Happy National Men’s Health Week! Men’s Health Week is celebrated every year the week leading up to Father’s day. Men have been known to be notorious for putting their health and wellness on the back-burner, so we take this time to bring awareness to the importance of men’s health.
We all have fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, and friends that are men and we want these guys to be healthy and live a long life. Encouraging the men in your life to take care of themselves could be the push they need to make their health a priority. Below are some essential steps that men can take to kick start their healthy lifestyle.
Make a doctor's appointment
There are often jokes made about women living longer than men, but on average women do actually tend to live 5 years longer than men. A huge part of men’s health week is bringing awareness to preventable diseases that are taking years off of their lives. Many men are often discouraged, scared or simply unaware that they should be making routine doctor appointments for testing and screenings.
As men get older their health and potential health risks can change. Between the ages of 30 and 40 it is recommended that men begin to develop a trusting relationship with a doctor who is familiar with their family history and health concerns. This can help to get started on regular preventative disease screenings. While the frequency and timing of these health screenings may be different for every man depending on their current health and family history, below are some recommended checks and screenings for men and their different life stages:
- Blood pressure screening (ages 30-40)
- Cholesterol screening and heart disease prevention (ages 30-40)
- Diabetes screening (ages 40-50)
- Prostate cancer screening (age 50)
- Colorectal cancer screening (age 50)
- Physical exam (once a year)
- Dental exam (1-2 times a year)
- Eye exam (every 2 years)
Get some exercise
Between work, family obligations, and lack of time and energy, it can be impossible to find the motivation to exercise. Regular physical activity provides you with a crazy amount of physical and mental health benefits. Exercising keeps your heart and lungs working efficiently, improves bone health, lowers the risk of some cancers, can ease depression and anxiety, and provide you with more energy to power through the day.
Whether you’re 25 or 55, exercise is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Just 30 minutes a day of some physical activity such as a bike ride, swimming some laps, or even just a morning or evening walk, can impact your health for the better. So take the step today to get up and get moving!
A healthy diet can be hard for a busy man and even harder with fast food and unhealthy options available. Eating a nutritious diet with proper portion sizes can improve your health and help you to maintain a healthy weight. Men tend to have more muscle than females and burn calories faster so it is important to make sure you are taking in the correct amount of calories for your weight, height, age, and health goals.
A healthy diet consists of quality foods that give your body the right amount of nutrients needed to maintain your health and give your body enough fuel to make it through the day. These nutrients should include lean proteins, complex and low glycemic index carbohydrates, and heart healthy fats. A balance of high quality foods will also help you consume the micronutrients necessary for development, disease prevention and overall well being. Basic nutrition can seem overwhelming but it’s actually pretty simple and necessary to get started with eating healthy. Meal prepping and meal prep services are options that can make eating healthy easier and less time consuming.
Prioritize mental health
While it’s important for everyone to prioritize their mental health, men need a little more TLC as their mental health is sometimes overlooked. Statistics show that mental health struggles are on the rise among men because it’s not uncommon for men to think that they need to be the “tough guy” and be strong for their families and the people around them. Truth is, it’s completely acceptable for men to feel sad, stressed, and overwhelmed with the state of their mental health, especially after the pandemic and the year we’ve had. Not seeking help for these emotions can worsen mental health and lead to more serious health problems such as panic attacks, body aches and pain, strokes and heart attacks.
Your mental health and happiness is worth investing in for yourself and the people around you. You need a healthy mental state to enjoy your life, have healthy relationships, and get through the everyday challenges that life unexpectedly throws at you. Below are some steps you can take in the right direction to prioritize your mental health;
- Normalize feelings of stress, sadness, and anxiety. We are all human and these are normal emotions for everyone to feel from time to time, male or female.
- Make lifestyle changes. Improving your sleep, getting more exercise, and eating quality foods can have a positive impact on your mental health.
- Reach out for help. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or licensed therapist, speaking up and asking for help is the hardest yet most rewarding step.
In honor of Men’s Health Week, share these tips for men’s health with a man in your life who may need that push or friendly reminder to take care of themselves. Men, whether the step is big or small, be the “tough guy” and take charge of your health. Happy Men’s Health Week!