It’s International Men’s Health Week, a good time to raise awareness on the importance of health and well-being for men and boys.
Although good health should be a priority every day, life often gets busy. We overlook or ignore symptoms and don’t seek medical attention until it may be too late. Men’s Health Week is a reminder to make health and well-being a priority for prevention and early detection and treatment of health conditions.
“My advice is to listen to your body,” says HMSA health coach Gene Corpuz.
HMSA health coach Gene Corpuz (front).
An avid runner, Corpuz talked to his doctor about chest pains he was experiencing. After several tests, a cardiologist found blockage in his arteries and inserted stents to prevent a heart attack.
“Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about your symptoms,” he says. “It could save your life. I know it saved mine.”
Watch this video of Corpuz talking about his health scare and how he leads a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips to help you lead a healthy, productive life.
Schedule annual doctor’s appointment
Even if you don’t have symptoms or aren’t in pain, it’s good to see your doctor at least once a year for a checkup. Your doctor can recommend health screenings depending on your age, health status, and lifestyle. They may include a colonoscopy, prostate exam, or HIV test. In addition to annual checkups with your primary care provider, consider seeing a dentist and optometrist to stay on top of your oral health and vision.
Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of diseases. Physical activity can also reduce stress and give you a sense of accomplishment for better mental well-being. Choose an activity that fits your schedule, budget, and fitness level – whether at the gym, in your home, or outdoors. Find an activity that you enjoy, such as biking, running, or swimming. Consult your doctor before starting a new fitness activity. Encourage your family and friends to join you to make exercise fun and to hold you accountable to a consistent routine.
Among Gene Corpuz's many physical activities includes working out with weights.
Maintain a healthy diet
Have you heard of food as medicine? What you eat can impact your health. Eating nutritious meals can help reduce the risk of obesity and disease. Eating a mostly plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Fruits and vegetables can also boost your energy level. Meal prep can help you follow a consistent plan to stay on track. Consider meat substitutes, such as this bean burger.
Focus on mental health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. A self-care routine can keep you at ease. Meditation, therapy, and time away from stressors can improve your health. “Do activities that work for you – whether hiking, journaling, yoga, or just going for a walk,” says Honolulu cardiologist Zia Khan, M.D., board president of the American Heart Association Hawaii Division.
Here are some resources to learn more about health issues affecting men.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC’s Men’s Health website includes 28 health topics that are important to men, including heart disease, alcohol, and workplace safety. The CDC also provides information on Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health.
Office on Women’s Health
This division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services isn’t just for the ladies. Gentlemen, listen up. You can learn about men’s health topics such as mental health and urinary health.