Did you know that men typically die younger than women due to a variety of reasons? In honor of Men’s Health Awareness month, we look at ways men can improve their physical and mental health. It is important for men to take care of their bodies, especially the older they get.
So, what can be done to improve men’s health? Here are some tips:
Visit the doctor regularly
You wouldn’t ignore regular maintenance on your car or home. Your mind and body need care and attention, too. That is why it’s important for men, even young men, to see their primary care provider regularly. According to a 2020 study done by the CDC, roughly 79 percent of men visited their doctor. That number may seem good, but when compared to the 88 percent of women that visited their doctor, it means that some men were more likely to miss diseases that could have been caught earlier, such as prostate or colorectal cancer.
Men over the age of 40 should schedule a visit with their primary care provider yearly, while men in their 30s should see their provider every other year. Men with chronic health issues will need to see their provider more often.
Change diet and habits
This is a no-brainer; diet affects how the body operates. Diet also has a major impact on heart health and obesity. Did you know that men are more likely to die from heart disease than women? At least 40.5 percent of men are classified as obese and 51.9 percent of men suffer from hypertension. Eating heart-healthy foods can help reduce your risk of obesity and hypertension.
Eating right is not the only thing men can do to improve their health. Physical activity is also vital in keeping up a healthy weight. Roughly 58 percent of men engage in some sort of physical activity. If you are not one of the 58 percent, create a new habit to go to the gym, work out at home, or get outside for a walk for at least 30 minutes a day. A regular exercise routine can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy one. Before you begin any exercise program, please consult with your primary care provider.
Additionally, smoking and drinking alcohol can also affect a man’s health. If you smoke, quit. If you drink regularly, you should consume no more than 14 drinks in a week and no more than four drinks in any given day. If you find that you drink more than this amount, work with your provider to decrease your alcohol intake to manageable levels.
Maintain mental health
Did you know that men are more likely to commit suicide than women? Men need to take care of their mental health just as much as their physical health. Simple adjustments to daily habits can help improve your mental health. Take time to disconnect from news and social media on a regular basis. Go out to see friends and family. Participate in an activity you love. Incorporate mindfulness practices such as expressing gratitude, journaling or meditation. And reach out to your provider if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse or other mental health issues. If you are a member at one of our myGeneration Clinics, your provider is part of a Mental Health Integration team that can connect you with resources to support your recovery. All these things make a difference and can help improve your mental health.
Why Intermountain Healthcare?
Intermountain Healthcare provides excellence in primary care. Our medical teams are connected to a wide network of specialists who can offer the advanced care that you need whether it relates to your physical or mental health. Visit us online to find a provider near you. We look forward to caring for you.
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician or qualified health care professional.
Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were not involved in the creation of this content.