Attention, gentlemen: How aware are you of the health risks you may face as you age, or how you can best care for yourself to live your healthiest life? June is National Men’s Health Month, so there’s no better time than now to take stock and make healthy changes. Use these eight health tips for older men as you work to improve your life and longevity.
1. Don’t Just Have a Doctor, Visit Her
Don’t be a stereotype by having a doctor but avoiding visits with her like the plague. There’s nothing manly about toughing out health concerns. If you don’t have a physician of your own already, speak with our staff about medical personnel who regularly visit Bethesda Gardens as well as providers you can consider in Phoenix.
2. Be Open to Alternatives
The healthcare practices you remember from decades past may have relied on medications first, last and always for any issue that arose. Today’s healthcare practices tend more toward holistic approaches that combine therapies, exercises, lifestyle changes and as-needed medications to not only treat symptoms but actually address root causes.
3. Change Up Your Diet
Working on your diet doesn’t just mean working to lose weight. You may need to work on maintaining your current weight or even gaining weight if you have noticed some unintentional weight loss. Changing up your diet can help various components of your health, from how your body processes sugar to your cholesterol level to how effectively your digestive system works. Our staff can help you to make healthier food choices.
4. Work on Your Sleep
This particular tip can be easier to recommend than to accomplish. As we age, sleep may become more elusive as our bodies have a harder time winding down, while various issues may wake us at inopportune times. For older men, a need for sleep does not diminish, making it important to address issues as they occur with solutions such as OTC and prescription medications and guided meditations. Sleep studies may also find deeper issues you can address, and schedule changes can protect every minute of the sleep you find easiest to get.
5. Address Mental Health
An unfortunate reality is that men are less likely to address their mental health than women. As men age, unaddressed issues can worsen and new issues can occur. Confusingly, many mental health issues can masquerade as physical issues, with symptoms like headaches, a racing heart and indigestion. Older men need to honestly and efficiently address potential mental health issues to live their healthiest lives.
6. Work on Self-Care Issues
Even though your work life is likely behind you, you may still feel like you're driven to do as much as possible. But self-care is increasingly important as we age, as both our minds and bodies need time to recuperate between tasks. If you have trouble ramping down, write yourself a schedule or set timers to break at specific intervals and take a walk, soak in a hot bath, read a book or just simply be in the moment.
7. Practice Safe Sex
The stats are in, and the University of Manchester has found that many older people continue to enjoy active sex lives. But as we age, the phrase “safe sex” takes on several meanings. First, it’s still important to protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Second, it’s important to discuss frankly with your physician whether it’s safe for you to engage in intercourse, dependent on any underlying health issue.
8. Always Think of Your Prostate
Prostate cancer continues to target 1 in 9 men, mostly over the age of 65. But the great news is that, when caught early and treated appropriately, prostate cancer is highly survivable. Read up and be aware of the symptoms of prostate cancer, and consider scheduling your checkup during National Men’s Health Month to check your overall prostate health.