Men’s Health: Supporting Your Path To WellnessApril 18, 2023
As a man, it’s important to take care of your body and mind — even if you feel healthy. Strength, vitality, and good mental health over the short- and long-term often start with habits built today. Eating well, staying active, and getting enough sleep can make a big difference in men’s health, including how you feel physically and emotionally. Having regular checkups and screenings can also help you feel confident in making decisions about your whole health as you age.
Get Regular Checkups
The risk of common health problems for men, such as diabetes, heart conditions, and certain cancers, increases with age. The good news is that men’s top health issues are mostly preventable. Going to a doctor on a regular basis — before something happens — can help lower your risk and detect problems early when they’re easier to treat:
- Schedule preventive checkups with your primary care doctor every year. Being open and honest with them is easier when you see them regularly.
- Have routine cancer screenings and vaccines, as recommended by your doctor. All men should be screened for colorectal (colon or rectal) cancer by age 45.1
- Let your doctor know if any close family members have a history of prostate cancer or other health conditions, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease. This can affect how early and how often you should receive certain screenings.
- Check preventive guidelines for your age.
Be Aware Of Depression
While feeling low from time to time is normal, depression is a mental health condition that impacts how we feel, think, and behave. Symptoms of depression in men include:
- Being angry, irritable, or displaying aggressive behavior.
- Feeling anxious, restless, sad, or dissatisfied.
- Loss of interest in work, family, or hobbies.
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
Seek Support For Depression, Anxiety, And Stress
Work, family, and life in general can sometimes take a toll on men’s mental health. It’s okay to express how you feel and ask for help. These tips can help if you're feeling down, stressed, or overwhelmed:
- Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce stress or treatment options that are right for you.
- Reach out to loved ones.
- Spend time with people who are positive.
- Set realistic goals for yourself to avoid being overwhelmed or discouraged.
- Manage your stress levels by spending time with friends, volunteering, and exercising.
Help Your Body Stay Healthy And Strong
Your body works hard every day. Choosing healthy foods helps ensure it works properly. It can also reduce your risk of high blood pressure, weight gain or obesity, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Here are some other lifestyle changes that can help you feel good:
- Fit 30 minutes of physical activity into your everyday routine.
- Eat at least two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables every day.
- Limit your alcohol intake to no more than two drinks a day.
- Limit calories from added sugar, which is often found in sweetened beverages, cereals, baked goods, and packaged snacks.
- Avoid processed foods like crackers, chips, deli meats, cereals, and many frozen or ready-to-eat meals.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco.
- Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Take The First Step
Make an appointment to see your doctor today. If taking time off work is a challenge or concern, try to get an appointment in the early morning, late afternoon, or at lunchtime. Better yet, ask if your doctor offers virtual visits.
Taking care of your physical and mental health is a sign of strength, not weakness. It can help you stay on top of common health problems for men. If you need a primary care doctor, use our Find Care & Cost feature to find one in your plan’s network near you.
1 American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts for Men (accessed April 2023): cancer.org.
2 National Institute of Mental Health: Men and Depression (accessed April 2023): nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/men-and-depression.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How to Use Fruits and Vegetables to Help Manage Your Weight (accessed April 2023): cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/fruits_vegetables.html.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Men and Heart Disease (accessed April 2023): cdc.gov/heartdisease/men.htm.