Blog
Jun 14
Blog: Men's Health Week

In 2019, a national survey of approximately 1,100 men aged 18 or older revealed that 72% of them would prefer to do household chores than go to a doctor.

Though it's a small sample, the results of the survey speak to a larger issue: Men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women from heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries. Men of all ages are potentially compromising their health by avoiding annual physicals. In honor of Men's Health Week, here are a few things they can do to reduce their risk and stay well.

  • Prioritize your mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, men are significantly less likely to seek help if they're struggling with their mental, emotional, or social well-being. The gender discrepancy may be linked to the stigma surrounding men and mental health, the idea that admitting to a problem may be a sign of weakness—even though it decidedly is not. Please do not wait until your symptoms are overwhelming. If you have difficulty sleeping, appetite changes, or loss of interest in things you usually enjoy, reach out for help. You are not alone.
  • Men's Health WeekExercise regularly. Healthy adults should strive for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. Regular exercise can lower cholesterol and the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Physical activity also strengthens bones, which helps prevent fractures as you age.
  • Maintain a heart-healthy diet. Heart health, and health overall, begins and ends with a balanced diet. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for men in the United States, second only to cancer. But according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can reduce your risk with good nutrition. Fill up on fiber-rich whole grains and go easy on the sweets and saturated fats. Try to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and keep an eye on your portion sizes. 
  • Find a primary care provider and see him/her at least once per year. More than 20% of men admit they avoid going to the doctor because they're afraid of a bad diagnosis, but often the key to treatment is early detection. Even if you're feeling healthy, annual check-ups can prevent small problems from turning into bigger ones. Additionally, the American Cancer Society recommends men ages 50 and older receive regular colorectal and prostate cancer screenings. If you fall into a higher risk category (family history of the disease, for example), your provider may recommend earlier and/or more frequent screenings. 

Saratoga Hospital Medical Group offers primary care services at a variety of locations throughout the county. If you're in need of a provider, please call the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Patient Concierge at 518-886-5900.


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