Offering_DOT_CXmA8yH.jpegWhether it's about staying fit to enjoy all of the great outdoor activities Michigan has to offer, or ensuring you're around for your family's big moments, maintaining your health and well-being is essential. At Michigan Primary Care Partners (MPCP), we want to help you take control of your health so you can lead a healthier, more active life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the life expectancy for Michiganders is 76 years, which is slightly lower than the national average of 77. However, Michigan men have an even lower life expectancy of around 73, while Michigan women get close to 79.

Why the six-year gap? The Harvard Health Blog points out that men:

  • Tend to take larger risks, making them more likely to be injured or die as the result of an accident or violence.
  • Often have more dangerous jobs, whether that be as a solider, firefighter, or construction worker.
  • Are more likely than women to die of heart disease, which may be a result of biological factors or taking risks with their health.
  • Tend to be less socially connected, which has been linked to higher death rates.
  • Are more likely to avoid going to their PCP, which leads to a lack of both preventive and specialty care.

Fortunately, men in Michigan have access to high-quality healthcare from MPCP and other medical providers. We've made it our mission to provide care, support, and most importantly, practical men's health tips for healthy living. Here are our top 6 tips for Michigan men to improve their health:

  • 1. Schedule Regular Check-ups

    Maintaining regular appointments with your primary care physician, also known as your PCP, is an essential component of living a healthy lifestyle. These routine visits provide a comprehensive understanding of your overall health status, ensuring that you are not only aware of your current health but also taking necessary steps to prevent future health issues.

    During these check-ups, your doctor will typically conduct various tests and screenings based on your age, medical history, and lifestyle. These might include blood pressure readings, cholesterol checks, cancer screenings, and diabetes tests. The results of these tests give a detailed picture of your health and can help identify potential risks and detect any issues before they get worse. Early detection generally leads to more effective treatment and better health outcomes.

    Moreover, regular check-ups offer an opportunity for you and your doctor to discuss any changes in your health since your last visit. Even if you're feeling well, there may be subtle changes in your body that you might not notice or think are significant. Your doctor, however, can interpret these changes and determine whether they could be early signs of a health problem. Even if you feel perfectly healthy, it's crucial not to neglect regular check-ups. Preventative healthcare is not just about treating illness; it's about maintaining wellness. This proactive approach to health care can lead to a longer, healthier life.

  • 2. Stick to a Healthy Diet

    Eating a healthy, balanced diet isn't about following rigid nutritional rules, staying thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love in an effort to consume fewer calories. Rather, healthy eating involves making smart food choices that include a variety of different foods. These should primarily be nutrient-dense whole foods, like:

    • Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in dietary fiber. They contain numerous beneficial compounds, including antioxidants, which can protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Think of fresh fruit and vegetables as your foundation for healthy eating.
    • Lean proteins such as poultry, fish, beans, and nuts, are essential for building and repairing body tissues. Choosing lean proteins over higher-fat cuts of meat and dairy can help reduce saturated fat intake and aid in maintaining a healthy weight.
    • Whole grains like brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread, are an important source of dietary fiber and other nutrients. The dietary fiber in whole grains can help improve blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
    • Healthy fats such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish, are essential for brain function and the absorption of certain vitamins. They can also help reduce the risk of heart disease.

    These foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that your body needs to function optimally. However, processed foods or pre-packaged meals should be eaten sparingly. These are often high in calories, refined sugars, and saturated fats, but low in nutrients. Over time, eating too much of these foods too often can lead to weight gain, interfere with nutrition, and increase the risk of chronic diseases.

  • 3. Exercise Regularly

    Making time for exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, but it also keeps the heart and lungs in shape, strengthens muscles and bones, relieves stress, and improves overall mental health.

    Ideally, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This can be achieved through 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week, like walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, or cycling. Alternatively, adults can do 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, such as running or playing sports like basketball and tennis, to reap the same health benefits.

    That might seem daunting, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. For instance, you could take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, park at the back of the parking lot when you go somewhere, or take a 10-minute walk during your lunch break. If you're short on time, you can always break up your workouts into smaller chunks throughout the day.

  • 4. Manage Stress & Mental Health

    Another reason men have a lower life expectancy than women is that men commit suicide at a higher rate. There are a number of reasons for this, including that men often feel the need to 'tough it out' and avoid seeking help. Men are also diagnosed less frequently with depression than women, not because they are less likely to suffer from it, but because men may find it more difficult to express their emotions, often describing feelings like sadness or hopelessness as 'stress,' instead.

    In reality, however, managing your mental health is just as important as physical exercise or a healthy diet. If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's important to reach out to someone you trust and talk about what is going on. At MPCP, our mental health specialist team is available to help you with any mental health issues you may be facing with a range of services including counseling and cutting-edge ketamine therapy.

  • 5. Limit Alcohol and Avoid Smoking

    Men are more likely to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol than women are, both of which can contribute to an increased risk of different types of cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and other chronic health problems.

    Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Not only does it increase your risk of lung cancer, but also a number of other cancers, including bladder, throat, and kidney. It also raises your risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). The best way to protect your health is to quit smoking as soon as possible.

    Alcohol consumption, on the other hand, is known to contribute to an increased risk of liver disease, heart failure, and certain types of cancer. To reduce the health risks of heavy drinking, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that men limit their alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day.

  • 6. Get Enough Sleep

    Sleep is a vital part of your health and well-being. It allows your body to rest, repair, and restore itself, which helps you stay energized and alert throughout the day. Not getting enough sleep can have a range of adverse effects, from mood swings and irritability to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

    Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you're not getting enough sleep, it's important to take steps to improve your sleep habits. This could include going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine late in the day, and avoiding screens before bed. If you're still struggling to get enough sleep, talk to your doctor about other possible solutions.

How Michigan Primary Care Partners Can Help

At Michigan Primary Care Partners, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive, personalized healthcare that addresses the unique needs of each our of patients. Our team of expert physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have a wealth of expertise and experience in optimizing men's health, from providing advice on diet and lifestyle to offering cutting-edge treatments for chronic diseases and mental health.

We believe in a holistic approach to health that considers all aspects of a person's life, from diet and exercise to sleep and stress management. Our team provides personalized guidance on healthy lifestyle choices, helping men make informed decisions about their nutrition, physical activity, and other habits that impact their health.

With the right support and resources, we believe that every man can achieve better health and a better quality of life. Contact Michigan Primary Care Partners today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.

Ready to take the first step toward a healthier future? Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced primary care physicians at Michigan Primary Care Partners today. Take control of your health and experience the difference patient-centered care can make.