More than 13% of U.S. men aged 18 and over are in fair or poor health. But making healthy decisions can improve the health of men and boys.
Get the Facts
Men in the U.S. die at higher rates from heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries than any other causes. And the health of racial and ethnic minority men lags behind the general population.
Experts agree that men and boys can improve their health by getting regular checkups, eating healthy, staying active, quitting smoking, and taking care of their mental health.
Small changes can make a big difference. Try these today:
- Take a walk instead of watching TV
- Eat a green salad instead of fries
- Drink water instead of soda or other sugary drinks
- Call your doctor to schedule an appointment if you are overdue for one
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends more ways to improve men’s overall health:
We will protect this heart.
- Healthier food choices build a healthier heart. Make fruits and vegetables half of your plate.
- Limit alcohol to one drink a day, or choose not to drink at all.
- Cope with stress through exercise, making time to relax, and spending time with others.
Bro, you don’t even have to lift. Getting just 30 minutes of exercise each day can help you live longer and healthier.
Preventive Maintenance. See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel healthy. Doctors can provide vaccines, and they can test for:
- Certain cancers
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
- Mental health conditions
Quitting Time. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems, including risk of erectile dysfunction. If you smoke, make a plan to quit. Your doctor can help.
Hey man, you good? If you feel down, sad, or hopeless for two or more weeks, or get little pleasure from things you once enjoyed, you may be depressed. Don’t try to “tough it out.” Talk to your doctor and get the treatment you need.
Men with depression are at risk for suicide. If someone you know is in crisis, get help right away:
- Call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
- Call 911 for emergency services
- Go to the hospital emergency room
Be #VaccineReady. Talk to your doctor to get your COVID-19 vaccines and your other shots.
Alcohol Use. Excessive alcohol can not only lead to heart disease and cancer, it can also interfere with testicular function and male hormone production. Choose not to drink, or drink only in moderation.
For Older Men
Some healthy actions are especially important for older men.
- Take your medications, vitamins, and supplements only as directed.
- Call your doctor when you’re feeling sick. It can make the difference between life and death. Don’t wait.
- Your doctor may recommend additional screenings for bone health, hearing and vision, and more.
- Check with your doctor to get vaccinated against flu, shingles, tetanus/diphtheria, and pneumonia.
- Tell your doctor if you have erectile dysfunction (ED), or difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. ED is common among older men, it can be treated, and it can be a warning sign of heart disease.
- Use sunscreen year round, and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Exercise your brain. Join a book club, take a class, or do word puzzles, number puzzles, or jigsaw puzzles.
- Do weight-bearing exercises like walking and jogging, plus weightlifting.
- Spend time with others to stay mentally, physically and emotionally fit.
And encourage the boys and men in your life to take charge of their health!
Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222.
Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.
Health Facts is a public service announcement of Community Health Net.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022, October 31). Excessive Alcohol Use is a Risk to Men’s Health. CDC.Gov. Retrieved May 10, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/mens-health.htm
—. (2022, October 14). Men and Heart Disease. CDC.Gov. Retrieved May 10, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/men.htm
—. National Center for Health Statistics (2023, January 18). Men’s Health. CDC.Gov. Retrieved May 10, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mens-health.htm
—. (2022, June 6). Prostate Cancer Statistics. CDC.Gov. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/statistics/index.htm
Health in Aging (2019, June). Tip Sheet: Good Health in Later Life for Older Men. HealthInAging.com. Retrieved May 13, 2023, from https://www.healthinaging.org/tools-and-tips/tip-sheet-good-health-later-life-older-men **
National Institute of Mental Health (2017, January). Men and Depression. Nimh.nih.gov. Retrieved May 13, 2023, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/men-and-depression
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (n.d.). Brother, You’re on My Mind. Nimhd.nih.gov. Retrieved May 13, 2023, from https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/programs/edu-training/byomm/index.html
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2022, December 22). Men: Take Charge of Your Health. Health.Gov. Retrieved May 10, 2023, from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/doctor-visits/regular-checkups/men-take-charge-your-health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Minority Health (OMH) (2022). Men’s Health Month. HHS.Gov. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/mens-health/index.html