During national Men’s Health Month, held in June each year to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys, the Medical Center has some tips for our male residents and guests.

Proactive health advice for men often includes common-sense items like annual physicals, prostate health monitoring, weight control, diet and exercise. Keeping fit with regular exercise also serves another important concern for men: bone health.

Loss of bone health is generally associated with women developing osteopenia and becoming osteoporotic later in life, but men can also develop osteoporosis. While men do have the advantage of producing bone-protecting testosterone throughout life, the level of the male hormone declines with age and may not be sufficient to keep bones strong enough as they age.

Bones that become porous and weakened lead eventually to a higher susceptibility to fracture. This type of bone destruction can be improved with the right kind of exercise.

Weight-bearing activities will stimulate bone formation when you put pressure on your bones, specifically the hips and spine — which are the most susceptible areas for fracture during a fall-related injury. Walking, jogging, stair climbing, hiking and even dancing all benefit bone health.

Weight training is an excellent source of a weight-bearing activity. Free weights, gym machines that target specific body areas, and even resistance bands are beneficial.

Before engaging in any kind of load-bearing exercise, you should check with your physician for limitations that could worsen any pre-existing conditions. The Medical Center’s Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy Department can assist patients with strengthening exercises that may be helpful before starting an exercise regime on your own.

The Medical Center would like to remind our patients that COVID-19 is on the rise. Continue to wear a mask, wash hands frequently, sanitize your hands and continue social distancing. These measures are especially important for anyone with an underlying health condition or an impaired immune system. Before returning to any local gyms, consider the rate of COVID-19 in the area and the state of your health. Outdoor exercise is an effective substitute during these times.