June is not only the month where we celebrate all of the Dads in our life with Father’s Day but it is also National Men’s Health Month. This is a time set aside for ” health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury” (Menshealthmonth.gov). We all love the men in our lives but sometimes they can be reticent to get medical care. Here are some tips we can use to help encourage them in achieving their best health care.
Probably the toughest advice for many men is to get routine exams and screenings. Prostate cancer is the number one cause of cancer death for men and the most commonly occurring non-skin cancer in men in the US. Regular annual check ups can help reduce these risks and detect cancer early if it does occur. Other conditions annual screenings can help to find early are hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and more.
The next important step for all of us including men is to eat healthily and be as active as possible. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables helps us feel alert and gives us real energy that caffeine can never provide. Being active for at least 2 1/2 hours a week helps strengthen our muscles and make our heart stronger. Teens and young men should have a goal of 1 hour a day of activity if at all possible.
Another key aspect of health in men that is often ignored is mental health. It’s easy for many men and women to get lost in work and not have the balance of work, home and relaxation. It is also key that men get 7-9 hours of sleep and seek out mental health care professionals when needed. There is no shame in talking to a counselor or getting support when the world seems too much for us to handle. This includes men and women!
Finally, let us all not forget to express gratitude for the men in our lives. All of us have fathers, sons, uncles, nephews, teachers, friends who we love and it can be too easy to forget to celebrate all they do for us. We all need to feel needed and appreciated so take this month as a reminder to tell your loved one how grateful you are for all they do. You never know how much good a simple gesture will do!