Health Advocate Blog

Men, now’s the time to focus on your health

The majority of men could benefit by paying more attention to their health and wellness. In fact, in comparison to women, men are more likely to put off regular check-ups, avoid seeking medical care when they’re having an issue, make unhealthy choices, take greater risks, and smoke and drink (according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services)

As such, Men’s Health Month, celebrated in June, encourages men and boys to be proactive about preventive care, take steps to live healthier lives, seek medical care when needed and protect themselves from disease and injury. This doesn’t have to be an entire overhaul of how you go about your daily routine. There are numerous things you can do every day to improve your health and stay healthy. Try the following suggestions:

If you don’t have one already, find a primary care doctor. A primary care doctor helps to assess your overall health, monitor conditions you may have, and ensure you’re up-to-date on age-appropriate screenings.

Pay attention to signs and symptoms, and don’t delay care. If you’re sick, injured or concerned about something with your health—get the care you need. Delaying care can make health issues more difficult to treat.

Stay on top of your mental health. It’s important to talk to someone or seek help if you’re stressed, anxious, feeling depressed or if you think something else might be wrong. The suicide rate among men is nearly four times higher than among women.

Exercise regularly. Strive for both resistance training (at least 2 days per week) and cardio activities (at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity per week).

Eat balanced meals. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Try to avoid food and drinks high in calories, sugar, fat and alcohol. Choose healthy snacks.

Try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Not getting the recommended amount of sleep can set you up for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and other physical and mental problems.

Remember, your eyes and teeth are important to health, too. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and exam to maintain oral health and resolve any issues before they get out of hand. Get regular eye exams to assess and monitor your vision as well as your risk for eye diseases.

Limit alcohol and quit tobacco. Men who have more than 2 drinks daily are at higher risk for certain diseases, such as cancer. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.

Making simple lifestyle changes such as those described above can help you live a healthier life.