While men may enjoy certain social advantages, that’s not always true when it comes to health and wellness.
Read on to learn how men’s health is different, as well as the best men’s health tips to enhance your quality of life and longevity.
How Men’s Health is Different
While women are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, men have higher rates of violence, substance abuse, and military combat service. Men are also less likely to seek help than women for issues like depression.
Rates of cancer and suicide are higher in men. Men also tend to get heart disease earlier in life than women.
For the past 40 years, the gap in life expectancy between men and women has grown. As a result, men don’t live as long as women.
Scientists think these differences are due to a combination of genes, hormones, gender roles, and social norms.
Fortunately, men can take steps to become healthier and live a long and fulfilling life. Read on to learn which men’s health tips can make a difference for men.
6 Men’s Health Tips for Health, Wellness, and Prevention
Tip #1: Manage Stress and Mental Health
Men are 3.5 times more likely to die of suicide than women. And white middle-aged men are affected the most by this tragic issue.
Because many men believe it’s not “manly” to seek help, they tend to bottle up their issues. Therefore, work stress and other forms of stress can build up over time.
It’s incredibly important to manage your stress and psychological health. Here’s how:
- Learn to open up about your problems and share them with friends or family.
- Set aside some time each day to relax and unwind.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Consider seeing a mental health provider.
If you feel hesitate to go to a therapist, don’t be. Even if you aren’t feeling depressed or anxious, going to a therapist regularly–or even temporarily–can work wonders for your wellbeing.
Psychology Today offers an excellent search directory to find a therapist, psychologist, or counselor in your area. You can look for someone who specializes in men’s issues, or who focuses on other things that may be relevant to your situation.
Tip #2: Exercise Frequently
A study of men found that low physical activity increases the risk of depression. Aside from going to a therapist, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.
Regular exercise also improves your heart health, boosts your mood, and preserves strength and lean muscle as you age.
Here are the best ways to exercise for better health:
- Go on daily walks, swims, or bike rides.
- Strength train at least once per week.
- Use a combination of slow aerobic exercise and interval training to improve your stamina and heart health.
However, don’t overdo it. If you feel fatigued or run down, try exercising less or at a lower intensity.
Tip #3: Get Regular Preventive Care
Men are more likely to be uninsured than women, and they also make about half as many preventive care visits. These facts surely affect men’s health negatively.
Fortunately, these days it’s easy to find a good primary care doctor in your area.
Along with choosing a doctor you trust, it’s also important to select the right insurance plan.
If you’re uninsured, you can sign up at the Healthcare Marketplace during the enrollment period at the end of each year. Coverage is based on your income, so you may qualify for low-cost insurance.
Some people don’t qualify for Marketplace coverage, but you may qualify for Medicaid in your state, which is free for unemployed or low-income people.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), physicals and annual checkups are free, so there’s no excuse to skip preventive care any more.
Once you find the right doctor for you, be sure to share your family history. Your family history is helpful for your physician to understand which tests to perform.
Additionally, men get heart disease earlier in life than women, and are more likely to die of cancer. Therefore, it’s a good idea to screen for these problems.
Tip #4: Focus on Cancer Prevention
Fifty percent of men will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime, while only 1 in 3 women get cancer.
Doctors aren’t sure what causes men to get cancer more often, but preventive care and an early diagnosis can make an big difference.
As men age, they should begin performing regular self-exams to check for testicular cancer. If you aren’t sure how, ask your doctor or watch this video.
After the age of 45, regular colonoscopies are also recommended. And men over 50 should have prostate exams and get their PSA (prostate-specific antigen) checked regularly to catch prostate cancer early.
Also, if you have a family history of cancer , ask your doctor to be extra-thorough while screening you.
Tip #5: Pay Attention to Testosterone and Sexual Health
Male testosterone levels and and sexual health are declining. Over the past 45 years, the average man’s sperm count has plummeted.
In addition to your fertility and sexual function, testosterone also affects your heart health and quality of life. Men with normal or high testosterone levels are less likely to suffer from heart disease, and are healthier overall.
About 16% of men have hypogonadism (low testosterone). Here’s how you can achieve higher testosterone levels:
- Eat less bread, pastries, and carbs.
- Avoid dairy products, eating out, and other inflammatory foods.
- Cook at home and eat plenty of dark green veggies.
- Obtain plenty of healthy fats like extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish in your diet.
- Maintain a healthy level of body fat.
- Don’t put your cell phone or laptop near your testes.
- Avoid plastics, sunscreen, and other sources of estrogen-mimicking chemicals.
If you suspect you have low testosterone, you can ask your doctor for the following tests:
- Total testosterone
- Estradiol (sensitive)
Finally, if you experience erectile dysfunction (which affects up to 25% of men under age 40), speak to your doctor. ED can be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.
Tip #6: Use Supplements Wisely
Supplements can enhance men’s health, but not all supplements are worth your money.
Here are the best men’s supplements that are backed by research:
- Magnesium can improve your heart health and lower your blood pressure. Try magnesium glycinate or threonate for better absorption and fewer stomach issues.
- Taking selenium can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 24%, and is also great for testicular function.
- Ubiquinol, a type of Coenzyme Q10 supplement, enhances your sperm quality and improves your heart health.
Remember that supplements are only one part of addressing men’s health holistically. So don’t forget to focus on stress management, regular exercise, preventive care, cancer prevention, testosterone levels, and sexual health.