For Men’s Health Week we are sharing messages to help celebrate and bring awareness to the health of men and boys. In this blog, we are featuring the men that make up the NB3 Foundation. All unique in their own ways, we asked them all a few questions about health and wellness. Enjoy!
What motivates you to stay active?
Clint: My Kids
Jon: I agree with Caitriona Reed when she said, “Life is given to us for free. How can we repay such a gift except with the fullness of our own life?” Part of how I seek to live a full life is by staying active, especially by exploring and playing outdoors. Also, it’s fun!
Ryan: I like to run around with my dog, so if I can’t keep up with him then it makes me sad. That is why I work out.
Tom: Feeling good and strong.
Leroy: My Kids
Demitrius: Wanting to be the best at what I do.
What’s your favorite healthy snack and meal?
Jon: Salads are perfect healthy meals, just add your own favorite veggies, fruits and proteins. I’ve recently rediscovered my love for apples as a healthy snack.
Ryan: I enjoy a well-seasoned chicken breast on a bed of rice with greens. The greens can be brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, or edamame.
Tom: Frozen grapes
Leroy: My favorite meal is sweet potatoes and favorite snack is avocado toast.
Demitrius: Pears and green apples
How do you prioritize your mental health?
Clint: Taking some time for myself
Jon: Spending as much time as possible in nature is the greatest support for my mental health.
Ryan: I take naps when I can. I drink plenty of water. I take time to watch a funny show to laugh a little. I play with my dog when I get the chance. Lastly, I like to unplug from technology when I can, giving me the space to relax and not worry about the world.
Tom: It is crucial to motivation, I use meditation and mindfulness. Also time in nature and being one with the surroundings is awesome.
Leroy: I reflect rather than react, because my emotional energy is important to me, and I don’t want to waste it on the little stressors in life.
How does your health affect your family and community?
Clint: If I am not trying to live a healthy life then it will affect my family in a negative way.
Jon: Staying healthy means that I’m able to do good work and be the best husband, son, uncle and brother I can be.
Ryan: I set an example for my family by always running, urging my sister to go on hikes with me, and to eat healthier options when possible. Right now, I am trying to take my family hiking/camping this summer to get them outdoors. I enjoy being in the mountains and I would like for them to explore nature and appreciate it the way I do.
Tom: When I am self-motivated, I’m able to help motivate others.
Leroy: I’m a big believer in the saying “our kids will do what they see, and will say what they hear.” As a parent and community wellness advocate, it is very important for me to live a life style that reflects my words. This means being mindful of my relationships, how I treat others, and how I take care of myself.
Why is being healthy important to you when it comes to practicing and preserving your culture and traditions?
Clint: Without culture we have nothing
Jon: I aspire to live in the tradition of peoples who take seek to learn about, respect, and take care of one another and our world. Being healthy is essential for me to be able to fully explore, appreciate and show love to people and the earth.
Ryan: A lot of our traditions require you to be in a good/stable mental, physical, and emotional being. So, making sure I take care of myself allows me to carry on those traditions and spread the love.
Tom: As a non-Native, my culture is very different and it isn’t from lineage. It is rather my drive to make a difference for others. I do fundraising through my running and my races. Staying healthy provides me a means to accomplish these initiatives.
Leroy: Our ancestors were strong and persevered through tough times– being healthy today is my way of thanking them and keeping their legacy alive.
What advice or words of encouragement would you give to young Native men/boys about the importance of practicing healthy habits.
Clint: How you live your life will impact your family, your kids and your commuity.
Jon: Find the healthy habits that are fun and meaningful for you and don’t get discouraged if you sometimes lack motivation or fall out of your health routine. The small choices add up and making one small healthy choice today can lead to a lot more in the future.
Ryan: If you want to become healthier, whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally, it will require a lot of discipline and time. Create a routine for yourself, that way the healthy habit will eventually become second nature and allow you to set another goal. At the end of the day, your decisions will determine your outcomes so choose wisely.
Tom: Statistics are not on your side, be the new statistic.
Leroy: Find outlets that make you feel happy, and help you heal when it’s needed.
Demitrius: Put yourself first.
What health groups, websites, apps, gadgets, blogs, magazines would you recommend?
What are some healthy ways to celebrate Father’s Day and gift ideas?
Clint: Go for a walk or just be active with your kids
Ryan: Go for a hike, bike ride, or walk to a scenic area to make it fun. Schedule an annual physical to check your father’s health. Go for a swim at the pool or in a lake. Go golfing if your dad is into that or fishing. Gift ideas: a water bottle, workout clothes, running shoes, a day at the spa, or a new pillow so he sleeps well.
Tom: Go for a hike with the family.
Leroy: For Father’s Day, choose a place to hike, bike, or run with your family.