Men’s Health Week: Your Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle

Did you know that men make half as many physician visits for prevention as women? June is Men’s Health Month and the week of June 10-16 is Men’s Health Week. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness about the importance of male health and to encourage men to seek regular checkups. This year, encourage the men in your life to put a plan into action to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” – Congressman Bill Richardson

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Routine Screenings

On average, men live 5 years less than women. 1 in 2 men will get cancer in their lifetime. For women, 1 in 3. Men are less likely to make a visit to their doctor on a regular basis. These statistics show the importance of preventative health screenings for men. Skipping essential health tests and screenings could be a matter of life or death.

Blood Pressure Test
The easiest and most painless test you can do for your health. Your blood pressure is a great indication of whether or not you need to make diet or lifestyle changes. You don’t even need to make a separate trip to the doctor for this test. Most pharmacies have machines that can check your blood pressure right in the store. It’s as simple as that.

Cholesterol Test
A cholesterol check is important to heart health. These screenings are completed through a blood test and it is recommended to be done every five years. More frequent cholesterol testing may be necessary if you have a family history of heart disease or are over the age of 45.

Skin Cancer Check
Another simple preventative measure is a skin cancer check. About every three months, men should do a self-examination and check for any unusual moles or spots on their skin. Men should also ask their doctor to check their skin during a yearly physical exam.

Colon Cancer Screening
This test becomes even more important as you age or if you have a family history of colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Colonoscopies are a common method for colon cancer screening.

These are just a few common preventative measures for men to take to avoid serious illness. Talk to your doctor to decide what other routine tests you may need.
 

Healthy Diet and Exercise

Adopting a healthy diet and consistent workout regimen is another simple solution to stay healthy. The key is to have a balanced diet and consume a variety of foods. Fruits and vegetables will give your body vital nutrients, and foods such as fish and poultry are healthy sources of lean protein.

Exercise is also vital when trying to achieve a balanced lifestyle. Staying active helps you maintain your weight, relieves stress and reduces your risk for certain illnesses and cancers. It’s recommended for men to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
 

Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. According to menshealthmonth.org, thirty percent of men experience depression, yet only 1 in 4 actually talk about it. It’s for this reason that this is now being called the “silent crisis.”

Finding someone to talk to and building a support network is essential. Living an active and healthy lifestyle is also crucial for alleviating depression and helping with stress management. Seeking medical assistance for depression and other mental health issues is the best way to take care of yourself and be given the tools to recover from depression.
 

Quick Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
  • Practice safe sex
  • Protect your skin from the sun
  • Visit your doctor regularly and ask questions
  • Take daily vitamins to ensure your body receives proper nutrients
  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
  • Stay active
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