Men’s Health Month: Memorial’s Guide to a Stronger You
Men’s Health Month is a reminder to prioritize your health and wellness. We’ll break down what men’s health is, how to make your health a priority, including your mental health, and ways to create a healthier lifestyle.
What is men’s health?
Men’s health includes physical fitness, mental wellness, and emotional balance. Men face unique health challenges, such as heart disease, prostate cancer, mental health issues, and lifestyle-related conditions. By understanding and addressing these concerns, we can take proactive steps toward better health.
Make your health a priority
Prioritizing your health means taking small, achievable steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Start by scheduling regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. These appointments allow early detection and prevention of potential health issues.
Here are some common health screenings recommended for men at different ages:
- Blood Pressure Screening: Starting at age 18, men should have their blood pressure checked at least once every two years. If blood pressure is elevated, more frequent monitoring or treatment may be required.
- Cholesterol Screening: Men should have their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years starting at age 20. If at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, screenings may begin earlier and be more frequent.
- Prostate Cancer Screening: Starting at age 50, men should discuss with their healthcare provider the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening, including the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE). Depending on individual risk factors, screening discussions may start earlier at around age 45.
- Colorectal Cancer Screening: Men should begin colorectal cancer screenings at age 50. Different screening options include colonoscopy every 10 years, flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, or stool-based tests (e.g., fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test) every one to three years.
- Diabetes Screening: Men with risk factors for diabetes (e.g., overweight, family history) should undergo blood glucose testing. The frequency and age to start screening may vary based on individual risk factors, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider.
It’s important to note that these recommendations may differ based on specific guidelines or individual circumstances. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice based on your health history, risk factors, and current guidelines. Also, focus on a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques.
Break the stigma
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Men often face unique challenges in seeking help due to societal expectations and the stigma surrounding mental health. Let’s break that barrier by fostering an open, supportive environment. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction, such as hobbies, mindfulness, and spending time with loved ones. Remember, seeking support is a sign of strength, and there are resources available to help.
Build a healthier lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be daunting. Start by incorporating small changes into your daily routine. Choose nutritious foods, stay hydrated, and find physical activities you enjoy. Explore new hobbies and engage in activities that bring you joy. Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. Celebrate your successes along the way, and remember that every positive choice you make contributes to your overall well-being.
Men’s Health Month reminds us all of the importance of taking care of ourselves and the men in our lives. By understanding men’s health concerns, breaking stigmas, and making positive lifestyle choices, we can create a healthier future. Let’s embrace this month as an opportunity to support each other on our journeys to improved well-being. Together, we can make a lasting impact. Watch our Men’s Health Matters panel discussion for more insight.