Men’s Health Month: Health Tips for Every Age
June is celebrated as Men’s Health Month, with a focus on increasing awareness of men’s health issues and promoting education and activities to foster a healthy lifestyle for men and boys.
Men’s Biggest Health Issues
- Cardiovascular Disease: 1 out of every 3 men have some form of cardiovascular disease.
- Respiratory Disease/COPD/Lung Cancer: The number of men with this disease increases each year.
- Prostate Cancer: This type of cancer affects 1 out of every 6 men.
- Depression and Suicide: 1 in 4 men have reported symptoms of depression to their doctors.
- Skin Cancer: Men over 50 are at the highest risk for developing skin cancer, twice as likely as women.
- Diabetes: 51% of those with adult diabetes are men.
Tips for Healthy Living
Healthy eating requires a good mix of nutrient-rich foods from the five food groups: fruit, vegetables, whole grain, lean meats, and dairy. Read labels for nutrient information, and avoid excessive sodium and sugar intake. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Make a habit of planning meals ahead of time so that you don’t skip meals or consume too much fast food.
Move it. Regular exercise, including cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training, are strongly suggested for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Many different activities can be found in our great city to keep you moving: jogging or biking along a beautiful San Diego beach, hiking along our amazing trails such as the ones found at Torrey Pines State Park and San Elijo Lagoon. Join an adult sport league where all are welcome, no matter their abilities.
Maintain your mental health
Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are important for ensuring a positive outlook. Meditation, reading, or listening to music help to relieve stress. Having a community of friends and neighbors, as well as participating in groups that share similar interests, can assist in your ability to deal with life’s challenges. Speaking to a therapist can also be of great help.
See your doctor
Regular annual checkups, with screenings to identify potential issues, are important to maintain continued good health.
Get rid of that unhealthy habit
Are you smoking, drinking excessively, or watching tv for hours on end? Are you skipping meals, overusing medications, or sleeping too little (or too much)? These all add up to both mental and physical stress.
Age-Specific Health Recommendations
- Food: Proper vitamin and mineral intake at a young age sets you up for a healthy future. Good nutrition can set you on a path for good health for the rest of your life.
- Exercise: Any healthy and safe physical activities done at least 5 times a week (including strength, stretch, and cardio training) are great. Participation in team sports provides a social support network, too.
- See your doctor: In your 20’s, the doctor will begin doing screenings for testicular cancer and high cholesterol. Personal risk factors may create the need for performing additional tests for cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, liver disease, skin cancer, anemia, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and drug and/or alcohol abuse.
Between the ages of 30 and 50, the annual appointment may include all of the screenings performed in your 20’s, with the addition of vision testing and prostate cancer screening.
- Food: At this point in life you must take in a bit more vitamin B12, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D. Continue to eat well but be careful not to eat too much protein. Men’s Health Month promoters support “meatless Mondays”.
- Exercise: Increase the amount of safe resistance training, stretching, and keeping up cardio exercises. This is a great time to add water fitness to your regimen, as its low impact is safer for your joints.
- See your doctor: Between the ages of 50 and 70, your doctor may begin to screen for Type II diabetes, lipid issues, colon cancer, depression, abdominal aneurysms, osteoporosis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
- Food: Proper nutrition is of utmost importance at this age. Ensure that you are eating often enough as well as taking in the needed nutrients. Be aware of your fiber, salt, and vitamin D intake.
- Exercise: If you have not already added walking to your regimen, now is a great time to do so. San Diego has a plethora of walking paths that are great for seniors. Some of the best places to walk in San Diego are right around the corner!
- See your doctor: All screenings done at previous appointments will continue throughout your remaining years.
Maintaining your health through proper diet and exercise will enable you to enjoy an active and robust lifestyle for many years.