Knowledge is Power
Healthy aging for men should be easier than ever, right? Medical advancements in our healthcare are expansive and ever-increasing. So it stands to reason that men’s health is also at a height of knowledge that has never been seen previously, and that continues to progress at a rapid pace. Therefore, it would seem, that it is a simple task to provide the necessary information for good health and aging in men to the general populace and to have it be accepted. We should easily see measurable statistical improvements in men’s health and reduction of chronic disease states as men age by simply making the information available and yet we do not see such grand improvements. Unfortunately, the health and specifically the health behaviors of males in society today are somewhat nebulous, presenting as a multifaceted problem that includes genetic predispositions, environmental factors, and variable physiological responses as components that can be analyzed to some degree but these are combined with and are subject to psychological and sociological factors that cannot be modeled and quantified.
As we know, common focuses for males and their health are diet and exercise combined with stress management. Additionally, there is the ever-increasing dilemma of substance use/abuse in the form of drug, alcohol, and smoking behaviors. These variables all can influence men’s health heavily in each individual instance and so, men are encouraged to adapt or modify their health behaviors and daily routines as well as being prompted to monitor chronic diseases on a proactive basis by seeking regular checkups with blood tests, proper examination procedures and special tests if necessary. A preventive approach to healthy aging for men will further help ensure healthy living through monitoring and identifying the sub-clinical, non-symptomatic presentations of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and preventative cancers like prostate, bowel, or skin cancers. Your Spruce Health Group team offers CMAT screening which gives insights into many of the issues listed here, as well as pellet implants and supplements to assist with maintaining healthy hormone levels.
Is Masculinity Standing in the Way of #HealthyLiving?
Why then, is it so difficult to establish these behaviors and actions globally in the male population? We need to look at what is sociologically and psychologically prescribed for a man to be masculine in today’s society. Some of the traits that are held out to be most masculine are physical strength, courage, and independence, as well as leadership and assertiveness. These are not traits that are typically considered genetic such as one’s height or hair color. One must invest time and effort to develop strength, to become courageous, learn independence, and understand how to lead and be assertive. It is a series of unconscious biases that are held by men that contributes to their difficulty acknowledging possible health issues or illnesses and inhibits their ability to ask for help without shame. It makes men feel weak like they are suffering the loss of their strength and independence to admit that they need help. Those things that are held to be masculine traits appear to be quite fragile and collapse the instant a perceived sign of weakness is demonstrated or acknowledged.
Healthy Aging for Men Starts with Self-Care
Let’s help redefine masculinity to encompass healthy living by remembering that self-care equals strength, physically and intellectually. The collective perception of society’s definition of masculinity needs to be reconstructed to include the thought that self-care is not being selfish and that seeking help or advice is not a demonstration of weakness. It actually requires more strength to seek help, than to maintain silence. The complexity of today’s world has far exceeded the benefits that are gained by adhering to the traditional masculine role and the health of the modern man in his senior years is dependent upon this evolution. The strength and courage it requires to remain independent and lead in his senior years must be understood by each man starting in his youth. It is increased levels of maturity and resilience along with humility and foresight that will help men improve their health as they progress into their golden years. One organization is actively working to change this perception, kicking off tomorrow with Wear Blue Day. This day of recognition started by the Men’s Health Network encourages American’s to #ShowUsYourBlue where you Live-Work-Pray-Play.
Your Spruce Health Group team asks you to #ShowUsYourBlue tomorrow, June 17th. And if you want to explore how we can help empower your #HealthyLiving goals, check out our Services page.