Let's Talk About Men's Health
June is Men's Health Month and with Father's Day right around the corner, it's the perfect time to highlight ways men can improve their health! Keeping your health in check promotes peace of mind for yourself and the whole family.
If you have a cool dad (or any man) in your life...
...give him the gift of health and wellness he deserves!
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Men's vs. Women's Health
Compared to women, men's health tends to get overlooked. The role of masculinity and pressure to push through pain means that men are often known to downplay and ignore symptoms or injuries that could be affecting their long-term health. Men are also more likely to avoid going to the doctor and engage in riskier behaviors like smoking or drinking alcohol.
In fact, studies have routinely shown that women utilize primary or ambulatory care, keeping up with annual checkups, more frequently than men. The CDC informed that in 2019, 89.6% of female respondents ages 18 and older reported visiting a doctor for any reason in the past 12 months, compared to 79.8% of male respondents. Could this possibly be an explanation for why women live about 5 years longer than men on average? 🤔
The Wall Street Journal said it best, that as times progress, efforts are being made to "...break down the cultural and social barriers that have led generations of men to view health complaints as a sign of weakness." Some of these efforts include overcoming stigmas and turning to telemedicine (remote health care).
Heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the greatest health threat for men overall. The term refers to a variety of cardiovascular conditions including coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke. The top causes of death in males differs when taking into account ethnicity and age group. These include cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and stroke.
Now, enough with the health scares! What can you do or help a loved one do to steer away from these ailments and increase longevity? The good news is that you have the power to control your lifestyle choices, whether it be altering your diet, exercising regularly, or managing stress.
Ways to Improve Heart Health
- Manage stress
- Try the 4 A's: Avoid, Alter, Accept, Adapt
- Modify your diet
- Fruits & vegetables
- Whole grains
- Healthy fats
- Lean proteins
- Portion control
- Stay away from saturated & trans fats, added sugars, high-sodium & high-calorie foods
- BMI (body mass index) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight and is generally considered a good indicator of overall health. Calculate your BMI here.
- Exercise regularly
- Physical activity can not only help you lose weight, but can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing the risk of a heart attack.
- Intensity and duration of exercise can vary depending on the state of your health and body type. The CDC and WHO recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week. This equates to about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.