June Is Men’s Health Month
It might come as a surprise to 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 rates, and die on average five years earlier than women.
Those are just some of the reasons why MHN is promoting 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 3 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 it seems like we’re presented with fatty, unhealthy foods around every corner. A good way to start is to incorporate at least one fruit and one vegetable in every meal (including breakfast). Though the occasional treat is certainly 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 a number of 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 floors every day). Play with your kids or grandkids—take them outside and play catch, kick a ball around, or just go for a walk around the neighborhood. There’s also almost always yardwork that can be done. Getting that honey-do list done is a great excuse to get more physical activity!
Get a Physical
This is the big one. Most men only go to their doctor when something hurts or doesn’t feel right. But too often, there are symptoms of a condition or disease that aren’t apparent on a daily basis until it’s too late. That’s why it’s extremely important to get an annual exam that includes checking your blood pressure, and getting full blood and urine analyses. That will help you and your doctor catch—and treat—potentially dangerous conditions before they become serious.