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Men’s Health Month: Practical tips for enhancing quality of life at any age

Posted in: Education General Health & Wellness

Dr. Edwin Kornoelje, a primary care physician and sports medicine specialist at University of Michigan Health-West, recently led a Men’s Health Month discussion with journalists and staff at Fox 17 in Grand Rapids, focusing on maintaining an active lifestyle no matter one’s age. Dr. Kornoelje provided practical advice for men to aim for 10,000 steps per day and 30 minutes of increased heart rate activity, which can significantly enhance quality of life, reduce disease risk and improve mental wellbeing.

He recommends incorporating 150 minutes of activity per week, which is cumulative and can be broken down to 10–15-minute increments. This includes everyday activities like cutting the lawn, gardening, or playing golf. These activities don’t require a gym membership; simple daily changes, such as parking farther from a store entrance or taking the stairs, can boost physical activity.

Dr. Kornoelje also highlights the importance of mobility, suggesting that walking, jogging, running, bicycling, rowing or playing sports are excellent ways to stay active. Additionally, he recommends getting up from a desk job once per hour and trying to rise from a chair or couch unassisted to engage core muscles.

Regarding sleep, Dr. Kornoelje notes that while sleep needs vary, most people should aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night, with a minimum of 6 hours. Mental health is equally important—he encourages men to have honest conversations with their doctors about stress, anxiety, and depression. Increasing activity, adding exercise, and changing diet can often alleviate these symptoms, but medication may be needed. Open discussions with a primary care physician can lead to effective support and better overall health.

Dr. Kornoelje also recommends routine medical exams once per year for early detection of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other common conditions. Many men delay doctor visits, hindering early treatment.

The Men’s Health Month discussion is part of UM Health-West’s dedication to advancing community health and wellness in West Michigan.