Men’s Health Priorities Redefined


Navigating men’s health requires careful consideration and expertise. That’s why we spoke with Sam Englender, Physician Assistant at Hamilton Community Health Network, to share some ways that men can maintain a healthy body and mind, including why they should focus on their mental health, visit the doctor and limit alcohol consumption.

So, let’s talk a bit about men’s health.

Mind Games & Mental Gains

In our society, we don’t always address the needs that surround men’s mental health; instead, we gloss over it or even ignore it. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 40 percent of men won’t talk to anyone about their mental health. Yet, 77 percent of men polled have suffered with symptoms of common mental health conditions such as anxiety, stress or depression.

“Most men will visit their doctor when they suspect they have a major problem, such as pain or a racing heart,” Englender explains. “The same should hold true for any problems with managing their emotions and mental health.”

Our behavioral health is affected by many factors and talking to your doctor about it is important. Your medical provider can help with providing referrals to therapists, prescribe medications or even help with adjusting your diet as nutrition has a large effect on everyone’s mental health.

Englender also suggests men find ways to manage their stress better. He explained that chronic stress is not good for your physical or mental health. To help decrease stress, try some relaxation or deep breathing exercises, pick up a hobby and if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be shy about talking to a professional. A final tip for men’s mental health: be sure to socialize. Join a sports team, volunteer at a local charity or just grab lunch with friends. Connection to others is key to a happy, healthy life.

Smart Choices & Annual Appointments

Englender explains that regular check-ups, or an “annual visit” are considered maintenance for your body. This appointment is important to make sure everything is working properly. It is also when your doctor will evaluate your overall health. To know what is happening on the inside, you need yearly blood work, tests and various screenings.

“I know guys don’t like to go to the doctor when they’re feeling well, but that is how we get to know the real you, instead of the guy who only visits when he’s not feeling well,” Englender states.

Men’s health isn’t about being a superhero – it’s about finding balance.

Also, when it comes to nutrition, ditch the crash diets and focus on sustainable eating habits. Load up on colorful fruits and veggies, lean proteins like fish and chicken, and whole grains. You can enjoy a little indulgence now and then; but aim for balance.

Limiting Alcohol & Breaking Cycles

As far as alcohol consumption, limit it. Alcohol causes a range of serious health problems, including several types of cancer, increased blood pressure and liver disease. Plus, if you smoke or are overweight, the chances are even greater for developing a chronic disease. Also, keep in mind the effect alcohol has on your brain chemistry. It can often lead to feelings of depression. In fact, depression affects one in eight men at some point in their lives. Men are more likely to be aware of the physical symptoms of depression – such as feeling tired or losing weight – than the typical emotional signs. Then, there’s the alcohol and depression cycle. Some people with depression drink alcohol because in the short term, it makes them feel better. But in the longer term, this can create a damaging cycle that you cannot break.

Remember, visiting your medical provider yearly, getting your behavioral or mental health in good condition, and limiting alcohol consumption are important healthcare steps for all men. Men’s health isn’t about being a superhero. It’s about finding balance, taking care of your body and mind, nurturing relationships and enjoying a good laugh or two along the way.

Cheers to living life to the fullest!


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