Men face many unique challenges in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and Men’s Health Month is the perfect opportunity to heighten their awareness. To celebrate this special month of activity, let’s delve into several important health topics men may focus on.
1. Watch what you eat
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among males in the US (according to the CDC), nearly a quarter of the population. Thankfully, the right heart-healthy foods can keep you from becoming a statistic. Fish, nuts, berries, and even dark chocolate are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to good heart health. On the other hand, excessive intake of sodas, margarine, red meats (sorry, men, that does include bacon), processed meats and cheeses, or condiments such as ketchup can have the opposite effect. Moderation is key!
2. Exercise, exercise, exercise
When it comes to routine physical activity, it seems men either love it or hate it. Regardless, the benefits are undeniable. In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, ones who have suffered heart attacks can reduce their risk of heart disease by one-third if they engage in vigorous exercise! The risk of developing certain types of cancer common to men, including colon cancer, can be cut significantly. Even an activity as simple as a brisk walk 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of disease and increase heart health.
3. Get regular checkups
Perhaps the scariest thing about health problems is how, no matter our age, they can seemingly pop up out of nowhere. However, preventative maintenance can keep you one step ahead. Visit your primary care physician yearly for a physical exam. As you get older, consider getting screened for common male maladies such as prostate, colon, and testicular cancer. Together with your doctor, you can put a stop to severe health problems before they begin. Don’t be hesitant to share any issues you may have. Which leads to our final topic…
4. Share your feelings!
It’s a common and often amusing stereotype that men don’t like to talk about their feelings. Not so amusing is the fact that such behavior can be devastatingly self-destructive. The suicide rate among men is a great deal higher than that of women. It’s often called “the silent epidemic”, as many men tend to keep such matters to themselves until it’s too late. Bottled up stress can increase wear and tear on the heart and mind, leading to numerous physical and mental health problems. Even if it may prove difficult at first, strive to open up to others. Share your thoughts, anxieties, joys, and fears with close friends and family members. Your body will thank you for it.
Men, it’s never too late to take stock in your heath. If you haven’t already, Men’s Health Month is the perfect time to start. Never forget, whatever you need to improve or maintain your health, your local Family Pharmacy is with you every step of the way.