by Melissa Chichester
June is Men’s Health Month, and although more and more attention is being paid to the specific wellness needs of men, the trend continues that men seek out less healthcare than women do. No matter what stage of life a man is in – young adulthood, adulthood, middle age, and older adults – it is necessary to maintain regular health checkups and monitor body changes to stay healthy.
While genetics, lifestyle, and diet play a role, preventative care is also essential. You might be wondering how to start taking care of your body, or perhaps you’re a seasoned pro. But no matter the case, there are some wellness trends men should pay attention to in order to improve and maintain their well-being, some of them more common than others.
Prostate cancer or enlargement of the prostate is probably the first thing you think about when you hear the phrase “men’s health.” According to the Cleveland Clinic, one out of six men will experience prostate cancer in their lifetime, but some individuals are at a greater risk. African Americans are one population at greater risk, as are men who have had a father or a brother with prostate cancer. Screening typically begins with a blood test at age 50 for PSA (prostate-specific antigen).
Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED, is another common issue for men, especially with age. ED can be a sign of an underlying issue, like diabetes or heart conditions. If you suspect you have ED or low testosterone levels, it is necessary to discuss this with your personal physician or licensed medical professional.
Are you winded after going up a flight of stairs or walking at a brisk pace for two miles? If so, you may need to work on your fitness and cardiovascular health. If you think you’re too old, guess again. No matter how old you are, there is always something you can do to make improvements. You can help your heart by walking no matter what your current fitness level is. Simply talk to your physician about where to start.
Do you think skincare is only for women? Guess again. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that more than 7,000 men will die of melanoma in 2019, and more than 4,500 of these deaths will be men. Men are less likely to wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing than women are. If you aren’t using sunscreen now, there’s no time like the present to start wearing it!
According to the American Psychological Association, men are less likely to seek help for mental health than women – something many mental health professionals view as learned behavior. Not only that, health professionals have also acknowledged that there is a silent mental health epidemic occurring right now in men. It is common for men to feel ashamed of seeking help for their mental health. Let’s stop that thought right there: nobody should feel ashamed of seeking help to improve their mental health. Mental health challenges come in a lot of forms – depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. If you think that you may have a problem, it is essential to seek the help of a licensed professional. Forget the social norms and get the help that you need.