June is a time of celebrations for many – graduations, weddings, Father’s Day, and summer school vacations all fall during this long-awaited month. June is also Canadian Men’s Health Month. As men age it becomes increasingly important for them to pay attention to any health concerns to protect overall well-being and a good quality of life.
Overall, seniors are enjoying greater longevity thanks to many medical advances, greater access to good nutrition, and more awareness about the lifestyle habits that support an active and meaningful older age. Staying involved with regular physical activity helps older adults maintain their muscle strength, flexibility and bone density; protecting independence and helping to prevent falls and injuries. Exercising regularly also is beneficial for heart health and weight control, and can boost mental health.
According to a recent McMaster Optimal Aging Portal blog post, making time for social connection is vital for men’s mental and emotional health. By staying active with community groups, friends and family, men can avoid social isolation and loneliness that can lead to depression or anxiety. Regular involvement with social, volunteer or spiritual organizations can also provide older adults with a sense of purpose, belonging, and satisfaction.
Men are notorious for avoiding health screenings, but as adults age, regular check-ups are critical in order to catch any health conditions early, allowing for early diagnosis and treatment. Routine doctor, dentist, hearing and vision screenings can help older adults properly manage any underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar levels. A proactive approach to physical, mental, and emotional health will help ensure an active and fulfilling older age.
Moving more, spending time doing things you enjoy as part of a community, and eating a healthy diet are all investments that can pay big dividends in later life. Small changes in daily habits can add up over time to promote better health, fitness and well-being. This year the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation encourages men across Canada to “Park Like a Dad” by parking further away from their destination to encourage more daily activity, boosting physical and mental health.