Since 1994, June has been the officially designated observation of men’s health in the U.S. – specifically, the need for early detection and treatment of preventable health problems. In honor of Men’s Health Month, how can you avoid common men’s health issues and become more aware of the need to stay healthy?
1. Get a Physical
On average, men die five years younger than women, but most of the factors that contribute to a shortened life are avoidable with early detection and intervention. Many people put off regular health screenings. However, during a physical, a doctor can tell you if you are at higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and prostate cancer, among others. Catching these problems while they are still easily treatable can help you live a longer and healthier life. Schedule a checkup, and encourage your friends to do so, too.
2. Exercise Regularly
The physical and mental health benefits that come with physical fitness are well-documented, but people often struggle to find the motivation to work out. If you don’t already have an exercise regimen, Men’s Health Month is an excellent opportunity to start one. Here are some tips for getting enthusiastic about regular workouts.
- Find a workout buddy to keep you accountable.
- Choose an activity you enjoy. For example, if you’ve tried jogging and know you don’t like it, experiment with swimming, biking, rock climbing or hiking instead.
- Join a recreational sports league. Games like softball, soccer and volleyball are fun and an excellent way to sneak in a workout. You’ll get your heart rate up and burn calories without it feeling like a chore. You may even make some new friends along the way.
- If you never seem to be able to find time to fit a workout into your busy schedule, try “exercise snacking.” This approach enables you to squeeze in short bursts of activity whenever you have a few free minutes, instead of spending an hour in the gym each day.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Mental Well-Being
Your mental health and your physical health work in tandem to help you live your best life. If you overlook your mental health, it will eventually take a toll on your physical condition. Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, but if you’re struggling with symptoms of anxiety or depression, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Talk to a supportive friend, or find a therapist who can recommend a variety of constructive coping mechanisms.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
If you’re trying to improve your overall wellness, don’t overlook the power of nutrition. You can’t expect to be at your best if you’re not giving your body the fuel it needs to keep you thriving. Eating healthy foods doesn’t require tedious calorie counting or jumping on board with the latest fad diet, so it’s easier than you might think. Strive for whole, minimally processed foods wherever possible. At the grocery store, load your cart with colorful, fresh produce, lean proteins and dairy products, and avoid the center aisles, where the chemical-laden foods tend to be.
How to Find Certified Addiction Treatment
This Men’s Health Month, fight the stigma of seeking help for substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues with Spearhead Lodge’s extended care program for young men. We have created a safe, single-gender environment where men can get the care they need to turn their lives around. Contact us for more information.