Men’s Health 101: Everything You Need to Know

Learn the most common ones that men face, what to watch for, and strategies for maintaining a long term healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to men’s health, knowledge is power. This is especially true as we age and have an increased risk for chronic diseases. Learn the most common ones that men face, what to watch for, and strategies for maintaining a long term healthy lifestyle. 

Common health issues in men and how to prevent them

According to a Cleveland Clinic survey, men in the United States believe they are living a healthy lifestyle, yet in reality, only about half prioritize mental wellbeing and maintain a healthy diet (souce). Overtime, this can lead to mental health concerns and chronic disease. 

Heart disease

Heart disease is a leading cause of death among men worldwide. Risk factors of heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity. In the US for instance, 50% of adult men have hypertension (high blood pressure) or take medication for it (1). 

To help prevent your risk of heart disease, it’s important to eat healthy, be active, maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, control cholesterol and blood pressure, moderate alcohol intake, and manage stress (2). 

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be helpful for heart health by reducing rates of heart disease and stroke (3). This eating plan focuses on a wealth of minimally processed plant-based foods, high content of monounsaturated fats, with reduced levels of saturated fats, meats, and sugar.

As for activity, it’s recommended to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week (4). Activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, and dancing are excellent choices.


Diabetes is a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, in which our cells can’t effectively use the carbohydrates from food as energy (6). Men are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, being diagnosed earlier and with a lower body fat compared to women. In fact, about 17.7 million more men than women have diabetes (5). Poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and genetics contribute to this risk.

Some ways to balance blood sugar and help prevent and manage diabetes are to switch from simple carbs, like white bread, to whole or complex sources, like whole grain bread. The Climatarian diet has also been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, while also benefiting the planet. 

Colorectal cancer

Certain types of cancer, such as prostate, lung, colorectal, and skin cancer, are more prevalent in men. Some of the highest risk factors for colorectal cancer include being overweight or obese, type 2 diabetes, and diets high in red meats and processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meats, sausage) (7). 

Eating plenty of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce the risk of cancer. Limit alcohol and ultra processed foods like chips, candy, cakes, microwave dinners, and soda. In addition, it's important to live an active lifestyle such as walking regularly. You can stay accountable with your activity by tracking steps

Mental health disorders

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders can affect men’s well-being. However, men are less likely to seek help for mental health concerns compared to women. If you’re experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness, don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones and seek help from a mental health professional.

Practicing stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or journaling can aid in processing emotions. Maintaining social connections and nurturing relationships with friends and loved ones is also important for mental health. In fact, the Blue Zones are areas around the world in which people live longer and healthier lives due to the strong connections they have in their communities. 

Taking charge of your health is essential for leading a fulfilling and active life. From regular check-ups and a balanced diet to staying active and managing stress, these foundational steps are crucial for maintaining your well-being. 

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