Men’s Health

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June is Men’s Health Awareness Month and is all about raising awareness about health issues affecting men and boys.

Story by Cheri Woodsmall

On average, men are less healthy and have a shorter lifespan than women. Part of the reason for this health gap is that they do not take care of themselves as well as women do. According to Men’s Health Network, men are more likely to engage in unhealthy behavior and less likely than women to adopt a healthy lifestyle. They are also less likely to have health insurance, more likely to work in dangerous jobs and often put off going to the doctor. As a result, men die younger and in greater numbers — of diseases like diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease. 

WHAT CAN MEN DO? 

1.  Adapt a healthy diet

What a great opportunity to change the way you eat! Also, cut back on the booze or increase your intake of healthy fermented foods like probiotic yogurt and sauerkraut. Take the initiative to do it for a month and it will soon become a habit!


2.  Set some awesome goals

Now is the time to take stock of your health and think about where you want to be in a year. Is losing weight a priority? Getting in better shape? Or maybe it is even sharpening your mind and focus. Do yourself a favor — set small, achievable goals and work with your doctor to make them a reality. Even better — share them with your spouse or significant other. Trust us, they will make sure it happens!


3.  Google is your friend

Take this time to educate yourself about the common health issues that are specific to men. 


4.  Help spread the word

Wear BLUE Day is Friday June 18, 2021. Whether it is your friend, brother, dad, boyfriend, spouse, or boss, show them you care about them and their health by wearing blue. If Friday of Men’s Health Week won’t work for you then pick any other day of the year and start a fun Wear BLUE day at work.

Host a Wear BLUE day to raise awareness and money for education about men’s need to seek regular checkups, or testicular cancer education, prostate cancer education, or other health issues that affect men. (Cardiovascular disease, skin cancer, lung cancer, diabetes, gout, and more.)

Men live sicker and die younger. Wear BLUE was created by Men’s Health Network to raise awareness about the importance of male health and to encourage men to live longer and healthier lives.

Men’s health awareness can mean many different things.

It means raising awareness of making healthy lifestyle choices, making regular annual visits to the doctor, getting educated on heart disease or diabetes, starting general health conversations with their male friends, and much more. The information, tools, and resources on this website can help you plan an impactful Wear BLUE event where you live, work, play, and pray.


5.  Go To The Doctor Already

Men are half as likely as women to go to the doctor over a 2-year period, according to a survey data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They were also more than three times as likely to admit going more than five years without a visit. And finally, men were more than twice as likely to say they’ve never had contact with a doctor or health professional as an adult. Ever.


6.  Don’t Forget About Mental Health

Many men — perhaps more than we think — struggle with their mental health and the stigma that surrounds it. The American Psychological Association reports that 30.6% of men have suffered from depression in their lifetime. Again, men’s hesitation to seek care may be worsening this issue.

Men are notorious for not talking about their feelings, and no, that’s not just another stereotype. It’s an actual trend psychologist have documented. In the eyes of many men, discussing emotions is just another form of vulnerability that can lead to discomfort. It can be scary for many men to begin sharing their feelings, but the  payoff is worth it: men who express their feelings verbally are less likely to express them violently.

Talk to the men in your life. Encourage them to talk about their day, to tell you about their emotions, and to be open with you. They may be resistant at first, but persistence is powerful, and you’ll be doing your part to improve men’s mental health.



BREAKDOWN BY DEMOGRAPHIC

Here is a decade-by-decade breakdown of when men should be getting certain checkups:

20s…

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster

30s…

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, EKG for heart abnormalities
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster

40s…

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, EKG for heart abnormalities, prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster
  • At physician’s discretion – chest x-ray, testosterone screening

50s+…

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, EKG for heart abnormalities, prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster
  • At physician’s discretion – chest x-ray, testosterone screening, bone density screening

If you are a man, please think about yourself first. Taking care of yourself means being able to be there for the people you love. The healthier we are, the more we can do for our families.


SOCIAL MEDIA AWARENESS

  • #MensHealthMonth
  • #ShowUsYourBlue
  • #WearBlueForMen
  • #WearBlue4Men
  • #MensHealthWeek
  • #MHM2021

 

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