hell you will perform to the top of your abilities: so sort out mental issues with the same fervor you do physical ones. Trust me, it helps.


One important thing about this list is that it is not in any order- everything I’m telling you is important in it’s own way. While it seems daunting to see such a list full of requirements and demands, trust me- things like these become natural, and doing things like exercising and eating healthy become so commonplace that you’ll forget you ever ate poorly. Focus on each item individually, and eventually your future self will thank you.

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9 Responses to Health 101: What you need to know

  1. Yum22Yum23 says:

    You might want to replace the first paragraph’s “good food” by “tasty food”, because if it tastes good, trust me, it isn’t good for you.
    Also, note that exercising does not mean gym, there are many other ways to do so.
    Sunlight has the strange effect to give you energy, generally because your eyes react to sunlight as a signal to get fired up(and that’s why you can’t go back to sleep once you’ve had an eyeful of light).
    For people who’re constantly bent over their computer as I used to be and am still sometimes, sleeping at night facing the ceiling and with a pillow rolled under your lower back will help soother back pains and straighten it.
    I remember a series of studies on “happiness” and while it sounds stupid and unquantifiable, people rated as “happy” fared much better faced with harsh environmental conditions ions than people who were rated as depressed.

  2. tripfag says:

    Fact 4 isn’t a fact at all, it’s more like an antiquated Christian lie, fabricated to prevent happiness, similar to ritual clitoral circumcisions in some African tribes.
    Enjoy your pressure, stress, depression, tension and prostate cancer. And of course, AIDS.

  3. pat says:

    Fact 4: You should have a lot of sex or masturbate, because it will boost your testosterone level. And this will help loose fat.

  4. Fatso? says:

    He never said stop masturbating, just don’t do it so damn much.

    “overdoing anything will have bad consequences”

  5. "that"guy says:

    for #4: masturbating too much when you’re young can apparently cause scar tissue to build up that the left side of the base of the penis, which can sometimes cause the penis to lean a little to the left by the time you stop growing (around 25 for men). The more scar tissue there is, the more it leans. Not that it’s harmful, it’s just a little weird looking. Then again, penises are always weird looking….

  6. Chronic says:

    How much is too much? 1 day isn’t bad, right? And I heard orgasming at least once a week keeps testosterone high.

  7. Chris says:

    I disagree somewhat with Yum22Yum23’s assumption that “tasty food” is always going to be bad for you. I just had a home-cooked meal that tasted amazing: whole-wheat organic spaghetti and spaghetti sauce made from scratch with all-fresh vegetables and barely a teaspoon of sugar. Makes a guy feel proud when he can pull that off… 😛

  8. DHW says:

    Fact 4 is silly. It is defendable because doing too much of anything is bad, so fact 4 can’t be wrong. At the same time, the concept it represents is wrong. Masturbating simply isn’t unhealthy and it isn’t overdone in the same way that eating healthy food/not sleeping/exercising enough are.

    Yum22Yum23’s is a matter of opinion, but I will say that imo unhealthy food is generally less delicious and less filling than healthy food.

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