Men’s Health MonthJune is Men's Health Month! Now is the perfect time for every man to start thinking about their health, especially older men. As men get older, they are more likely to experience certain health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and prostate cancer. That’s why it’s important for all men to see a primary care physician on a regular basis and make sure they are taking steps to stay healthy.

Your primary care physician is an extremely important part of your healthcare team. In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the most important things that older men need to know in order to stay healthy.

Give Your Body The Best Fuel

You are what you eat! It’s important to fuel your body with nutritious foods that will give you the energy you need to stay active and healthy. As we age, our metabolism slows down and we don’t need as many calories as we did when we were younger. That’s why it’s important to eat nutrient-dense foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Some of the best foods for older men include:

  • Lean protein: Chicken, fish, tofu, legumes
  • Whole grains: Quinoa, oats, whole wheat bread
  • Fruits and vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, berries
  • Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocado, nuts

In addition to eating a healthy diet, it’s also important to limit your alcohol consumption and smoking habits. Drinking too much alcohol can cause a variety of health problems, including liver damage and heart disease. Smoking cigarettes is also extremely harmful to your health and can lead to several kinds of cancer. If you drink alcohol heavily or smoke cigarettes, now is the time to quit!

If you need help with eating better, losing weight, cutting back on alcohol, or quitting smoking, reach out to your doctor at Pittsburgh Health Partners for resources and support. We're here to help you every step of the way!

Stay Active, Sleep Well

In addition to eating a healthy diet, it’s important to stay active and get regular exercise. Exercise has countless benefits, including reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also help you lose weight, sleep better, and reduce stress levels.

If you’re not used to exercising, start slow and gradually increase your activity level. Walking is a great way to get started! Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. You can also try swimming, biking, or lifting weights at the gym.

It’s also important to get enough sleep. Adults need around seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but unfortunately, most men don't get that much. In fact, men tend to get less and lower-quality sleep than women, and this often leads to heart issues, including an increased risk of heart attacks, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

If you have trouble sleeping, try creating a bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. This might include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or writing in a journal before bed. You should also avoid screens (including phones, laptops, and TVs) for at least an hour before going to sleep. Finally, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. A comfortable sleeping environment will help you drift off to sleep more easily.

Take Care Of Your Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet it’s often overlooked. Unfortunately, men are more likely to suffer from mental health problems like elevated stress, depression, and anxiety.

Stress can cause a variety of physical health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, making it extremely important to keep in check. The first step in managing stress is typically identifying what's stressing you out and seeing if there's anything you can do about it. That might mean reevaluating your work-life balance, or it might mean seeking out counseling or therapy. Then, it's important to find ways to cope with stress, such as exercising, journaling, or spending time with friends and family.

If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help. Men are statistically less likely to seek out treatment for mental health conditions, leading to an increased risk of suicide. In fact, suicide is the seventh leading cause of death for men in the United States.

It's important to take your mental health seriously and to understand that it's okay to ask for help. If you’re struggling, reach out to your doctor or mental health professional.

Check In With Your PCP

Last but not least, it’s important to see your doctor for regular checkups, even if you feel healthy. Your primary care physician (PCP) can help you prevent health problems before they start and catch any early signs of disease.

During your visit, your PCP will likely take your blood pressure, weight, and height. They may also order blood tests to check for cholesterol, diabetes, and other conditions. It’s also a good time to discuss any concerns you have about your health or ask any questions you might have about staying healthy as you age.

You may also be due for a cancer screening, such as a colonoscopy or prostate exam. Men have higher rates of getting and dying from cancer than women, making these screenings that allow cancer to be caught early all the more important. After all, with early diagnosis, you're more likely to be treated successfully.

At Pittsburgh Health Partners, we also offer Telemedicine appointments to all of our patients. Telemedicine allows you to get in touch with your doctor from the comfort of your own home, meaning you can avoid taking time off work, you can stay out of the waiting room, and you can even save money on gas!

Making healthy lifestyle choices, from what you put into your body to how you take care of your mind, is key to aging well. By following the tips above, you can reduce your risk of developing health problems and keep yourself in tip-top shape!

At Pittsburgh Health Partners, we're dedicated to helping you age gracefully and healthily. Contact us today to learn more about our primary care services and telemedicine offerings, or schedule an appointment online with one of our providers. We look forward to partnering with you on your journey to optimal health!