Men’s Health Month

As a Strength and Conditioning Coach who has worked with athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB, the month of June strikes a special chord with me. From the NBA Finals to the race of the MLB season, and the beginning stages of the NFL, June is one of the greatest sports months of the year. June is also Men’s Health Month, and as a Strength coach who works predominately with male professional athletes, I appreciate the time to recognize the challenges these men encounter on and off the sports field.

The Stats

Males in the U.S. are disproportionally at higher risk for some diseases and have a shorter life span. American males live nearly six years less than women and are disproportionately more likely to receive a diagnosis of heart disease and cancer than their female counterparts. Additionally, men are much more likely to die by suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol-related deaths than women. The month of June is not only recognized as an opportunity to address the health risks and barriers men face but also serves to promote effective strategies that can help men and boys live longer. One of those strategies is to encourage males to engage in intentionally building strength.

Strength-Train Like an Athlete

A growing body of evidence suggests that strength training not only helps athletes demonstrate their athletic prowess on the sports field, but it also aids in improving physical and mental health. Strength training may not only build strong bones and repair muscle tissue but can help reduce anxiety, reduce pain intensity, and improve cognition and self–esteem.  

This month, I encourage readers to adopt the strength training behaviors of elite athletes. Resistance training or repeated muscle action against more resistance, or weight, than normally encountered in daily life, continues to reveal numerous benefits to physical and mental health. I encourage you to get together with fellow athletes and visit your local “strength room” to begin your strength training journey. Resistance training group activities can be a simple intervention that encourages men to gather, exercise, and can serve as a valuable resource for promoting health among males.

Refuel Like an Athlete

Refueling correctly after strength training is a priority for elite athletes. The act of consuming a recovery shake post-workout, such as chocolate milk, helps to support a balanced diet and promote recovery. Chocolate milk also contains essential nutrients that may help reduce cardiovascular disease, stroke, and colorectal cancer. This month of June I encourage you to reach out to the men in your lives and invite them to meet up and strength train and refuel like an athlete

Dan Liburd is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Boston University. He received his Master of Science degree from Canisius College in Health and Human Performance and is currently working towards his Ph.D. Health and Human Performance at Concordia University Chicago. Liburd currently holds the position of Rehab Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. His experience includes stints with several professional teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, Buffalo Bills, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Liburd has also held various positions in Collegiate Strength and Conditioning programs. He has worked with the Boston University Terriers, Springfield College Pride, and American College Yellow Jackets, and held positions at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning as well as Peak Performance Physical Therapy New York.

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