June 1st, 2022
June happens to be Men’s Health Awareness Month and I’d like to take a moment to address what that entails. Health pertains to physical AND mental health. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this. The average adult man is about 5-foot-6. He weighs 165 to 178 pounds, and he is expected to live about 76 years. Physical health is obvious for the most part, but mental health on the other hand, is a silent health issue that rarely gets attention. Let me know if this sounds familiar to you or if you have said these phrases yourself:
- “I don’t have the time”
- “I can’t afford it”
- “Why spend the money when I know that there is nothing wrong?”
- “I’ll worry about it when I’m dead”
I’ve heard these phrases so often I almost expect it. Unfortunately, these excuses for not taking care of yourself have long lasting effects. Let’s talk about physical health first.
Physical Health: Some facts to consider
- The life expectancy of men is 5 years less than female’s, according to the CDC. (National Centers for Health Statistics, n.d.)
- Top 3 leading causes of death in men are heart disease (24.3%), cancer (21.6%), and unintentional injuries (7.4%) (From the CDC-Leading Causes of Death-Males All Races and Origins 2018, n.d.)
- A man is twice as likely to die of a heart attack than a woman (Throughout Life, Heart Attacks Are Twice as Common in Men Than Women, 2016)
- Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men ages 15 to 34. Each year, about 30,000 men die of this cancer. (21 Fascinating Facts About Men's Health You Might Not Know, 2020)
A man’s lifespan could be considerably extended if men make the choice to get help and take preventative measures to ensure good physical health. Statistics show that women are 33% more likely to visit their doctor and 100% better at maintaining screening and preventive services than men. Simple regular checkups can be planned in advance and really do not take as much time as everyone thinks.
Do your screenings - Routine blood pressure and weight/height checks are important. Screenings for diabetes, thyroid disease, liver issues, anemia, and cholesterol are part of the routine blood work often done at the doctor’s office. A colonoscopy and prostate exam is a good idea for men aged 40-50, or sooner if there is family history. Do your research. You know your body better than anyone else.
Lower your stress - Men often avoid discussing their feelings and as a result, are less likely to disclose such issues with their PCP. This results in many cases of major depression/anxiety being undiagnosed. Stress itself is linked to higher blood pressure and body weight.
Watch your risky behaviors - Limiting alcohol consumption and not smoking are almost routinely advised by your PCP. There are many resources and programs to help reduce alcohol intake to include Alcoholics Anonymous, and options exist to help with nicotine replacement.
Ask your PCP for a referral or more information.
Watch what you eat - You are what you eat! Avoid eating large amounts of processed foods or food high in sodium. Obesity is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and breathing issues. Exercise goes a long way, so working out three to four times a week for about 30 minutes will help your body and your mind.
Mental Health: Living in Silence
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now, it’s no secret that men have been cornered into the “traditional path” when it comes to mental health. The “Just don’t talk about it and it will go away” mentality. From an early age, men growing up are discouraged from ever letting anyone know they need help. Outdated social norms should not dictate whether or not you keep yourself healthy.
Therapists are a great option, but not for everyone. Getting help could mean doing research and reading through other’s experiences, or spending a few hours on YouTube listening to others that are in the same boat. You are not alone and your feelings are valid. Sometimes that is all it takes to get on the road to “getting help”. However, speaking with a therapist could help to dig up the root cause of the overall feeling or emotion.
The men in our lives are important! During this Men’s Health Month, schedule a wellness visit to get the ball rolling on your overall health. Routine doctor’s appointments and going for preventive well-visits are just one simple step men can take to feel better and live longer. Let’s work together, and take the steps to be healthy!
Evans, S. (2018, May 2). Why Mental Health Is Crucial for Men - Mental Health Awareness Month. Men's Health. Retrieved June 1, 2022, from
From the CDC-Leading Causes of Death-Males all races and origins 2018. (n.d.). CDC. Retrieved June 1, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/lcod/men/2018/all-races-origins/index.htm
Girdhar, V. (2021, May 28). 5 Tips for Men's Health Month - June is Men's Health Month. Axesspointe Community Health Centers. Retrieved June 1, 2022, from
National Centers for Health Statistics. (n.d.). CDC. Retrieved June 1, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/factsheets/factsheet_NVSS.pdf
Throughout life, heart attacks are twice as common in men than women. (2016, November 8). Harvard Health. Retrieved June 1, 2022, from
21 Fascinating Facts about Men's Health You Might Not Know. (2020, June 1). Cardiology Associates of Michigan. Retrieved June 1, 2022, from