June Is Men’s Health Month
It might surprise some, but men do not live healthy lives (generally speaking). According to the Men’s Health Network (MHN), men are far less likely to visit the doctor for an annual exam than women, develop life-threatening diseases at higher rates than women, tend to suffer from depression at higher speeds and die on average five years earlier than women.
Those are just some reasons why MHN promotes Men’s Health Month in June. This annual awareness and action campaign was launched in 1994 to help educate and inspire men to take better care of themselves and, by extension, their loved ones. To help celebrate this campaign, here are three things that every man should do to live a healthier life.
The first step in any healthy lifestyle is to make healthy eating choices. This can be a real challenge, as we’re presented with fatty, unhealthy foods around every corner. An excellent way to start is to incorporate at least one fruit and vegetable in every meal (including breakfast). Though the occasional treat is okay, this also means saying no to some of those temptations more often.
Getting enough physical activity is a must for a healthy lifestyle. The X recommends at least 30 minutes/day of rigorous physical activity. Luckily, there are several activities that a man can do, and not all of them are exercise. For example, if you work in a building with multiple floors, try to take the stairs as often as possible (and within reason, no need to climb 17 feet daily). Play with your kids or grandkids, take them outside and play catch, kick a ball, or go for a walk around the neighborhood. There’s also almost always yard work that can be done. Getting that honey-do list done is a great excuse to get more physical activity!
See Your Doctor
This is the big one. Most men only visit their doctor when something hurts or doesn’t feel right. But too often, symptoms of a condition or disease aren’t apparent daily until it’s too late. That’s why getting an annual exam that includes checking your blood pressure and getting whole blood and urine analyses is extremely important. That will help you and your doctor catch and treat potentially dangerous conditions before they become serious.
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