Hey man! June is conventionally dedicated to focusing on men’s health and wellness. Certainly, the design of a healthy lifestyle is the same, gender notwithstanding. However, men do face a number of unique challenges on such matters as habit training and improvement, physical performance, and their overall wellbeing.
Why is men’s health important?
Let’s take a look at the general state of men’s hearts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, tells us that 20 percent of men will experience heart disease in their lifetime. One in every three men will die of a heart attack. By the age of 75, three-quarters of men will experience some form of a heart condition. The average age of a man’s first heart attack is 48, and the average age of his second is 52. But heart disease is the top killer of men ages 30-54, killing close to 700,000 men each year. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men between the ages of 20 and 34.
This is just but a snippet of the larger picture on matters of men’s health and wellness. Sadly, however, most health professionals don’t focus on men’s health as much as they do on women’s – at least, until recently.
What are the main health issues for men?
Obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are the main health concerns men are facing today. In the United States, for instance, 70 percent of men and 40 percent of women are obese. In fact, obesity affects an estimated 75 percent of adults aged 20 and older. In addition, about 75 percent of adults have high blood pressure, 40 percent of men are overweight or obese, and approximately one in four have high cholesterol. Low testosterone levels are also a concern. The estimated male prevalence of low testosterone ranges from 7 to 29 percent. As men age, they are also more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, and other ailments associated with aging. High cholesterol levels often accompany higher cholesterol, and most of these conditions worsen after age 65.
The benefits of a healthy lifestyle
A robust and healthy lifestyle boosts physical performance, enhances energy and mood, improves sleep, enhances performance in the gym, and more. You’ll have more energy to get through the day, build strength and endurance to carry you through your workouts, improve your mental acuity, and lastly, create a more positive and enjoyable environment to take care of yourself.
The importance of sleep
Research shows that not getting enough sleep can adversely affect almost every body system, including immune function, testosterone production, appetite control, and even sexual health. Getting your eight hours of shut-eye every night will also help keep your cardiovascular system healthier and can even reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. And research suggests that those who sleep less than five hours per night are twice as likely to die from a heart-related condition.
A big part of developing a healthy lifestyle is committing to regular exercise. We’ve already covered the importance of exercise in building a strong body, improving health, and well-being. Exercise is also important for developing overall body shape, strength, and stamina. Men are less likely to work out on a regular basis than women, as they are less likely to seek out exercise outside of their comfort zones. However, men often make up for this lack of exercise by overestimating the ability of their lower bodies and underestimating the level of strength and conditioning their upper bodies to require. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the population exercises at lower intensity levels, and by doing so, they fail to reap the benefits of any type of exercise.
Sure, it’s never wise to neglect your body, but you’re not doomed to a future of painfully uncomfortable early adulthood. If you have a strong base of health, discipline, and a bit of perseverance, you’ll be more likely to feel confident and comfortable in your skin long after college. But that’s not always a given, even for those who are making an effort to build healthy lifestyles. There’s no universal blueprint for maintaining a youthful body and mind, but these lifestyle changes will help you look and feel your best. If you’re having a hard time sticking to the habits you’re working toward, try implementing a few of these suggestions to have more success in the long run. Regular wellness checks also help ensure long term health.
Happy Men’s Health Week from Ponea Health!