While men are often viewed as effortless figures of strength, they need to take care of their health just as much as anyone else. (opens in a new tab) have shown that men are less likely to utilize health care visits to doctor’s offices and have a higher mortality rate than women. The issues that relate to men’s health contribute to these significant disparities, and that’s why it is important to encourage men to actively care for their health. This June marks (opens in a new tab), a national observance used to spread awareness for boys and men to practice healthy living decisions. In honor of spreading awareness, we’ve outlined four tips for men to stay healthy not only this month, but every month.
1- Exercise Regularly.
Getting regular exercise is essential to your physical and mental health. Not only can it help to keep a healthy weight and reduce stress, but it is the best way to prevent heart disease. Heart disease is the (opens in a new tab) among men in the United States. Regular exercise helps to keep your heart strong, lower your blood pressure, and more.
Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. It is recommended that you get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week, so you can split your time up however you’d like to reach that weekly goal. You can try exercises like:
It is also important to incorporate strength training and muscle building activities into your regimen. Try to aim for at least two sessions of weight lifting, rock climbing, yoga, or another muscle strengthening exercise per week.
Getting enough exercise is imperative for a healthy lifestyle, as keeping a healthy weight will reduce your risk for obesity-related diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Make sure you check with your before starting a new or intense workout program, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.
- Brisk walking, whether it's through the park with your dog or on the treadmill.
- A light jog outside or on the treadmill.
- Biking outdoors or attending a cycling class.
- Joining a group fitness class like zumba, HIIT, and more.
2 - Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet.
What you eat has a big impact on your overall health, and keeping a healthy diet is crucial to staying in good health. It is best to avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of saturated and unhealthy fats. Instead, try eating a diet that is high in:
When you go to the grocery store, bring a list of healthy, fresh foods, and stick to it. This way, you can avoid wandering in the junk food isles and making impulsive purchases. Be sure to allow yourself treats in moderation, but limiting fake, processed food and opting for fresh, whole foods overall can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains like brown rice and whole-grain breads.
- Lean meat and poultry like chicken breast, ground turkey, or lean ground beef.
- High protein fish like salmon.
- Fiber rich foods like beans and leafy greens.
3 - Care For Your Mental Health.
Men are notorious for avoiding mental health care, as cultural stigmas surrounding mental health often create an obstacle for men to open up about mental struggles. A 2020 study found that men died by suicide 3.88 times more than women. This issue begs attention, as mental health is just as important as physical health. There are many ways you can actively care for your mental health and get help if you need it. Some things you can do are:
- Talk to someone - Whether you are experiencing mental health problems, have recently suffered a stressful event, or you just need to vent about work, find someone you can speak openly with about what you are feeling. Talking things out can help to relieve some of the built-up stress and make you feel less alone. Find a friend, parent, or counselor to talk to and try not to keep things inside.
- Make time for self care - It is important to make time for yourself and the things that you enjoy. The responsibilities of daily life can be tiring and stressful, and continuing on without breaks can lead to burnout. Find an activity that you enjoy, whether it is taking up a new hobby or reading your favorite book, make time for stress relieving activities in your daily life.
- Be yourself - Many men feel pressured to act a certain way or hide emotions due to social norms. If something doesn’t feel right to you, there is no need to force anything. You should do whatever makes you happy, and you may find that you'll feel stronger for not giving in to social expectations and being true to yourself.
Your mental health is essential to your overall health and well-being. If you are struggling, do not hesitate to ask for help. There are many resources available to help you deal with mental health struggles, and no one should go through them alone. Professional counseling can be a helpful resource in providing you a safe space to express your concerns, learn coping skills, and receive treatment for any mental health issues you are experiencing.
4 - Visit Your Doctor Regularly.
Visiting your doctor is necessary for staying healthy, even if you feel fine. Schedule yearly check-ups with yourand make sure you go to the appointments. When you visit your doctor, you can receive immediate and long-term care services like:
- Flu Care - We provide vaccinations, symptom monitoring, and more.
- CHF - We provide prevention and treatment for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).
- Diabetes care - We assist you with diabetes prevention and management, including number tracking, lifestyle recommendations, and more.
- High Blood Pressure - We offer effective forms of prevention and treatment for high blood pressure.
- Vaccines - We will ensure your vaccinations are administered and boosted as needed.
- Preventative care - Based on the findings in your exams, your medical history, and any concerns you express, we will offer counseling tailored to you for preventative measures.
Whether you have noticed changes in your health, or you feel perfectly fine, it is important to see your doctor regularly to stay in good health and catch any issues early.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily responsibilities of life, but taking care of your health is of the highest importance. While this month is Men’s Health Month, you should be actively looking out for your health all of the time. By practicing healthy habits and reaching out to your doctor, you can rest assured you are doing the best you can for your well-being. If you need to visit a doctor, look no further than . Our are dedicated to keeping you in optimal health year-round.
Genesis Medical Associates is dedicated to providing families with access to primary care and improving the overall health and wellness of our patients. We offer a variety of services including, , , , and more. Visit one of our many Pittsburgh, PA locations or online today.