And due to many societal factors, men often pay less attention to their overall health compared to other genders.
According to Harvard Health, men are more likely to not take part in regular checkups. They’re also more likely to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol - increasing the risk for heart disease.
But most of the health problems men face are preventable.
During National Men’s Health Month we look to spread awareness around men's health and encourage men to take care of themselves by getting regular checkups and take care of themselves through exercise, diet, and disease prevention.
So, how can men take control of their health?
What can they do?
What actions should they take?
And what are some of the most common health problems men face?
In today’s article, we’ll be answering all these questions. Keep reading to learn more!
Common health problems men face
What are some of the common health problems men face?
How can they prevent these health problems from happening?
Among all cancers, prostate cancer is the most common among men. It’s said to be the second leading cause of death from cancer for men in the United States.
Although there are steps you can take to prevent it, some aspects that affect health are out of our control. Age, race, and genetics can all increase the chances of getting prostate cancer.
But making changes in your lifestyle and diet could help prevent it. Some changes you can make to help prevent prostate cancer include:
- Eating a healthier diet
- Increasing Vitamin D intake
- Quitting smoking and drinking less
- Staying sexually active (with or without a partner)
- Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight
Although prostate cancer is common, the leading cause of death in men in the United States is actually heart disease. In 2019 it caused 1 in 4 male deaths in the United States.
But there are steps men can take to reduce their risk of heart disease:
- Lower stress levels
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake
- Maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy diet
- Get regular checkups and ask about checking for diabetes and high cholesterol
Men face a lot of physical health problems, but one of the most stigmatized issues men face is mental health. And although the conversation has changed drastically, men, like many others, are still suffering from mental health issues.
Approximately 30.6 percent of men suffer from a period of depression in their life, and the suicide rate in American men is four times higher than it is in women.
But there are steps we can all take to care for our mental health. Self-care is one way we can maintain good mental health. We can practice self-care by:
- Practicing gratitude
- Focusing on positivity
- Getting regular exercise
- Setting goals and prioritizing
- Staying connected with people
- Taking part in a relaxing activity
- Getting an adequate amount of sleep
- Staying hydrated and eating regular healthy meals
But sometimes self-care isn’t enough. Recognizing the signs that you or a loved one is dealing with mental health issues can help someone take the first steps in treatment.
Some signs of depression might include:
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Thoughts of death or suicide or even suicide attempts
There are treatments for mental illness, and if you think you or a loved one are suffering make sure to reach out to a health care provider to get the help needed.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text “HELLO” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
How to participate
We can all participate in National Men's Health Month in one way or another.
It’s a great time for men to take a look at their health and start changing their habits and routines to create a healthier lifestyle.
Men can take charge of their health by:
- Exercising regularly - exercising can help people maintain a healthy weight, fight health conditions and diseases like cancer and depression, promote sleep, and even boost energy.
- Eating a more balanced and healthy diet - eating a more rounded diet may help to maintain a healthy weight, get the nutrients for optimal health, and even improve your heart health.
- Taking care of their mental health - activities like meditating, yoga, or time spent with hobbies and loved ones are all great ways men can practice self-care and relieve any stress, anxiety, and worry they may be feeling.
- Participating in some activities - spend some time hiking, playing soccer, dancing, or painting with some friends, loved ones, or even co-workers.
We can also encourage the men in our lives to speak about their mental health issues. Creating a safe place for men to express their concerns is a great way for us all to participate in Men’s Health Month.
Spreading the word about Men’s Health Month is also a great way to participate. It helps educate people on common issues men face, and it opens the door for more conversations to take place in our communities.
You could even participate in a fundraiser or create your own for men's mental health or even prostate cancer.
Another way we can participate is by dawning the color of blue during Wear Blue Day. Wear Blue Day is a day people wear the color blue to spread awareness around men’s health month, it takes place each year, on the Friday before Father’s Day.
Closing thoughts - National Men’s Health Month
Men’s Health Month is a time to make changes, spread awareness, and open the conversation about topics that are sometimes stigmatized in today's society.
We can all do our part during this month either directly by helping the people in our lives or ourselves, or even by participating in fundraisers and events that highlight the common health issues men face every day.
Make sure to share this with a friend or family member who could benefit from some of the information we provided so you can do your part to spread awareness around this important month for men's health!