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Healthy Living

Men’s Health Matters: Taking Charge of Wellness

11 June, 2024
Produced by:
Optum Medical Care, P.C.
Men’s Health Matters: Taking Charge of Wellness

As we step into June, we not only welcome the warmth of summer but also commemorate Men’s Health Month. It’s a timely occasion to remind ourselves and the men in our lives that wellness isn’t just an occasional thought—it’s a priority. While many men are attentive to their health, there’s a pressing need for greater emphasis on preventive care to ensure a healthier future.

Let’s delve into some concerning statistics around men’s health. The average life expectancy for men in the U.S. stands at 74.8 years, notably lower than 80.2 years for women.¹ Moreover, over 40 percent of men aged 20 and above are grappling with obesity, while 13.8 percent of those 18 or older report fair or poor health.² The disparity extends to mental health as well, with men being less likely to seek assistance compared to women.³

These numbers might paint a concerning picture, but there’s hope. Much of the health risks men face can be mitigated through proactive lifestyle choices and timely screenings.

Men’s Health Month serves as a rallying call for men to reclaim ownership of their health. Here are some healthy lifestyle tips:

  • Get Fit – Regular exercise is key to good health. According to the CDC, adults aged 18-64 should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises of all major muscle groups at least twice a week. For those 65 and older, balance-improving activities are also recommended. ⁴

Before ramping up your activity level, consult your doctor for personalized advice on the best types and amounts of exercise for you.

  • Eat Healthy For a healthy diet, prioritize fruits and veggies, aiming to fill half your plate with them. Health.gov‘s dietary guidelines suggest:
    • A variety of vegetables from all the subgroups – dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and others
    • Fruits, especially whole fruits
    • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
    • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, cheese, yogurt or fortified soy beverages4
    • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds and soy products
    • Healthy oils
(1-5:2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov)
  • Have regular check-ups – These are crucial for early problem detection, as recommended by the CDC. Discuss with your doctor about necessary screenings and vaccine updates. ⁶
  • Seek help: Men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues, as highlighted by a 2019 study in the American Journal of Men’s Health. Addressing mental health is essential for encouraging men to seek support. ⁷
  • Cope with Stress:
    • Prioritize self-care:
    • Ensure sufficient sleep
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Avoid tobacco and illegal substances.
    • Maintain a balanced diet.⁸

Talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level. This is especially important for those with underlying medical conditions. Ask about the amounts and types of activities that may be best for you.

  • Reach out for Support:
    • Discuss your concerns and feelings with trusted individuals.
    • Engage with your community or faith-based groups through various means, including in-person, online, social media, phone, or mail.
    • Confide in a friend, or community leader, or seek professional assistance from your doctor or benefits provider for additional support and resources to regain joy in life.⁹

If you or someone you know is in crisis— seek safety and get help right away. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room. To reach a trained crisis counselor, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). You may also chat at 988.lifeline.org.

Men’s Health Month underscores the importance of proactive health management. If you or the men in your life have been neglecting health concerns, seize this opportunity to initiate positive changes. Remember, prioritizing health isn’t just an act of self-care—it’s a gift to oneself and loved ones, ensuring a healthier and happier tomorrow.


¹ Mortality in the United States, 2022 (cdc.gov)

²FastStats – Mens Health (cdc.gov)

³Improving Mental Health Service Utilization Among Men: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of Behavior Change Techniques Within Interventions Targeting Help-Seeking (nih.gov)

Physical Activity Recommendations for Different Age Groups | Physical Activity | DNPAO | CDC

Are You Up to Date on Your Preventive Care? | CDC

Improving Mental Health Service Utilization Among Men: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of Behavior Change Techniques Within Interventions Targeting Help-Seeking – PMC (nih.gov)

Tips for Coping with Stress|Publications|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC

9ips for Coping with Stress|Publications|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC

Tips for Coping with Stress|Publications|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC








[1] 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov

[2] 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov

[3] 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov

[4] 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov

[5] 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines | health.gov


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