In addition to June being the month that we celebrate Father’s Day, it’s also Men’s Health Month. That’s right – we get an entire month to remind us that in order to be healthy and around for our families, we have to take care of ourselves. This is because men are statistically less likely to be insured, much less likely to go to a doctor for a checkup (rates up to 10% lower than women), and have a life expectancy 5 years lower than women. So, let’s discuss men’s health, and how we can be healthier.
First and foremost – make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off. A yearly physical will check for and help maintain important health factors, like blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and PSA (which screens for prostate cancer risk). Starting these tests when you’re younger helps establish a baseline to monitor how they change over time – helping you and your healthcare provider catch conditions early, when they are more likely to respond to treatment.
Establish healthy habits – eating well, exercising, quitting smoking, and reducing stress are all healthy habits associated with a healthier, longer life. You don’t have to do it all at once! But it’s important to set healthy goals to work towards. Even starting with a habit of regular walks is a step in the right direction. Get an accountability buddy to keep you both headed in the right direction. This can be a spouse, child, or friend who has similar goals and will encourage you to continue your healthy habits.
Address your mental health – Men are more than 3 times more likely to die from suicide than women. Seeking help for depression or other mental health issues is an important step towards overall health.
Know the signs and symptoms of common preventable conditions – such as heart disease and heart attack:
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
- Chest pain or pressure
- Pain or discomfort in the arms or shoulder
- Shortness of breath
Let’s work on getting healthy and increase our life expectancy! Prioritizing your health now means that you will be around for your friends and family longer in the future. Start by making an appointment with your doctor and working with them to make a plan for your health.
Here’s to many more healthy years,