Whether the men in your life are 17 or 70, you can play a major role in getting them to make healthy, informed choices about their bodies and lifestyles. An important step is learning about common men's health topics.
Like other valuable machines, MAN needs routine maintenance: regular check-ups and standard health screenings. Our MAN: An Owner's Manual is a must read for every man who wants to learn more about how to maintain and monitor his health so it's in peak condition for years to come.
Cardiovascular health | Erectile dysfunction (ED) | Fatherhood | Mental and emotional health | Prostate health | Screenings and immunizations
Men's Health: Making Healthy Choices
Jason Lee, Wellness Consultant
Watch now | Speaker biography
Program recorded June 5, 2012
Whether you are 17 or 70, making healthy, informed choices about your body and lifestyle is an important step. Explore the top health concerns for men: Heart, prostate and brain health; diet; exercise; and managing stress.
Health and Wellness Podcast Series
Men's Health: Caring for Ourselves Learn about a man's top health concerns: Heart, prostate and brain health; diet, exercise and managing stress. Presented by Jason Lee, wellness consultant. View podcast.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in America. Good cardiovascular health can help prevent life-threatening heart conditions such as:
- Heart attacks
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Coronary artery disease
Help the man in your life lower his risk for heart disease. Encourage him to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that may lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, such as:
- Not smoking
- Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Avoiding high-fat foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising approximately 30 minutes a day
Support him and try to lower your own risk for heart disease by adopting these same healthy lifestyles. Eating balanced, nutritious meals and exercising together can help both of you both live a longer, healthier life.
Read more about heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke in women.
Sometimes men have trouble talking about sexual issues with their doctor. But if you and your partner are struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED), it's important he seeks help. Remind him that ED is a medical problem that can be treated.
A treatment for ED will depend on what's causing it. Don't assume it's just part of the normal aging process. That's usually not the case. Specific causes may include:
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Diabetes-related injuries to blood vessels and nerves
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Reactions to prescription drugs, including antidepressants
- Unhealthy habits like smoking, overeating and inactivity
- Spinal cord injury
- Treatments for prostate cancer
- Diseases that affect the nerves, like multiple sclerosis
- Reduced levels of testosterone (rare)
- Depression and anxiety
Your partner's doctor can offer a number of treatments for ED. You can decide together which treatment fits you best as a couple, which may include:
- Lifestyle changes. Exercising, quitting smoking, losing weight and decreasing alcohol use may help to alleviate ED.
- Counseling. In addition to treating the physical cause, counseling can help couples handle the emotional stress of ED.
- Medication. Prescription drugs that increase the blood flow to the penis to facilitate an erection may be an option for treating the physical cause of ED.
- Other treatment options. Injections, vacuum devices or penile implants may help men when other options fail.
A father's presence can be just as important to a child's healthy development as the mother's. If you're planning a family, talk to your partner about the important role a father plays in his child's life. Active and involved fathers tend to have children who:
- Do better in school
- Get into less trouble
- Attend college
- Have successful careers
- Develop successful relationships
Help prepare your partner for the important role of fatherhood. Consider offering him some of the following suggestions for dealing with the changes ahead:
- Be patient. Being a new parent is tough and getting a routine down takes practice. It's important for fathers to practice patience with themselves, their partners and their children.
- Talk with other dads. Sometimes it just feels good to vent with someone else in your situation. Encourage dads to seek support.
- Connect with your partner. Talk openly and try to help one another with diapers, feeding and other tasks.
Doctors don't always ask male patients about their mental or emotional health, even though they can play a major role in overall well-being. Talk to the men in your life about these common mental health problems for men:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Anxiety disorders
- Sexual problems
If your partner or someone you know is suffering from a mental health condition, encourage him to talk to his doctor. Remind him that most mental health problems typically are treatable. And sometimes simple lifestyle changes like exercise and a healthy diet are all he'll need to feel better.
The prostate is a gland near the bladder that only men have. Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in men of all ages although it's rare in men under 40.
Help the men in your life father, husband, son or friend understand and recognize the symptoms of prostate cancer. Symptoms may include:
- The urge to urinate frequently
- A weak urine flow
- Breaks in urine stream
- Blood in urine
- Blood in semen
- Low back pain
- Pain with ejaculation
If someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, encourage him to see a doctor. And get him in as soon as possible, because treatment generally depends on how fast and how much it's grown. Prostate cancer treatment may include:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
Real men DO get checkups. Preventing disease and detecting health issues early, if they occur, are important to living a healthy life. Use UnitedHealthcare's online tool to get recommended immunization and screening schedules. Schedule a preventive visit with your doctor, who will consider personal risk factors, such as age, family medical history, general health and lifestyle, to make recommendations for the appropriate preventive health screenings. Talk to your doctor about any specific health questions and concerns, and use these guidelines, along with the advice of your doctor, to maintain or improve your health.