Men who don’t take care of their physical and mental health with preventive care and lifestyle changes may wind up with serious health issues. The good news is that you can do a lot to take back control of your health from regular exercise and a healthy diet, to eliminating unhealthy habits like smoking and regularly attending checkups. The health of your body is in your hands, you are the CEO.
Here are four common men’s health issues to watch out and several steps you can take to help prevent them:
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men (and women). Here are a few preventive methods to reduce your risk of heart disease:
- Quit smoking. Smoking, and any tobacco use, is extremely bad for you. If you don’t smoke, avoid second hand smoke.
- Move your body. Our bodies are meant to move and do not function properly when we don’t. Regular physical activity also helps maintain weight and muscle strength.
- Eat a heart healthy diet. We are what we eat is a true saying. A healthy diet produces a healthy heart, and other organs too!
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases heart disease risk, especially if you are carrying a lot of that weight around your mid-section. Follow a heart healthy diet and get regular exercise to lose the weight and keep it off.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential to the health of our bodies, our hearts included! Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked numerous heart problems like high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke.
- Reduce stress. Chronic stress can increase inflammation in your body, which is associated with many health risks including your heart. Stress can also affect your heart in an indirect way by triggering unhealthy behaviors such as poor sleep, overeating, not exercising, or excessive alcohol intake.
- Know your numbers. High cholesterol and high blood pressure can damage the heart, but unless you test for them, you won’t know if you have either. (Side note: Use the facial scan feature in the EnvisionWell app to learn your blood pressure, heart attack risk, cardiac workload, stress index and more in just 30 seconds!)
Cancer is the second leading cause of death for men according to the CDC. While some of our risk factors for certain types of cancer are out of our control, there is still a lot we can do to help mitigate our risks and prevent cancer, many of them similar to the ways in which you can protect yourself from heart disease. A healthy lifestyle goes a long way! To learn more about ways to reduce your cancer risk, heck out our recent blog, Preventing Cancer.
Men are more likely to get type 2 diabetes at a lower weight than women. Diabetes damages your body, plain and simple. It increases your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. It hurts your vision and causes damage to your nerves, kidneys , and other organs. Erectile disfunction is a common side effect of diabetes. It is imperative to be regularly screened for diabetes and to adopt healthy lifestyle changes to improve or prevent it.
While men statistically experience depression less than women, it is still one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. The signs and symptoms of depression in men are a little different from women, and some men may not recognize them as depression, such as anger, irritability, aggression, feeling anxious or restless, and lack of sexual desire or other related issues. If you or a loved one is experiencing depression, it is important to seek professional help from a psychiatrist or therapist. If you or a loved one is in crisis or at risk for suicide, please call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
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