Have you ever wondered how the men in your life are doing? From working long hours at work to prioritizing time with their families to staying involved in the community — the men in our lives tend to take on a lot of responsibility. They’re our real-life superheroes — strong and fearless. But with these labels and expectations, society may have influenced a problem that our healthcare professionals tend to see — that going to the doctor is a sign of weakness. And we are here to change that narrative.
According to a recent study, 40 percent of men only go to the doctor when they’re experiencing serious health issues, and rarely ever go for routine checkups. And about 21 percent of men avoid the doctor due to fear of a possible diagnosis. The pressure to conceal their “weakness” — of going to the doctor — could very well be the thing that leads to their fear.
This month, we want to spread awareness of the importance of men’s health and create conversations around men’s health issues. After all, June is Men’s Health Month and it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge and encourage them to seek any medical treatment and advice so they can stay in tip-top shape.
So, in honor of the men in your life, here are 3 tips on how they can take better care of their health.
Make healthy life choices through exercise and diet
Whether it’s going to the gym, going for a run (or slow jog), or working in the yard — getting physical exercise is very important in regard to staying healthy. From maintaining bone and muscle strength to reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers to relieving stress and enhancing sleep — exercise is just about the closest thing we have to a “cure-all”. According to the current Physical Guidelines for Americans, adults need to focus on not only exercising regularly but getting in the proper amount of exercise. This looks like:
- At least 150 minutes of exercise a week – that’s just 30 minutes 5 times a week of moderate to intense physical activity
- Muscle-strengthening activities that involve all muscle groups on two or more days a week.
Now, let’s talk about diet. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a healthy diet. It’s more than just calories-in vs. calories-out or a golden ratio of macronutrients. Eating healthy plays a big part in your overall health, and it’s an extension of how you live each day. The only way dietary changes last in the long run is by addressing the challenges that hold you back when it comes to eating and creating an individualized plan for yourself. And of course, our team of professionals is here to help. So, before you skip out on establishing a healthier relationship with food, consider these benefits:
- Increased energy and focus, ditching the constant brain fog and chronic fatigue
- Preventing, managing, or improving chronic disease
- Achieving major body transformations
- Improving digestive issues and gut pain
I know, it all can seem too hard. But the good news? Eventually, these actions of eating healthier and exercising regularly become surprisingly easier and require less conscious motivation because you will feel so much better. Try it, you’ll see.
Know your risk for prostate cancer
One in nine men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and there are roughly 175,000 new diagnoses each year. In fact, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. The good news is that prostate cancer typically is slow to grow, giving many the time to discover it before it becomes life-threatening. But just like any cancer or disease, the earlier cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat and contain. However, given the statistics, it’s important that men are being screened for prostate cancer at the appropriate age or if they’re experiencing issues — especially since they’re more reluctant to go to the doctor on a regular basis.
Catch problems early with routine screenings and annual physicals
Statistics prove that men have a shorter life expectancy than women. In fact, the gap has widened over time, and men, on average, are currently living 5 years less than women. That alone speaks volumes as to why Men’s Health Month is so important — men just simply aren’t as healthy and are 80% less likely to visit the doctor for annual checkups. We want to help fix that.
Knowing your numbers such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and BMI can help identify potential problems early before they morph into full-blown issues. The easiest thing men can do for their health is schedule an annual physical exam. At Aylo Health, we provide personalized care so annual physical exams are customized depending on each patient’s circumstances and health history. Scheduling an annual physical exam is important because the doctor can identify potentially serious issues early on. For example, did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? High Blood Pressure is the #1 factor that leads to heart disease and stroke and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 51.9% of men aged 20 and older have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Unfortunately, there are usually little to no symptoms of hypertension. That’s why it is SO important for the men in your life to schedule their physical exams. If they’re at risk for something like hypertension, the doctor will check their blood pressure and educate them on the steps to lower the risk of high blood pressure.
In many cases, age-appropriate preventative screenings are completely covered by insurance, so there should be no excuses to skip an annual physical exam!
Together, we can celebrate and encourage the men in our lives to take care of their health and bring awareness to all the health issues they have the potential to face.
To all the men, let this be a reminder to schedule your annual physical this month so you can take preventative measures before issues arise. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the ones you love. While some see weakness, most see going to the doctor as a sign of strength. Let that strength be what drives your decision to get and stay healthy.