National Men's Health Month
Did you know that the month of June is Men’s Health Month? Men need reminders to take care of themselves because on average men die 5 years earlier than women and they die at higher rates from 9 out of the top 10 causes of death.
Remember that taking care of yourself is important to the people you care about. If you are ill, it is hard to help anyone else.
Things you can do:
Get an annual physical. Most factors that lead to men’s shorter less healthy lives are preventable, and prevention starts by seeing your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Establishing baselines for blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and PSA (a screening test for prostate cancer risk) are important because it will enable your provider to catch potentially dangerous conditions early when they are still treatable. You can download a helpful chart of recommended screenings at www.healthfinder.gov.
Get physical, but always check with your PCP before starting an exercise program. The benefits of regular physical activity on health outcomes are extensive. Find a physical activity you like and make it part of your normal routine. To get the maximum health benefits out of physical activity adults need to engage in moderate intensity aerobic activity like brisk walking, biking, swimming, or fast dancing for 150 to 300 minutes each week. Adults also need strengthening activity, like weightlifting or doing push-ups, at least 2 times every week. You do not have to do it on your own. There are clubs for walking, biking, swimming, weightlifting, etc. Many people find exercise groups a lot more motivating then exercising on their own.
Things others can do:
Encourage the men in your life to take care of their health care needs, which include their physical, mental and oral health.
Wear blue. In 1994, Congress passed a bill declaring the week before Father’s Day as Men’s Health Week (this year its June 11-17). Encourage the people you know to wear something blue for that week. You can post pictures of yourself and your friends at #ShowUsYourBlue.
Learn more. The Men’s Health Network (the DC non-profit that helped pass Men’s Health Week) provides much more information on this subject at www.MensHealthNetwork.org.