Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Segal, M.D.
Good health to you! In honor of Men’s Health Awareness Month, we’re deep-diving into the health issues that men face. It’s much easier to be proactive than retroactive about your health. The inconvenience of gym time or going to the doctor definitely beats the inconvenience of disease. Men’s bodies go through so many changes as they age, which can feel like a lot to take on and be responsible for. And frankly, outside of exercise, men’s health isn’t advocated enough. There’s so much more to do to take charge of your health. Let’s talk about 5 healthy habits you can easily implement into your lifestyle.
If you’re already a weight-lifting regular, that’s great and you’re great and keep it up. But make sure to vary your workouts. When you put too much stress on your muscles and don’t give them enough time to rest, it actually limits their ability to grow. To continue challenging yourself and giving different parts of your body sufficient rest time, you should implement a mix of stretching, aerobics and muscle training. Exercising also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which lowers your risk for heart disease.
Feed your head
Because testosterone levels begin to decline, men over 30 are at higher risk for anxiety and depression. Your mental health affects your mood, your sleep, your appetite, your relationships and your physical health. That’s why taking a practical approach is so important. Exercising and eating well can help combat depression, but those and other healthy habits can be hard to implement if you’re not feeling well. Take serious note of your mood and any changes and talk to your doctor about the many options for getting your mental health back on track.
Sleep is absolutely crucial. A lot of men tend to think they can compensate for lack of sleep by energizing with exercise, but no dice, guys. An array of problems arise when you’re sleep-deprived. Studies show that men are even more affected by sleep loss than women. Not enough sleep not only has obvious effects on your mood and performance, but it releases chemicals and proteins that have been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. The majority of adults need between 7 and 9 hours every night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about your risk for insomnia or sleep apnea.
Don’t put off going to the doctor until you notice something wrong. By then, it can be harder to fix, which means even more appointments, time, money and stress. Prevention is key to a quality life. Stay on top of your cholesterol tests, blood pressure, STD panels, prostate cancer screenings, and any other preventative tests your doctor recommends. Even simple information-based tests like testosterone level tests can help you manage and improve your life according to your body’s specific needs. This month, encourage someone else you know to get tested too.
Whether it’s about how you’re feeling physically or emotionally, let it be known. Speaking to your friends, your doctors, your Reddit thread not only gives you a better opportunity for finding sufficient help, but it also reduces the stigma around talking about what ails you. Facilitating that conversation for other men is the most helpful thing you can do this Men’s Health Awareness Month.
For more info on what your testosterone levels effect, check out this article.