June 4, 2024
Tips for Men’s Health

Tips for men’s health should not be limited to one month a year. Bringing awareness to the importance of men's health is a key topic of discussion any season. Connected Health is a leader in advocating for early detection and treatment of preventable health issues in the Pittsburgh Area.

5 Tips for Men’s Health Month

In the month of June, the health and wellness industry puts focus on supporting men and their journey to wellbeing. Why only June? A stigma persists in America discouraging men from seeking healthcare, often viewing illness or injury as a sign of weakness. June offers us an opening to explore the specific medical needs of the male demographic, creating a space to learn more about proactive and preventative healthcare. Investing in good health early is just as important as a retirement account. The more proactive you are in your health, the better your senior years of life will be.

Tip #1: Find A Fitness Routine

If you’re not already an active person, getting to the gym can seem daunting. Luckily, there are simple ways to approach adding more movement into your routine.

Set realistic fitness goals. Unless you undergo a dramatic weight loss surgery, losing 100 pounds in a year can be unrealistic. If you set a goal to lose 100 pounds, decide what a realistic timeframe would be and start there. Most people seeking to lose weight do so at a rate of 1 pound a week. With that in mind, giving yourself two years to reach your weight loss goal is more realistic and you’re more likely to remain motivated through achieving your goal.

Tip #2: Stay Up To Date On Routine Health Examinations

Men who make health a priority year-round stay on top of their annual checkups. You can incorporate routine check-ups into the busiest of schedules by finding the right primary care model to meets your needs. A doctor whose focus is on a personalized health journey with proactive and preventative options will always be the best choice to ensure you are not overlooking screenings specific to you.

Annual Checks for Men’s Health

Make sure you are keeping up with your routine annual exams.

·     Dental Exams- Visits to your dentist are a must in maintaining oral hygiene and health. You should visit the dentist twice a year to maintain oral health.

·     Optometry- Men should get an annual vision screening but put it off because they can read and see just fine. Eyesight is often degenerative or gets worse as we age. Once a year, make an appointment to check your vision. If contacts or glasses are uncomfortable, your optometrist can recommend other options to ease your eye strain.

·     Testosterone Checks- Societal perceptions of masculinity, privacy concerns, and misconceptions can cause barriers to simple solutions to low testosterone. Testosterone declines at a rate of 1-2% a year after the age of 30. If initial tests indicate normal T levels, men should consider testing levels annually. Your doctor can advise on frequency of testing if levels are outside of normal parameters.  

·     Prostate-Specific Antigen Testing- PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland. This blood test, along with a physical exam, screens for prostate cancer. Doctors recommend starting annualPSA testing at the age of 55, but if family history indicates, routine PSA testing can begin around 40.

Tip #3: Reduce Stress

Men face societal pressures around working and providing for their families. However, incorporating downtime is important for stress management. If you struggle with the illusion of work/ life balance, reach out to a wellness coach. Many companies have a wellness program with resources to help provide powerful tools to manage stress and anxiety. If your company does not have a wellness program, we recommend The Flourish Group.

Since the pandemic, companies are starting to recognize therapy as a courageous and proactive step toward mental health. Talking to a therapist provides a safe, confidential space to explore stressors, and develop coping strategies. Therapy can be a vital tool for personal growth.

Tip #4: Improve Your Nutrition

A nutritious diet is essential to supporting metabolic health, muscle mass, and overall vitality. More goes into a balanced diet for men than meat and potatoes.

Tailored Nutrition Tips for Men’s Health

·     Metabolism naturally slows down year after year. Prioritizing protein is important to maintain muscle mass. When you include a good source of protein—meat or plant-based—at every meal, you are helping your body sustain overall muscle mass.

·       Increase fiber intake to support digestive health. Fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels. Aim to consume 38 grams of fiber per day from sources such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

·       Limit sodium and processed foods. Sodium affects your blood pressure. The risk of heart disease and high blood pressure increase with age. So, limit the amount of salt you cook with and try substituting with herbs to boost the flavor.

·       Support your heart health by incorporating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

·       Adequate hydration is essential for circulatory health, putting less strain on the heart to pump blood. Improved circulation also makes muscles more efficient and helps regulate your body temperature.

·       Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake can improve sleep quality and  reduce the risk of liver disease. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, men should limit their alcohol consumption to two alcoholic drinks or less a day.  For caffeine, men should limit daily intake to 400 milligrams. Balancing these substances can present positive results as soon as a week.

Tip #5: Get Enough Sleep

“Lack of sleep makes you age faster,” is something Dr. Chailtali Sarkar, MD tells her patients regularly.   Adults who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are significantly more likely to develop a chronic health condition. Sleep offers several benefits to your immune system allowing your body to fight off infection. Hormones that are regulated during rest can even affect your weight. Poor sleep slows your metabolism as well, which may lead to weight gain, and reduced energy levels. Finally, sleep supports brain functions such as memory, emotions, and mood stability.

Tips To Improve Sleep

·       Maintain a regular, calming sleep routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at consistent times each day to help set your body’s natural rhythm. Relax before bed by enjoying peaceful activities such as reading to transition your body into a soothing state and reduce stress from busy thoughts.

·       Reduce exposure to screens. Blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the body’s natural sleep pattern. Avoid your phone and computer an hour before bed to improve your sleep quality drastically.

·       Focus on self-care. Caring for yourself promotes relaxation and reduces stress, which is a barrier for restful sleep. By maintaining a balanced diet and exercise routine, you can help regulate your body’s natural rhythms.

Where to Find the Best Support for Men’s Health

Quality sleep, nutrition, and stress management are all common topics between men and their primary care doctor. One of the best things you can do for your health, mood, and overall well-being is seek out options for getting quality sleep, learning more about food as fuel, and coping with stress.

Invest in these areas of your life as soon as possible, and your sustained health can pay dividends into your senior years.  At Connected Health, the medical team guides your health journey through a personalized plan incorporating proactive and preventative care. Our concierge primary care model means you have control of your health and health options from your very first appointment.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation, learn more about our care services, or want to explore your membership options, give us a call at (724) 933-4305. You can also reach out online and our helpful staff will connect you with the best primary care in the Pittsburgh area.

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