Men’s Health Month is a time to recognize health care for men. It is also a time to encourage not only men, but young boys to begin making decisions and developing routines to ensure a happy and a healthy quality of life. Did you know that men, on average, die five years earlier than women? That is why it is so important to begin implementing healthy routines at an early age.
Here are five men’s health tips that are focused on improving men’s health--not just for Men’s Health Month, but for every month:
- Exercise Regularly
Finding time to workout can be hard in the midst of busy schedules. But finding time to fit exercise into your daily routine can improve your quality of life and overall health. How? Here are some of the benefits of consistent exercise:
- Reduced risk of heart disease- Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death among American men? Exercising facilitates better blood flow in the small blood vessels surrounding your heart which can prevent clogged arteries.
- Lower cholesterol- When you exercise, you increase your levels of HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) that eliminates LDL (“bad cholesterol”) from your system.
- Lowered risk of colon cancer- Behind heart disease, cancer is the third leading cause of death for men. Studies have shown that physical activity resulted in a 24% decrease of colon cancer risk.
- Reduced depression and anxiety- Feeling stressed after a long day at work? Exercise releases a bodily chemical known as endorphins. Studies have proven these endorphins relieve stress and help prevent depression.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
While it is important (and sometimes necessary) to treat yourself once in a while, eating a nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, fight off infectious disease, reduce your risk of heart disease, and help boost your energy during the day. When fueling your body, aim for a diet that is focused on fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Try your best to stay away from packaged, processed, or fried foods, and avoid refined carbohydrates such as sweetened cereals and white bread. While these types of foods catch our eye on the grocery store shelf, they have little to no nutritional value, and are typically high in calories.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Whoever said “sleep is for the weak” probably did not know that sleep deprivation is closely tied to our mental health. Did you know that a lack of sleep can lead to both stressed or anxious feelings? While you sleep, your body is actively working to support healthy brain function, growth, and development. When you do not get an adequate amount of sleep at night, it affects how you think, react, work, and interact with others.
A lack of sleep can also lead to serious physical health conditions. These include the following:
- Increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke- Sleep plays a vital role in the healing and repairing of your heart and blood vessels, both of which are responsible for transporting blood throughout your body.
- Increased risk of diabetes- The amount of sleep you get affects how your body reacts to insulin. This hormone is responsible for controlling your blood glucose (sugar) level. When you do not get an adequate amount of sleep, your blood sugar rises above normal levels which may increase your risk of diabetes.
- Increased risk of obesity- Sleep helps to maintain a healthy balance of hormones in your body that make you feel hungry and full. When you do not get enough sleep, it causes a hormonal imbalance that makes you feel hungrier.
- Impaired immune system- Your body’s immune system is responsible for fighting off harmful or foreign substances. Sleep deficiency can cause a change to the way in which your immune system functions and fights off common infections.
- Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Staying away from harmful habits such as smoking, frequent alcohol consumption, and steroid use, can ensure healthy living and a happier quality of life. Men who smoke are at an increased risk for heart disease, cancer, lower respiratory diseases, stroke, and erectile dysfunction. Studies have also shown that smoking and alcohol habits can lead to male fertility issues. In one study, heaving smoking was associated with decreased sperm counts, and frequent alcohol consumption led to increased numbers of morphologically abnormal sperm.
- Get Regularly Screened For Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men aside from skin cancer. The prostate gland is only found in males and is part of the male reproductive system. This type of cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland begin to grow out of control. While all males have a potential risk of developing prostate cancer, those at an increased risk include African American males, or males with a family history of prostate cancer. Screening for prostate cancer is the first step in early detection to begin treatment. There are two tests used for prostate cancer.
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test- PSA is a substance that is made by the prostate. Men with prostate cancer may have higher levels of PSA. A PSA test is a blood test that measures the levels of PSA in the blood.
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)- During a DRE test, a health care provider will insert a gloved finger into a man’s rectum to identify anything abnormal or cancerous.
Premier Medical Associates is an award-winning, multi-speciality practice that provides a variety of services beneficial to men’s health. These include, but are not limited to, cardiology, laboratory services, and nutrition services. If you are searching for a men’s health specialist or a nutritionist in Pittsburgh, call us to set up an appointment in-person or utilize our option of video visits. As the largest multi-speciality physician practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area, we are committed to providing you with the care you need to ensure your health during this important month.