Providing thought-provoking leadership, workplace and community insights.

Better Health Campaign for Men

  • Published
  • 28 June 2022
  • Category
  • General

As Men’s Health Month draws to a close, we want to draw attention to year-round reasons to raise awareness about preventable health problems, early detection and treatment of disease, and ways to improve overall well-being for men and boys.

Did You Know?

  • More than half of men’s premature deaths are preventable.
  • Compared to women, men have higher fatality rates for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
  • One in two men are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
  • Men are more likely than women to commit suicide.
  • Men are more likely to be uninsured and half as likely to visit the doctor as women.

What You Can Do?

All adults are advised to take conscious steps to stay healthy and prevent disease through regular medical checkups, good nutrition and regular exercise. Women can support men’s health, and vice versa.

In recognition of Men’s Health Month, here are some tips from our friends at U.S. Preventive Medicine, who gave us permission to use material from their post on Men’s Health Month:

  1. See a Primary Care Provider: Visit your doctor or other qualified medical professional for regular preventive checkups. “Silent” diseases can be detected with tests. If you have symptoms like prolonged fatigue, extreme weight loss, pain or poor sleep quality, make an appointment. If you don’t have a provider, establish a relationship with a doctor who will track changes in your health status over time and recommend appropriate care.
  2. Talk About It: Don’t let pride in your resilience stand in the way of inquiring about your health history or getting a professional opinion. Learn about the diseases that run in your family. Your provider can use this information to determine which screening exams to perform.
  3. Establish a Self-Maintenance Schedule: Similar to taking care of a vehicle, maintenance is needed as you age. Some tests are done yearly, while others are recommended at certain age milestones. Your primary care provider will help you identify the right frequency for you. For example:
  • Check blood pressure at least once every two years.
  • Have an electrocardiogram or EKG starting at age 30.
  • Screen for colon and prostate problems with an annual rectal exam.
  • Complete lab work to detect cardiovascular, kidney or thyroid problems, or pre-diabetes.
  • If you feel stressed, anxious or sad, request a screen for depression (it can be treated).
  • For conditions such as risk of heart attack or colorectal cancer, ask about taking aspirin.
  • Complete self-exams of testicles, skin, mouth and chest to catch cancer early. Get any suspicious changes checked out.
  1. Incorporate the Right Nutrition: A healthy diet provides necessary fuel and helps the body resist disease. Healthy eating means getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients on a daily basis and limiting unhealthy foods and drinks. Find out how many calories you should consume per day based on your weight and health profile. Avoid processed foods high in fat, sodium and sugar.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
  • Eat at least one fruit or vegetable at each meal.
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice.
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Prevent getting “hangry” by eating healthy snacks.
  1. Be Active: U.S. physical activity guidelines recommend adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, equal to 30 minutes of moderate activity per day. Physical activity helps increases energy, reduces anxiety and improves sleep. In addition, active men and women generally live longer and are at less risk for serious health problems. For people with chronic diseases, physical activity can help reduce complications.

While this advice may sound simple, consistency is the key. Most older men who have committed themselves to a lifetime of regular medical checkups, good nutrition, and physical and mental fitness will tell you it has helped improve their quality of life over the long haul.