Men of all ages often put health and wellness on the back burner in favor of working, taking care of family, and handling other obligations. At every stage of life, all of us here at Lompoc Valley Medical Center wants to provide you with high-quality men’s health care — everything from check-ups to screenings to strategies and solutions to help you look and feel your best. 

Whether you’re feeling healthy and energetic, or experiencing some health woes, we’re here for you. The health and wellness information here is important for men and boys and those who love and care for them. 

Regular Physical Examinations and Screening

The truth is, many men aren’t seeing their primary care doctor regularly. But it’s important not to neglect your health or wait to visit your doctor until it’s too late. 

Why should you visit your doctor even if you’re feeling healthy?  There are health concerns that affect only men, such as testicular and prostate cancer. And there are health risks that men are more prone to that could be treated if caught early enough.

No matter your age, a comprehensive physical examination with your healthcare provider is important to have on a regular basis. The frequency of your visits depends on your health history and personal risk factors. Preventative care such as routine screening for risk factors for common diseases and conditions in men the best way to stay healthy. 

Regular check-ups allow you and your provider to build a relationship that will help you stay ahead of any issues. If a health situation pops up, these interactions and records will help your care team develop a personalized care plan for you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Vital Statistics, the leading causes of death for men are: 

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Accidents

Fortunately, many threats to men’s health are preventable. Making a healthy diet and lifestyle choices can help you stay fit and

Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease means more than just heart attacks: strokes and high blood pressure are also concerning for men. According to the American Heart Association, more than 30% of men live with some form of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to severe complications when undetected and left untreated. 

The good news is, heart disease isn’t inevitable. You can take control of your health and make smart lifestyle choices to extend your lifespan and feel your best. Be sure to get regular screenings to evaluate your cardiovascular risk. Get regular exercise and eat healthy to keep your heart in tip-top shape. 

Mental Health and Wellness

Despite the increased focus on the importance of emotional wellness, many men still believe they can’t express their difficulties or show any emotional vulnerability. Depression and anxiety are about more than just having a tough day. It can have a ripple effect, making an impact on your appetite, productivity, and sleep patterns. It can also increase your risk for health conditions such as heart disease. 

Studies show men are less likely to seek help when feeling depressed and anxious, hiding their emotions or expressing them in unhealthy ways (such as becoming angry instead of crying and/or asking for help). Suicide is the 7th leading cause of death for men in the United States. This peaks for young men ages 20-24, making it the third leading cause for this age group. 

Depression symptoms sometimes present differently in men. Here are some of the signs to watch out for in yourself and other males in your life who are important to you. 

  • Anger and irritability
  • Feeling “on edge” and anxious
  • Loss of interest in work, family, and hobbies
  • Low libido 
  • Feeling “flat” and empty 
  • Exhaustion - even with low activity levels
  • Poor diet — either overeating or not eating enough
  • Insomnia and other sleep troubles
  • Forgetting details 
  • Engaging in risky behaviors 
  • “Numbing” with drugs or alcohol 
  • Thoughts of suicide 
  • Withdrawing emotionally from loved ones

If you feel you are experiencing depression, know there is help available, and life doesn’t have to be this way. Speaking to a trusted healthcare provider about your emotional health and well-being is imperative to living a full, happy, productive life. Depression is most often treated with psychotherapy or medications, or a combination of the two, both of which can help you get back to feeling your best. Although your emotional health can be a sensitive topic, openness, and acceptance can go a long way in helping you live your best life. 

Prostate Health

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in a man’s reproductive system. Though not often seen in males younger than 40, your chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you age. Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer in American men (skin cancer is the leading type). The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 192,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020.  

The best way to keep your prostate healthy is to eat a healthy diet and stay active. Although little research has been done on the impact exercise has on prostate health, experts agree that exercise is beneficial for all aspects of health. 

Testosterone Levels and Men’s Health

Testosterone — produced by the brain and pituitary gland — is an important sex hormone that is important for muscle development as well as facial, pubic, and body hair in men. It also helps maintain a healthy sperm count, sex drive, and bone health. It is responsible for the typical male characteristics, such as facial, pubic, and body hair, as well as muscle. This hormone also helps maintain sex drive, sperm production, and bone health. When testosterone levels are low in males, it can cause a decrease in your sex drive, low sperm count, weak erections, hair loss, and weakened bones. 

If you’ve experienced any changes in these areas, it’s important to be open with your doctor about your symptoms. Low testosterone is easily treatable with hormonal therapy. 

Fitness For Men

Exercise, diet, and fitness are all an essential part of men’s health. Regular, consistent physical activity, along with a healthy diet, can improve almost every aspect of your life. 

We all know that exercise is good for us. And the type of exercise we do matters, too. If you’re new to fitness, start slowing to allow your body time to adjust to your new fitness levels. Even a daily walk can make a world of difference, helping you shed pounds and feel better.  

If your workout routine is all cardio or aerobic exercises such as swimming, running, or cycling, it’s important to add strength training, too. That doesn’t mean you have to deadlift 200 lbs (though more power to you if you can!). Strength or weight training can help you build muscle, burn fat, and protect your joints. When coupled with a cardiovascular exercise such as walking or riding a bike, weight lifting brings a total approach to your overall wellness. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that men perform muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week in addition to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week.

Nutrition for Men

Maintaining a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods is the best weapon you have for staying healthy. According to the American Heart and Stroke Association, heart disease is the #1 killer of men. That’s mostly because Americans eat high-fat, high-calorie foods with little nutritional value. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to get on

Living Well Tips For Men

There are things you can do every day to take control of your health and feel your best. Making healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way in helping you stay productive, keep up with your family, and take care of yourself to ensure you’re feeling good. 

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