Wellness Tips

5 tips to help men prioritize their health during Men’s Health Month

FLINT, Michigan — June is National Men’s Health Month, an observance that raises awareness of preventable health conditions in men and encourages men to prioritize their health and wellness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top two leading causes of death in men are health-related. In Flint, the largest health concerns in men are diabetes and heart disease, all potentially fatal, but preventable medical conditions. 

In honor of Men’s Health Month, Hamilton Community Health Network (CHN) shared five valuable tips with Flintside to help promote health and wellness in men across Genesee County. According to Krister Engja, a physician assistant at Hamilton, “Hamilton Community Health Network is a great place to receive health information and resources.” 

Engja also wants the Flint community to know that CHN practitioners are not only medical providers, but dental, vision, and behavioral health specialists that aim to engage and educate the Flint community. 

In addition to the above five tips, Hamilton Network also encourages Flint residents to schedule an appointment. The network provides free or low-cost health screenings, depending on your health insurance and income. 

1. Commit to regular check-ups. Even if you feel fine, there can be an underlying issue that only a doctor might notice and be equipped to diagnose. “With regular check-ups and testing when needed, you and your provider can keep up on your health and go through all the preventative measures to keep you healthy,” advises Engja.

2. Find an exercise routine. Though finding time to add exercise into your schedule may seem daunting, health practitioners say whether your exercise is a simple 30-minute walk or a powerlifting session at the gym, it is sure to improve your health. Finding a consistent exercise routine that works for your schedule and committing to it is key. Not only does exercise reduce stress and anxiety, the CDC reports, “physical activity helps you immediately feel better, function better, and sleep better.”

3. Maintain a healthy diet. Eating healthy can come in many forms, but it is very important for your health. Men are more susceptible to heart attacks, and this is due to eating food high in fat. Prioritizing a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, protein, and fiber is key to helping your body obtain the necessary nutrients it needs to be healthy and fight illnesses. Finding healthier substitutes for your favorite foods is a way to begin eating healthier. “Substituting fried food with clean food (vegetables and fruit) will help prevent life-threatening illnesses that can cause irreparable damage,” shares Engja.

4. Prioritize stress management. According to Engja, many men struggle to manage stress. “A lot of men operate on autopilot due to the motions of everyday life. However, stress can be managed by just taking five minutes a day to ground yourself, engage in mindfulness exercises, and unpack where stress is coming from. CHN practitioners also suggest finding a hobby that helps you relax or simply take time to rest. These strategies can heavily affect how you react and interact with the world around you.”

5. Quit smoking and drinking. Over time, smoking and drinking can cause many preventable mental and physical diseases. “Excessive alcohol use can lead to chronic diseases and other serious problems, including alcohol use disorder and problems with learning, memory, and mental health,” reports the CDC. Engja assures that quitting these habits will allow you to feel better throughout the day. CHN practitioners can help, and provide additional resources and tips for people struggling to quit.

To learn more about the services at Hamilton Community Health Network, visit: hamiltonchn.org

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