Men, it’s time to stand up for your own wellness and take steps to get on a healthier track. Don’t put it off. Don’t blow it off. The facts are clear.
In America, men live sicker and die younger than women, and every year the life expectancy of women vs. men widens. Start this week to even the gap. Let’s grow healthier and older together. June 9-15 is National Men’s Health Week, and June is Men’s Health Month.
The Men’s Health Network (MHN) reports that men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, kidney disease and chronic liver disease.
Men also lead women in accidental and violent death. They account for more than 92 percent of workplace deaths and the overwhelming majority of homicide deaths, with African-American men at unusually high risk. Also, depression in men often goes undiagnosed, which contributes to men being four times as likely to commit suicide.
Preventative measures can turn this around, starting with exercise and physical activity. From going for a walk to cleaning out the garage, playing sports to doing yard work, physical effort is necessary to men’s health and takes on greater importance in their 30s as hormones, including testosterone and growth hormones, begin to decline.
Exercise is also a natural antidepressant and stress reliever, and fitness in general can decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer. Find activities or a program that you enjoy and start with small time commitments.
Weight management is another key component to men’s health. It’s time to win the battle of belly fat. This type of fat isn’t limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin, subcutaneous fat. It also includes visceral fat that lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding internal organs. Regardless of overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and sleep apnea.
To lose excess fat and keep it from coming back, aim for slow and steady weight loss, up to 2 pounds a week. Consult your doctor for help getting started and staying on track.
Improving your health takes effort and patience but the payoff is a stronger, happier, healthier, longer life. For information, CLICK HERE.
‘SHOOT THREE’ EVERY DAY
To maintain and build health:
1) Get regular physical activity and exercise.
2) Eat a nutritious diet appropriate to your body and health goals.
3) If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
5 MINUTE OR LESS HEALTH TIPS
Wash hands. Wear sunscreen. Buckle up. Read food labels. Don’t use tobacco. Wear a life jacket. Test smoke alarms. Protect your hearing. Take the stairs. Decompress.
AGE APPROPRIATE SCREENINGS
Age 15-40: Physical exam every three to five years; screen for cholesterol and lipids, blood pressure. Testicular self-exam monthly.
Age 40-50: Physical exam every other year. Same screenings plus test for diabetes, PSA exam.
Above age 50: Physical exam every year. Same screening as 40-50, plus colonoscopy. Eye exam for macular degeneration and glaucoma every 1-2 years after age 65.
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