National Men’s Health Week starts June 13 and ends Father’s Day, June 19—and is the perfect time to celebrate the dads, grandpas, brothers and all men in our lives by encouraging them to take care of their health.
Too often, men are compelled to work through pain, ignore health concerns or skip wellness exams because they feel too busy or don’t want to be considered weak. By not taking care of themselves, men put themselves at risk for serious health issues and can miss opportunities to find—and fix—issues before they turn into something more serious.
Men’s Health can be complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are some simple things that dad—and every man—can do to help stay his healthiest:
An ounce of prevention—keep regular wellness visits and screenings
This cannot be overstated. Regular healthcare visits are one of the most important things men can do to protect their health. At annual exams, providers conduct necessary health screenings throughout every age and stage of life. With regular visits, providers can also notice health changes to mitigate concerns before they turn into something more serious. Issues more common with age, like prostate and colon cancer, can be caught earlier when they’re easiest to treat, beat and sometimes even prevent. Encourage dad—and the men you love—to take advantage of these important, potentially life-saving appointments.
Eat well—feel great
Obesity is one of the leading causes for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health issues. If a man you love is on the heavier side, encourage him to incorporate more fresh vegetables and fruits into his diet and to limit processed foods, high sugar drinks and alcohol. And do the same; you’ll have more energy and feel healthier—together.
Encourage dad to become a bit more active by doing things he enjoys and, if possible, join him! Take a walk, go hiking, play golf, shoot hoops or get out your bikes and ride. Exercise takes many forms and can be fun. Combine a workout with some mental health care by doing the things that bring dad peace, joy and gets him moving. And just spending time being more active can be good for the heart—literally and figuratively—for both of you.
Kick bad habits
You know the ones. If the men in your life are tobacco and alcohol users, Men’s Health Week is a great time to encourage them to end the habit or cut back. Taking steps to eliminate smoking and drinking alcohol can go a long way toward preventing cancers and other serious, life-altering diseases.
Self-care is not selfish
There can be a lot of expectations of men from early on. Men are told to be tough, to work harder and not show weakness; this often this leads to some unhealthy habits. Let the men you know that it isn’t weak to take a break, take on less or get the sleep they need; it’s just plain wise.
Mental health care
Dads are our first heroes—but even heroes need assistance from their sidekicks sometimes. If you think your dad could use help dealing with emotional stress or other mental health concerns, encourage him to talk to a friend, his primary care provider or a therapist. And let him know it’s not a sign of weakness to seek mental health care; getting the help he needs shows how tough he really is.
Every little step toward better health can make a huge difference to help dads—and all men—live longer, happier lives. A great start toward better health is to schedule a wellness visit for a complete checkup, screenings and help determining long-term health goals. To learn more about HMH’s comprehensive primary care services, visit our web page.
Posted in: Health, Men