A Mayo Clinic study has found that men are more physically active than women. But when it comes to overall health consciousness, women reported higher levels of it than men. Sure enough, more men reported having hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and tobacco use than women. In terms of diet, a different study has found that 29% of women preferred a low-fat diet, compared to only 25% of men.
The differences between the two genders could be related to culture. Gender has been shown to influence self-efficacy, especially for physical activity. However, Mayo Clinic’s study stated that physical activeness can’t be generalized as a gender-specific trait. But understanding the differences between men and women can help companies organize wellness programs, for instance.
Regardless, men can’t assume the status of their own health based on their physical activities alone. For their employers, loved ones, or healthcare providers to be able to help them, men should be more proactive in taking care of their overall health. One of the things they can do is seek information or resources from the right channels.
That said, here’s where men can get help with regard to their health:
1. Men’s Health Blogs
Blogs aren’t the best sources for medical advice, but they can be helpful if you need diet and/or lifestyle tips. If you want to lose weight by trying a particular diet fad, check out Mark’s Daily Apple. Mark Sisson, the blog’s owner, is an advocate of the paleo or primal lifestyle. Paleo is a shortcut for the word paleolithic, which denotes the Stone Age. Thus, a paleo lifestyle pays homage to ancient human practices, so it avoids processed food, table sugar, and anything made with modern technology.
If a paleo lifestyle isn’t for you, try the blog Talking About Men’s Health. It’s not focused on any kind of diet, but rather on general health. It’s a good source for family health because men and boys of all ages can get useful health and wellness advice from it.
Don’t forget to read content about mental health as well. The Good Men Project and Henry Health have plenty of advice concerning the emotional and mental well-being of men. They also work toward unlearning toxic masculinity and improving the access of men to mental health treatments.
If you are Black, you’ve probably noticed the lack of enough research data on Black men’s health. The Black Men’s Health Project is changing that. The blog creates surveys and is seeking 10,000 Black male participants to discuss their health and social experiences. By supporting the blog and partaking in their studies, you can help address the racial disparities in health affecting Black men around the country.
2. Nonprofit Patient Advocacy Groups
Nonprofit patient advocacy groups include The American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and Patient Advocate Foundation, to name a few. There are also advocacy groups dedicated to men, such as:
- Men’s Health Network
- American Society for Men’s Health
- Men’s Health Foundation
- International Society for Men’s Health
- American Urological Association
- Men’s Health Forum
- For Gay Men’s Sexual Health
- The Foundation for Male Studies
Groups like these are formed when hospitals or clinics form partnerships with patient advocacy organizations. As such, patient advocacy groups are often supported and underwritten by for-profit groups. You can visit their websites and find information regarding a specific health concern. Their websites also contain a list of healthcare facilities where you can seek care. You may even find resources regarding health insurance.
Patient advocacy groups can also be helpful if you have a loved one in need of care. If you’re having a hard time addressing their health needs, you can turn to the organizations focused on your loved one’s health problem, and get everything you need for their well-being.
3. Your Primary Care Physician
Ultimately, the best source for health information, especially your own, is your primary care physician. As you get older, you need to schedule health checks more frequently. Your primary care physician will likely recommend these screenings if you’re at least 18 years old:
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol screening
- Diabetes screening
- Dental exam
- Eye exam
- Infectious disease screening
- Physical exam
- Testicular exam
- Skin self-exam
Getting your health checked regularly helps you determine whether you have risks for developing a particular health condition. It also allows you to treat a possible or diagnosed disease early on. It basically saves your life.
If you’re worried about the costs of regular checkups, talk to your health insurance provider. Your employer may also help because companies often have employer-sponsored health programs.
These resources will allow you and other men to stay on top of your health. Always remember that there’s more to health than a fit body, so if you’re physically active, pair that with healthy food, a healthy mind, and healthy organs.