Men’s Health Month takes place every June to raise awareness on important men’s health issues and to remind them to care for themselves.
In the United States, men live an average of five to six years less than their female counterparts. The Men’s Health Network reports that men are more likely than women to die from 9 out of the top 10 causes of death including heart disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, diabetes, pneumonia or the flu, suicide, kidney disease and chronic liver disease (Web MD).
According to the Men's Health Initiative of British Columbia, approximately 30% of a man’s health is determined by his genetics. The majority, the remaining 70% of his wellbeing, is determined by his lifestyle choices.
So, guys – in honor of Men’s Health Month 2016, here are some tips for taking better care of your health:
Stop Making Excuses
One of the biggest reasons men suffer from more conditions than women is because they aren’t visiting the doctor as much as they should be – or in some cases, not at all. Men are half as likely to attend routine checkups.
Some common reasons men put off their appointments are because they “would rather tough it out,” they “have no time,” or they “know nothing is wrong.”
Put your pride, laziness or whatever’s stopping you from going to the doctor to the side. Routine checkups can help you detect issues early or before they become even bigger problems.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Be observant of any possible signs or symptoms, such as pain, urination problems or breathing abnormalities. Make sure to also check on your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Are they too low or too high? Speak up to your doctor!
Throw out your cigarettes because giving up smoking drastically reduces your risk of lung disease, cancer, heart disease and other illnesses
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Good nutrition is all about balance. Be mindful of the fatty, salty and sugary foods you consume and watch your alcohol intake. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are jam-packed with vitamins that can help protect your body from chronic illnesses.
The CDC recommends at least 2 ½ hours of physical activity each week. Whatever your exercise of choice may be — walking, running, playing a sport, yoga — feel free to spread it out in a way you can manage. And come on guys — 2 ½ hours a week isn’t that much.
Resting is just as important as exercising. Lack of sleep — a recommended 7-9 hours each night — can cause motor vehicle or machinery accidents due to drowsiness. Sleeping problems and insufficiency is also linked to chronic conditions including diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease.
Men's Health Network Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAmerican Cancer Society