Men's Health Info
Staying active is the best way to remain healthy and live long enough to enjoy your family. It is recommended that you get at least 30 mins of exercise per day. A few reasons why it is important to exercise:
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, a number of types of cancer, and arthritis.
Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
Regular trips to the gym are great, but don't worry if you can't find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.
Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.
Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.
Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life
Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.
But there's even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise.
For more, please check out our video on YouTube: IPPP Celebrates Men's Health Month
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 report that about 15 percent of U.S. households are unable to acquire enough healthy foods to meet their nutritional needs. On the other hand, many Americans are consuming too many calories—the Weight Control Information Network reports that 68 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Choosing nutrient-dense foods and abiding by your calorie recommendations will help you reach your nutrition needs while maintaining a healthy body weight.
Your individualized caloric needs are based on your physical activity level and body weight. If you’re overweight or obese, you need about 1,000 to 1,600 calories per day to lose weight, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or about 10 calories per pound of your ideal body weight, says the University of Washington. To maintain a healthy body weight, women need 1,600 to 2,400 calories, while men require 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Use your body weight to determine your caloric needs for healthy weight maintenance—13 calories per pound if you’re sedentary, 16 calories per pound of you’re moderately active and 18 calories per pound of body weight if you regularly engage in high-intensity exercise.
Protein is needed for almost every function in the human body. Adults require protein to maintain lean muscle mass and for healthy hair, skin and nails. Protein can also increase satiety, which might help you avoid overeating, according to a review published in a 2008 edition of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Men need at least 56 grams of protein and women need 46 grams, while pregnant and nursing women require at least 71 grams of protein each day. Active adults may need even more protein than these minimum requirements. Protein-rich foods include eggs, poultry, lean meats, seafood, dairy foods, soy products, seitan, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Although carbs have gotten a bad reputation among the dieting community in recent years, carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. The Institute of Medicine recommends eating at least 130 grams of carbs each day, or about 45 to 65 percent of your daily calorie intake from carbs—equivalent to 225 to 325 grams of carbs per day for a 2,000-calorie diet, as carbs provide 4 calories per gram. Choose nutrient-dense, high-fiber carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Healthy carbs are also found in low-fat dairy products, such as milk and yogurt.
Replacing saturated and trans fats with healthier, unsaturated fats is beneficial for your heart. The Institute of Medicine recommends eating 20 to 35 percent of your calories from fats, or about 44 to 78 grams per day for a 2,000-calorie diet. Choose healthy fats, such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, fish oil, peanut butter, avocados and hummus.
Vitamins and Minerals
Eating a well-balanced diet on a regular basis can help you meet most of your micronutrient—vitamin and mineral—needs. However, ask your doctor about taking a multivitamin supplement that's customized for your specific needs to make sure you’re meeting your nutrition requirements on a regular basis.
According to the Office of Minority Health:
-Adult African Americans are 20 percent
more likely to report serious psychological
distress than adult whites.
-Adult African Americans living below poverty
are three times more likely to report serious
psychological distress than those living
-Adult African Americans are more likely to
have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and
worthlessness than are adult whites.
African Americans of all ages are more likely to be victims of serious violent crime than are non-Hispanic whites, making them more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). African Americans are also twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
A lot of this means that you or someone you know has experienced an incident that could affect their mental health. And when these things happen, many people do not seek help. Stigma and judgment prevent many African Americans from seeking treatment for their mental illnesses. Research indicates that African Americans believe that admitting they have depression or anxiety would be considered “crazy” in their social circles. Many also believe that discussions about mental illness would not be appropriate even among family. We have to change this trend.
According to the 2001 Surgeon General’s Report, African Americans account for just 2% of all psychologists in America today. Increased funding for African American psychologists, and other mental health providers, would help increase the number of African Americans in treatment; as minority clinicians are more likely to see minority patients with more effective outcomes. [American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2006]
Funding to train more African American psychologists would help to decrease stigma and encourage others to seek mental and behavioral health care when needed. [President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003] Minority psychologists can use their knowledge about the messages that will best resonate with African Americans to help increase awareness, as well as provide culturally competent services that tailor to individual needs. [Monitor on Psychology 2006]
How Do I know if I or Someone I Know Needs Help?
Trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be the signs of a mental illness isn't always easy. There's no easy test that can let someone know if there is mental illness or if actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors of a person or the result of a physical illness. Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following:
-Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
-Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
-Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
-Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
-Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
-Thinking about suicide
-Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
What do I do if I need Help?
Many insurance plans cover Mental Health services. Be sure to check with your insurer to find out if your plan covers mental health and to ask for additional resource info.
The following organizations provide help 24/7
National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) www.nami.org
Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) www.samhsa.org
The following organizations offer additional information on mental health, focusing on outreach to African-American communities:
-Capstone Institute/Center for Research on
the Education of Students Placed at Risk,
-National Black Nurses Association:
-National Medical Association:
-Lee Thompson Young Foundation: http://www.leethompsonyoungfoundation.org/
An important part of being a #HealthyMan is knowing (not guessing) what is going on with your body. Men are less likely than women to have regular contact with a doctor and are half as likely as women to have a preventive health exam according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Commonwealth Fund. Because of this lack of contact with a doctor, men are less likely to know 4 important things about their everyday health that men should know:
High blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition. Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. About 1 of 3 U.S. adults—or about 75 million people—have high blood pressure. Only about half (54%) of these people have their high blood pressure under control. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. No matter your age, you can take steps each day to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.
High blood pressure is called the "silent killer" because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it. That's why it is important to check your blood pressure regularly.
The good news is that you can take steps to prevent high blood pressure or to control it if your blood pressure is already high.
You can make changes to your lifestyle that will help you control your blood pressure. Your doctor might prescribe medications that can help you. By controlling your blood pressure, you will lower your risk for the harmful effects of high blood pressure.
If you already have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications and lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are just as important as medications. Follow your doctor's instructions and stay on your medications. Do not stop taking your medications before talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All drugs may have side effects, so talk to your doctor regularly. As your blood pressure improves, your doctor will check it often.
Lifestyle changes can help you control your blood pressure.
Diet. Eat a healthy diet that is:
Low in salt (sodium), total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
High in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Be active. Try taking a brisk 10-minute walk 3 times a day 5 days a week.
Do not smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. Visit Smokefree.gov for tips on quitting.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. When you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can build up on your artery walls. Too much cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. But you can take steps to manage your cholesterol levels and lower your risk.
There are no signs or symptoms of high cholesterol. Getting your cholesterol checked with a simple blood test is the only way you can know if you are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol is measured by looking at three numbers: LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides.
Total cholesterol is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood and is based on the HDL, LDL, and triglycerides numbers.
LDL cholesterol makes up the majority of the body’s cholesterol. LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol because having high levels can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and result in heart disease and stroke.
HDL cholesterol absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver, which flushes it from the body. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol because having high levels can reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood that your body uses for energy. The combination of high levels of triglycerides with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Your health care team can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol levels. The test is called a lipid profile. The test measures several kinds of total cholesterol and its individual parts including triglycerides. Some doctors do another blood test that just checks total and HDL cholesterol.
Whether your lipid levels require treatment is not solely based on your lipid profile numbers. Your primary care provider will look at these numbers, and your other risk factors, to determine your overall risk for heart disease and help decide if you need treatment.
There are no signs or symptoms of high LDL cholesterol. That is why it’s so important to get your cholesterol checked. Talk to your doctor about what your numbers mean for you.
Cholesterol is something that needs to be monitored just like blood pressure. Talk to your health care team about what’s best for you. All adults, aged 20 or older, need to get their cholesterol checked.
