November has become synonymous with Movember, a movement centered around bringing awareness to Men’s Health issues. The Movember organization focuses on three main areas of men’s health, including mental health and suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer. While those are the organization’s main causes, men’s health, in general, is an important discussion they are bringing to the forefront. Here are the top 5 things to do and know this Movember.

Move more!

Heart disease, diabetes, and cancers are higher in men compared to women. Movement through exercise can help reduce and eliminate these co-morbidities. Five days a week of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic can keep you moving and your body feeling good. Working with a physical therapist to determine the right workout program for you is always the first step in beginning an exercise program. Especially for men over 40, a strength training program focusing on resistance may be more beneficial compared to a strictly aerobic program a 20 or 30-year-old may benefit from.

Talk more and be a listening ear

 Regardless of how you keep in touch with friends and loved ones, finding the time to be a listening ear to someone can save their life. Men can sometimes have a more difficult time opening up, or admitting they are not ok, but spending time, be it text, call, or in-person, may allow someone to open up and begin the process. You aren’t a counselor or a doctor, but by being a friend and being there for them, they may not feel alone and you may be the impotence to seek professional help. Mental health problems are at an all-time high due to the pandemic. Taking a moment out of your day to check in on friends and family could potentially save a life.

Spend time with family and friends

As the country opens back up, find time to see people who make you feel good. Life’s responsibilities, a job, family, and home can make it more difficult to find time for friends. Try finding a healthy, active activity for you and your friends to do together. An hour together at the gym, outside running, or shooting hoops allows you to spend your time in a healthy way with people you enjoy.

Know the Movember stats

1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. It is the most commonly diagnosed can for men in the United States. Early detection is important in the prognosis of prostate cancer. All men by the age of 50, (45 if you are African American or have a family history) should talk to their doctor about a PSA blood test. Catching prostate cancer early can be the difference between life and death. Prostate problems can be helped with the help of your doctor and a pelvic health PT

Check yourself regularly and go to the doctor

While there is no routine screening test for testicular cancer, having a routine yearly physical can help detect problems early. With the average age for testicular cancer as 33 years old, it is never too early to be checked. 1 in 250 men is diagnosed with testicular cancer, and again with early detection, can be treated and cured. A video guide to self-check can help you detect changes in your testicles.

This November, take time to check in on yourself, check in on your friends and family, and get active. November is Men’s Health Month.

Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Molly Rittberg received her master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to receive her doctorate from Rosalind Franklin University (North Chicago) in 2009. She has since worked in an outpatient orthopedic practice where she worked with patients of all ages, injuries and disabilities. She has a wide variety of experiences including knee, ankle, foot and shoulder injuries, post-operative conditions, spinal rehabilitation and peripheral neuropathies.