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Men's Health: Let's Talk About It

June is Men's Health Month, so in an effort to start an important conversation, Coaches Dino, Justin and Erik are here to talk about what Men's Health means to them.

For Coach Dino, prioritizing his health means exercise for his mental health release. Everyone has their preference, but for Dino it depends on the season. During the Winter he loves to play hockey or cross country ski with his wife and dogs; Fall, Spring and Summer he enjoys a little adrenaline from mountain biking and walking. The one thing he can count on for a mental health boost no matter what time of year though is a good, heavy weight workout. Dino says “I like to pick things up, and put them down" (click here for the joke). During the week, that’s what clears Dino's mind. He knows if he doesn’t get his workouts in, he doesn't feel good, physically or mentally.

Coach Justin shares his perspective by addressing that sometimes figuring out the right methods of exercise can be difficult for men, especially when dealing with aches and pains. Let's take a look at a couple of tips he has in working to overcome this barrier.

First and foremost, stay hydrated. The importance of water in the body cannot be stressed enough, especially during exercise. Water aids in keeping joints lubricated and muscle fibers elastic. Always replenish what you lose.

Second, always warm up and stretch before beginning your routine. Increased body temperature will lead to increased blood circulation and oxygen supply to your muscles. Stretching any areas of increase tension or stiffness may help reduce pain also.

Lastly, get in the habit of mixing up your routine. Everyone has certain things they enjoy more than others. Listen to your body and if certain areas or specific joints are bothering you, allow time for them to rest and recuperate while turning your attention to different muscle groups and specific movements you typically don’t train. Be mindful about your exercise regime.

In summary from Coach Justin, stay hydrated, warm up and cool down, mix it up and allow your body time to rest and recover.

Now Coach Erik has an important topic to address before we wrap it up: prostate cancer.

Our physical activity and what we eat are two things that we have active control over that can make a huge impact in our lives. Another aspect we can control is early diagnostic testing, especially for cancer. One cancer that is of particular importance to men’s health is prostate cancer. About 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime and aside from skin cancer, it is the most common cancer affecting men.

Erik's father had prostate cancer and his great uncle died from it, so unfortunately for him this is something that runs in his family, therefore, there is a very high likelihood that his own prostate cells will become cancerous at some point in his life. Knowing his family history helps Erik to make his own informed decisions about his health. With his doctor, he has been testing his PSA (prostate specific antigen, which is a substance produced by the prostate gland) to keep track and detect early signs of prostate cancer.

Even if you don’t have a family history of prostate cancer, it is recommended that all men ages 55-69 have their PSA tested routinely. Detecting the cancer early before it spreads to other organs and parts of the body is essential. Here are some warning signs of prostate cancer:

  • Difficulty starting urination.

  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine.

  • Frequent urination, especially at night.

  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.

  • Pain or burning during urination.

  • Blood in the urine or semen.

  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.

  • Painful ejaculation.

Prostate cancer used to be one of the most fatal cancers in men, but thanks to early detection and awareness campaigns (such as No Shave November), its prognosis is improving.

In summary, men your health matters too. We hope that these reflections from Coaches Dino, Justin and Erik are motivation for you to prioritize your health, not just to look great, but to feel great too.

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