Father’s Day isn’t the only celebration for men this month. June is also Men’s Health Month, an observance to raise awareness of preventable health problems, encourage early detection and treatment of disease, and improve overall well-being among men and boys.
Every year, more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer. You should talk to your doctor about your risk for each type of cancer and the recommended screenings based on your health needs. The most common kinds of cancer among men in the US are skin, prostate, lung and colorectal (colon). More than half of men’s premature deaths are preventable, but you can’t prevent something you don’t know exists! Most people don’t enjoy going to the doctor or being poked and prodded for medical tests, but making this a part of your routine could extend your life.
Another important part of your daily routine that could extend your life is healthy eating. Food doesn’t just fuel the body; it can help fight off and prevent disease. Eating healthy means getting enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients – and limiting unhealthy foods and drinks. Poor diet and lack of physical activity are the most common risk factors for cardiovascular disease, because they often lead to being overweight or obese. A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help lower your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. Keeping these numbers down also lowers your risk of serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The CDC’s current physical activity guidelines recommend adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. That equals 30 minutes of moderate activity per day for five days. Physical activity helps you feel better, function better, and sleep better. It also reduces anxiety. Active people generally live longer and are at less risk for serious health problems. For people with chronic diseases, physical activity can help manage these conditions and complications. Finding little ways to increase your activity, like playing with your kids or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can add up to big results over time.
It is time to spread the word about the many preventable health problems men face and empower them to take steps toward a longer, healthier, and happier life. The men’s health facts and statistics speak for themselves:
- Men are more likely to put their health at risk by smoking, drinking alcohol, and making other unhealthy life choices.
- One in two men are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
- Men lead the death rate for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and suicide.
The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to change those statistics by focusing on prevention. You can be in complete control by making prevention a priority, eating healthily, and moving more. Let’s make this June the year you take responsibility for your health!