June 11th to the 17th is Men’s Health and Cancer Awareness Week. It is a time to raise awareness for men’s health and the ways that men can be more proactive in leading healthier lives!
On average, men are less healthy than women, have shorter life expectancies and are more likely to get cancer.
They are half as likely as women to go to the doctor, more likely to drink and smoke and get fewer preventative screenings. So, make sure that you, or the men in your lives, are taking preventative measures to optimize health in body and mind.
Optimizing your health starts with recognizing your unhealthy habits and talking about the ways you can be healthier. Let’s all encourage the discussion around men’ s health so our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons and friends are living their best lives.
The leading causes of death among men is heart disease, cancer and accidents. While some health conditions may be unavoidable because of genetics or unintended injuries, you can start taking charge of your health today. Pay more attention to your body and start making changes.
1. Schedule That Doctor’s Appointment
If you haven’t had a physician exam or check up in a while, it’s time to schedule that appointment now. Don’t wait any longer, finding diseases early on when they are easier to treat can make a huge difference. Ask your doctor about which tests you should take based on your age and other health factors. Common tests among men include blood cholesterol, blood pressure, prostate cancer, diabetes and colorectal cancer. Don’t forget to take care of your mental health needs while you are at the doctor too, mind and body go hand in hand.
2. Ditch the Bad Habits
It is no secret that smoking and drinking are some of the most unhealthy habits for your body. So, if you are a regular smoker, it is time to kick that habit for good. And if you are a regular drinker, maybe it’s time to cut back a bit. Kicking long established habits may be difficult, but your health is at stake here and you could regret not quitting sooner. Seek guidance from community members and healthcare professionals on how to start breaking an addictive habit.
3. Get Moving
Thirty minutes of physical activity a few days of the week is recommended for living healthy lifestyles. If you don’t already have an exercise regimen, you could start making little changes in you daily routine. This can include walks around the neighborhood, trading the elevator for the stairs, picking up a new hobby like cycling or even joining a club sport. It may help to find an exercise buddy, so you can hold each other accountable.
4. Watch What You Eat
Cut back on sugar and caffeine! It seems like almost everything we consume is made up of one of the 2 and cutting back can be very difficult. Excess consumption of sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, heart failure and other health problems. Excess consumption of caffeine can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, digestive problems and more. Moderation is key here. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat foods that are low in saturated fats and salt.
We’ve summed up some basic steps that provide some guidance on how to start making healthier choices. Now it’s up to you to make those changes! Be consistent, don’t give up and follow through no matter how difficult it seems. Good Luck !