When it comes to addiction, men and women may face different challenges. Research has found, for instance, that alcohol affects each gender differently. Whereas women’s bodies break down alcohol more quickly, men’s do so more slowly. Also, given the makeup of their bodies, men are often able to consume larger quantities of alcohol before feeling its effects. Men are also more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with anger, stress, or relationship issues or as a result of peer pressure and the desire to fit in.
June 13-19 is National Men’s Health Week and a great time for men to reflect on their health and make necessary changes to make it a priority. Maintaining good health is especially important in recovery because drugs and alcohol can take a toll on the body and mind. When men feel better and are properly managing their health, it can reduce risk of relapse and help curb cravings.
Ways Men can be Proactive with their Health
There are many ways that men can be proactive with improving their health and supporting their recovery efforts:
- Get plenty of sleep – essentially between seven and nine hours each night. This gives the body time to repair itself and allows you to rest and re-energize for the next day. It may also reduce your risk of developing certain chronic diseases.
- Manage your stress. Learn to delegate and balance your schedule so you’re not feeling overwhelmed. Engage in deep breathing or meditation to help calm yourself.
- Keep moving. Whether you’re shooting hoops with friends, hitting nine holes of golf, going for a run, or hopping on your bike, make sure to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
- Get tested. Make sure your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar are all within normal limits. Also know when to get checked for certain types of cancer or other conditions prevalent in men.
Paying attention to your health and engaging in self-care can make a positive difference in your recovery. Build the skills you need to make your health and recovery a priority through addiction treatment at Above It All.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Services, Recovery and Recovery Support. Accessed April 6, 2016.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Services, Promote Recovery Month. Accessed April 4, 2016.
- The Kroonerz Project, Mens Health Blog. Accessed April 18, 2016.
- IDS Folk School, Wellness Initiative Definition. Accessed April 26, 2016.