Men, Take Your Health to the Next Level
Men’s Health Month is observed nationally every June as a way to raise awareness and reverse the negative health trends affecting men.
It’s probably no secret to anyone that, on average women take a more proactive approach to their health than men do. According to studies noted by the Men’s Health Network, men die an average of almost five years earlier than women, and at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death.
This imbalance is made up of several factors but one very important and preventable contributor is awareness, and research has shown that men are less aware of their overall health than women are.
“Men should make their health a priority throughout the year and be aware of the negative impact ignoring their health can have, not only on their lives, but on the lives of their loved ones,” says Joseph Turner, M.D., family medicine physician at Wind River Clinic. “As a month that hosts Father’s Day and a number of weddings and anniversaries, June is a time where many of us are already thinking about the special men in our lives, and it’s the perfect time to encourage them to schedule health screenings, discuss their health with loved ones and make healthy lifestyle changes.”
In celebration of Men’s Health Month, here are 6 simple things that men can do to achieve a higher quality of life and take their health to the next level.
1. Schedule regular check-ups and exams with a primary care doctor
While many men may not perceive a pressing need to visit the doctor, many medical conditions common in men may not have obvious, discernible symptoms. Regular check-ups with a primary care physician can help flag any issues before they become a real problem.
Besides in-office health screenings, there are certain self-exams – skin, oral and testicle exams – that all men over 20 years of age can and should perform regularly on their own at home.
2. Get an exercise routine and keep it fresh
Exercise is so important, and its numerous benefits can’t be ignored: longer life expectancy; lower risk for many common health issues; healthier muscles, bones and joints; better work performance; increased mental health and more energy.
Men’s bodies typically need three types of exercise at least three times a week:
- Resistance training
- Aerobic Exercise
The key is to find activities that you enjoy so you don’t get stuck in an exercise rut.
3. Eat Smart
A healthy and balanced diet leads to optimum performance and health. Use vegetables and fruits as your primary sources for vitamins, minerals and fiber; and limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol. And set the tone for your day and jumpstart your metabolism with a healthy breakfast.
4. Sleep, glorious sleep
Think of sleep as valuable health currency. Sleep is crucial to physical and mental performance. Sleep deprivation is associated with medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and depression and increases the risk of accidents in the workplace and on the road. Take inventory of your sleep habits and make sure you’re getting the right amount of sleep. When you sleep better, you live better.
5. In everything, balance
Strive to create a healthy work/life balance. Determine your priorities. Figure out what’s really important to you, and focus on effectively managing your stress. Your mental well-being directly affects your physical health.
6. Listen to your heart
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. In fact, one in four men will die from it. SageWest Health Care wants to change that statistic and help make our community healthier by educating you on the warning signs so we can catch it early.
The primary signs and symptoms of heart disease are:
- Chest discomfort
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness
If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, it’s important to act quickly. Call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number as soon as you suspect an issue. Every minute matters when it comes to heart disease.