If you are 20 years or older and have not been diagnosed with heart disease, it is recommended that your cholesterol be checked every 5 years. Some people need to get their cholesterol checked more often.1
All children and adolescents should have their cholesterol monitored at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 years, and again between ages 17 and 21 years.2
Knowing your cholesterol levels together with other factors, such age, gender, race/ethnicity, smoking status, and blood pressure, will help your health care team decide whether you should take cholesterol-lowering medication to help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke
Blood sugar isn't itself bad. It is the fuel that gives energy to the cells in your body. Persistent high blood sugar levels, however, can have long term health consequences. By controlling blood sugar, you can also help to control the risk of heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, blindness and kidney problems."
Your blood sugar level is measured by checking the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Glucose is a source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and other tissues.
Glucose comes from two major sources: food and your liver. Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, where it enters cells with the help of insulin. Your liver stores and makes glucose. When your glucose levels are low, such as when you haven't eaten in a while, the liver breaks down stored glycogen into glucose to keep your glucose level within a normal range. Having high glucose levels for a prolonged period of time can lead to diabetes.
There are 3 types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. What is known is that your immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses — attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Type 1 is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, though exactly what many of those factors are is still unclear. Type 1 results from the pancreas's failure to produce enough insulin. This form is commonly known as "juvenile diabetes”.
Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells where it's needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. Type 2 DM begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses a lack of insulin may also develop. This form is commonly known as "adult-onset diabetes". Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although it's believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with type 2 is overweight.
Gestational diabetes is the third main form and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels. During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy. These hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin. Normally, your pancreas responds by producing enough extra insulin to overcome this resistance. But sometimes your pancreas can't keep up. When this happens, too little glucose gets into your cells and too much stays in your blood, resulting in gestational diabetes.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index, what's known as BMI, can give you an idea about whether you are at a healthy weight or not, and it can give you a sense of how much risk you may have of developing chronic diseases.
BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI is moderately correlated with more direct measures of body fat obtained from skinfold thickness measurements, bioelectrical impedance, densitometry (underwater weighing), dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and other methods. Furthermore, BMI appears to be as strongly correlated with various metabolic and disease outcome as are these more direct measures of body fatness. In general, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight category, for example underweight, normal or healthy weight, overweight, and obesity.
How is BMI used?
A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used as a screening tool but is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.
To determine if a high BMI is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.
The prevalence of adult BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m (obese status) has greatly increased since the 1970s. Recently, however, this trend has leveled off, except for older women. Obesity has continued to increase in adult women who are age 60 years and older.
BMI can be used for population assessment of overweight and obesity. Because calculation requires only height and weight, it is inexpensive and easy to use for clinicians and for the general public. BMI can be used as a screening tool for body fatness but is not diagnostic.
To see the formula based on either kilograms and meters or pounds and inches, visit How is BMI calculated.
Other methods to measure body fatness include skinfold thickness measurements (with calipers), underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and isotope dilution. However, these methods are not always readily available, and they are either expensive or need to be conducted by highly trained personnel. Furthermore, many of these methods can be difficult to standardize across observers or machines, complicating comparisons across studies and time periods.
IPPP believes that it is important to give back to the community by encouraging young men to look beyond their circumstances for better opportunities. We have established a mentoring program with young men to develop them in various facets of their lives.
Our goals for the mentorship program are to:
- Provide a positive environment where young men of color can identify, nourish, & manifest their vision and dreams.
- Develop global leaders and entrepreneurs for the global marketplace.
- Provide exposure and opportunities for young men of color through cultural events, traveling, job shadowing, internships, and mentoring.
- Increase the financial intelligence of young men of color through financial literacy.
- Develop 21st-century skills through interactive workshops and events.
- Enhance college-readiness to ensure college enrollment in at least 50% of high school participants.
- Provide a nourishing environment where young men of color can identify, define, & develop their life purpose and dreams.
- Increase male participation in leadership roles at their schools.
- Collaborate with institutions and other organization in the research, advocacy, policy creation, and program development for engaging and working with young men of color.