6 Tips for Men's Health and Wellness
Men’s health is more important than ever. Despite the many tips for men’s health you’ll find online, there is extensive scientific evidence from as recently as 2022 documenting the health disparities men face. Compared to women, men more often live sicker and die younger.
But there are some practical, science-backed ways men can work towards greater health, wellness, and longevity—without the social media fitness gurus.
This article will shed light on six ways men can improve their health according to science, including diet and exercise tips, health considerations specifically for men, and supplements that may support men’s mental and physical health.
1. Get Regular Health Screenings
In a recent survey of 1000 men, 55% of men do not get regular health screenings. A majority of men also don’t know their family history as it relates to cancer and urological issues.
In that same survey, 38% of men said they were concerned about cancer and another 32% were concerned about their sexual health, particularly erectile dysfunction. Getting regular health screenings can ease these concerns and help catch any possible concerns early.
According to the United States Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, preventative screenings and regular health care is an important men’s health tip that many overlook.
Start building a relationship with a healthcare provider you trust. Ask for preventative screenings like:
- Height and weight/Body Mass Index (BMI) checks
- Blood pressure checks
- Cholesterol screenings, also called a lipid panel
- Colorectal cancer screenings, including colonoscopies, by age 50
2. Recommit to Cardio
Exercise isn’t technically a new tip for men’s health. But it is an important one.
The current Physical Activity Guides for Americans recommends 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week.
But amidst the intense bodybuilding and HIIT routines we see on social media, it’s easy to forget that even a little movement can have a big impact.
One study analyzed data from over 120,000 men and women who underwent 13 years of treadmill testing. Researchers found that there’s a potentially strong association between high fitness levels and reduced mortality rates in men—highlighting the importance of cardiovascular fitness for longevity.
A meta-analysis that included data from over 16 million men also found that higher levels of physical activity reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. To get these benefits, researchers recommended exercises like brisk walking, jogging, and cycling.
3. Eat More Plant-Based Foods
The role of diet in men’s health has been well-studied. A recent Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors study found that a suboptimal diet is a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality.
The American Dietary Guidelines make general recommendations like eating a variety of foods, avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol, and limiting sugar and sodium. But many men still wonder what that looks like in practice.
A recent study examined the impact of diet on the cardiovascular health of 4,964 adults by tracking their diet quality over 13 years. Those who followed a nutritionally rich, plant-centered diet—that is, nutrient-heavy plant foods with small amounts of animal products—had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease as they approached middle age.
Other studies validated the power of plant-centered diets for men. One prospective study found that consuming more healthy plant-based foods may lower the risk of total and fatal prostate cancer in young men, while another study’s results suggested that a diet rich in plant-based foods could decrease the chance of erectile dysfunction.
4. Manage Stress Levels
According to the American Psychological Association, 34% of adults said that their stress is completely overwhelming most days. This feeling is even more pervasive among young men, of which 51% of those surveyed felt this way.
But managing stress levels is an important tip for men’s health for good reason. Long-term stress can have potentially damaging side effects like weight gain, unhealthy eating, and depression. These are associated with additional negative outcomes, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and increased blood sugar levels.
Getting outside, setting boundaries with work, exercising, and even chewing gum are just a few of the ways men can blow off steam. There’s also evidence that supplementation may support stress reduction.
Ashwagandha, an herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its energizing and soothing properties, has the potential to help manage everyday stress levels. A study of the bioactive compounds found in the roots and leaves of Ashwagandha showed that adults who took 125 mg of Ashwagandha per day reported 62% lower stress levels than adults who took a matching placebo.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Good sleep should be non-negotiable in your daily life. According to the National Institute of Health, good sleep boosts your brain performance, health, and mood. Likewise, poor sleep is associated with devastating diseases and disorders including heart disease, stroke, obesity, and memory loss.
In case you need another reason to get more shut-eye, sleep can impact various aspects of men’s health, including:
Sexual dysfunction: A 2023 literature review and meta-analysis examined 43 articles to better understand the relationship between sleep difficulties and sexual dysfunction. The analysis concluded that difficulty sleeping, poor sleep quality, and short sleep duration could all be associated with sexual dysfunction.
Cognitive decline: Another systematic review and meta-analysis of 11,155 reports sought to understand whether sleep quality and duration impacted cognitive performance. Researchers found that sleeplessness was associated with a 27% higher risk of cognitive decline and suggested that treating sleep difficulties may help cognitive performance.
Mortality: A 2022 meta-analysis examined multiple studies to better understand how sleep duration impacted all causes of mortality. Researchers found that sleeping less than five hours a day and more than nine hours a day may both be associated with significantly elevated risks of all-cause mortality.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men can improve their sleep by setting a consistent sleep schedule, making sure the bedroom is dark and at a comfortable temperature, removing electronic devices, and avoiding large meals before bedtime.
6. Add Omega-3s to Your Routine
Omega-3s aren’t a new supplement, and their health benefits won’t surprise you. This essential nutrient has well-researched impacts on heart health, brain health, eye health, and more.
But Omega-3s have some lesser-known benefits that make them a particularly useful tip for men’s health.
A meta-analysis examined the potential effects of Omega-3s DHA and EPA on parameters like sperm count and sperm motility. Researchers concluded that men who received Omega-3 supplements had significantly higher sperm motility than men who received a placebo, making the case that Omega-3s may support male fertility.
As impactful as Omega-3s are, it’s important to note that your body cannot produce this essential nutrient. The American Heart Association recommends adding two, three to four-ounce servings of fatty fish per week to get its full benefits, but you can also add an Omega-3 supplement to your routine for added peace of mind or if you do not like fish.
Start Working Towards Better Health and Wellness
According to Harvard Health, only 40% of Americans hit their 150-minute per week threshold for exercise and only 20% achieve twice-weekly strength training sessions. Still, those same Harvard doctors note that you can improve your health at any age and even if your fitness isn’t where you’d like it to be.
Following science-based tips for men’s health is a great place to start. Move more, eat plenty of plants, and get good quality sleep. And if you’d like even more of a boost, supplements like krill oil Omega-3s can give you the extra push you’re after.