Celebrate Men’s Health Month
Last week, we talked about our favorite dads. This week, I want to continue discussing men’s health. June is Men’s Health Month, a month to help all of us understand the health challenges men face and how, through education and lifestyle changes, we can bring those fatality numbers down.
Though more males are born than females (105 to 100), by age 35, women outnumber men. Men have higher rates of suicide, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They are more likely to be overweight. And men are less likely to receive regular physical exams, as they are more likely to be uninsured.
Men’s health doesn’t just affect men. Early deaths can send families into poverty. In fact, more than 50% of widows living in poverty were not poor before the deaths of their husbands.
Because of these facts, Men’s Health Month strives to educate and raise awareness about the health challenges men face, of all races, ethnicities, and religions. What can we do?
- Get an appointment. Give health. Give your favorite guy a checkup with a health practitioner, a community health center, or a registered dietitian. Schedule a time for him to see a personal trainer to learn about how to get moving more. Get him on track to healthier habits.
- Rethink your favorite summer meals. Instead of grilling burgers and dogs on the barbecue, try some delicious, healthier alternatives. Teriyaki portobello burgers, buffalo chicken breast burgers, black bean burgers, or try something exotic like soft shell crab sliders. Finding creative ways to eat your favorite flavors can boost health.
- Talk about it. Men die from suicide 3.5 times more than women. And, shockingly, the highest suicide rates are in adults 45 to 54 years old. Men are less likely to talk about depression and seek out help for it. First and foremost, get help from a professional. Call a hotline. And start talking.
- Feed your brain for mental health. We really are what we eat. Food affects both the way our brains function and the structure of our brains. So by being mindful of what we eat, we can improve our mental health with good nutrition. Replace simple carbs with complex carbohydrates. Reduce, or eliminate, refined sugars from our diet. Pump up serotonin with some great ProBiotics. Omega-3, found in salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, and more can help reduce chances of developing mental health disorders. And finally, drink up! Stay hydrated.
- Change your after-work habits. It’s so tempting to fall into the couch and turn on the TV. Resist! 20% of your resting metabolic rates come from using your brain. As soon as we turn on the TV, we turn off our brains, lower our metabolisms, and put our bodies at risk. Everybody needs a break, but before turning on the TV, try:
- Going for a walk with the family or dog!
- Going to the park to play.
- Sitting on the floor to watch TV, where you won’t be so comfortable and will be more likely to move around.
- Charting your TV activity for a week … a “little TV” can be a surprising “lot.”
- Reading with your kids, playing a board game, doing a family activity that’s not centered around the TV.
- Be a tourist in your own town. How often do you miss local events, concerts, or festivals? Sign up at your local tourism bureau to get information about events that are coming up. Get a library card. Attend local events. Summertime is a great time to check out music festivals, culinary festivals, and sporting events. Most of them are free of charge!
June is a month to celebrate the men we love – of all ages. Learn about heath risks and ways to make healthy lifestyle choices. Just a few changes can add many years!