Let's Talk Men's Health
Let’s Talk Men’s Health. The Month, Not the Magazine.June marks the beginning of Men’s Health Month – a time of year dedicated to raising awareness around men’s health care and to encourage healthy habits that promote physical and mental well-being.
Be Kind to Your Body
You only get one body, so treat it right.That’s right men – I’m talking to you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are twice as likely than women to go over two years without seeing a health care professional. This must change. 25% of men die of heart disease every year. Meanwhile, colon and skin cancers are significantly more common among men than women. As you age, it’s critical to get regular screenings so your doctor can assess symptoms or risk factors. Diet, exercise, and stress levels can all play critical factors in long-term health. Being proactive now means you can best prevent serious issues down the road. This is why it’s important to be honest with your doctor. Are you a smoker and a drinker? Be honest. Learn about your family history so your doctor can conduct the right tests. According to Dr. Matthew Hawks, assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Uniformed Services University, “men ages 18 to 35 should have their blood pressure measured every three to five years. But those with a family history of high blood pressure may require more frequent screenings. And while screening for colorectal cancer usually begins at age 45 or 50, if you had a parent who had colorectal cancer before the age of 60, we start screening sooner.”
The Best Preventative Medicine
It’s exercise. Whether that consists of a light jog or a heavy lifting session, living an active life is necessary for living a long one. If you’re someone who struggles to get motivated, there are tools that can help.Fitness trackers are an easy way to engaged around your health and physical fitness. Your body signals when there’s an issue. Luckily, the KoreTrak Pro smartwatch is an affordable way to interpret your body’s signals. It measures vitals like heart rate, body temperature, and sleep. For men who struggle with weight loss and look to improve their diet, KoreScale Gen 2 is an intuitive smart scale that allows you to be more informed about what’s going on in your body. Exercise doesn’t just promote physical fitness and heart health. Low levels of testosterone are directly correlated with depression and stress in adult males. Regular exercise will increase testosterone and pump you full of endorphins – a powerful mood booster.
Men And Mental Health
As we move to a post-pandemic world, the discussion around men’s mental health has gotten louder – a trend that must continue.When a part of our body doesn’t feel right – an injured ankle, an irregular heartbeat – we see a doctor. Why shouldn’t we treat our minds the same? Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – these are all common issues men all over the world deal with. It’s important to understand that mental health issues very real and are also much more common than we even realize.
Not everyone who suffers from depression or an anxiety disorder wears it on their face like Eeyore. This is especially true for men.
Men deal with societal pressures and stereotypes detrimental to their mental health. Expectations surrounding traditional gender roles, socioeconomic pressure, or even sexual performance can lead feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. For others, trauma like a difficult home life or a history of substance abuse can be triggers. Fear of embarrassment and overwhelming expectations are often the reason why men are significantly less likely to discuss these issues than their female counterparts. These fears are often exacerbated when men feel the need to bottle up these emotions to avoid being labeled as soft. Or being told to Suck it up! Be a man! Ultimately, men should own and address these vulnerabilities. Put aside toxic pride; be honest with yourself and those closest to you. It’s important to be vocal about these issues and speak to someone, whether it is family, friends, or a professional. This shows other men that it’s not only ok, but normal. In recent years, celebrities and professional athletes have become more outspoken about their own struggles with mental illness. We look at these groups like superheroes, so it’s comforting to understand that they struggle and find help, too. NBA champion Kevin Love shared a vulnerable story with The Players’ Tribune about a panic attack he suffered in the middle of a game. “If you’re suffering silently like I was, then you know how it can feel like nobody really gets it. Partly, I want to do it for me, but mostly, I want to do it because people don’t talk about mental health enough. And men and boys are probably the farthest behind.” Love said Fellow NBA peer and San Antonio Spurs star, DeMar DeRozen, has also been vocal about his own issues with depression. “Even if it’s just somebody can look at it like, ‘He goes through it and he’s still out there being successful and I’m doing this.’ I’m OK with that.” These athletes put their biggest insecurities on display to show that anxiety and depression can come in all forms, no matter your level of success. If you don’t know what it’s like, then you don’t know what it’s like. So before judging, listen and learn from those brave enough to speak up about what they are dealing with. If you’re struggling with similar feelings, you’re not alone. People are willing to listen and help. Seek them out.
4 Ways Men Can Take Control Of Their Health TodayTalk to someone - This can come in the form of family, friends, or a professional - like a physician or a therapist Invest In Your Health - Purchase a fitness tracker or download an intuitive app that will help you get educated and motivated around your health and fitness. Exercise - Break a sweat. It's good for your body and your mind.
Be Honest - Everyone is going through something. You're not alone. So, speak up.