National Men’s Health Month is an important annual occurrence that serves as a way to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems, promote healthy living, and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
We all know that men visit their doctor less often than women, but did you know that, according to a 2014 survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are 50% less likely than women to have visited a doctor during the course of a two-year period? Additionally, men are three times more likely to admit going five years without a visit and twice as likely to admit that, as an adult, they had never seen a doctor or health professional. The result? While a number of factors are probably involved—men tend to take a greater number of risks, and have more dangerous professions than women—women on average, live seven years longer than men and are less likely to die from eight of the top ten causes of death in the U.S.
In the United States, some of the leading causes of death in men include cardiovascular disease, cancer such as lung, prostate, and colorectal, and stroke. Every male, regardless of age or physical fitness level should take the appropriate actions to lower the risk of these and other conditions affecting men.
Below are six things you can do to improve your health during Men’s Health Month.
- Get regular exams. Ask your doctor about screening tests for certain diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Also, ask how often you need to be examined.
- Eat healthy. Nutritious foods give you energy and may lower your risk of certain diseases. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free milk products.
- Find time to exercise. Regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your level of activity.
- Be smoke-free. Smoking is linked to many of the leading causes of death, including cancer, lung disease, and stroke. If you smoke, quit today!
- Avoid heavy drinking. Heavy drinking can lead to many problems, including high blood pressure, various cancers, psychological problems, and accidents. For men 65 and younger, drinking in moderation means no more than two drinks per day. Men older than 65 should have no more than one drink a day.
- Bring down stress levels. While everyone experiences stress at times, a prolonged amount of stress can affect your health and ability to cope with life. The best ways to manage stress in hard times are through self-care.
Don’t be a statistic! The time to schedule your annual exam is now. Make an appointment with one of our professional health care providers today by calling 920-743-5566.
We all know that men visit their doctor less often than women, but did you know that, according to a 2014 survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are 50% less likely than women to have visited a doctor during the course of a two-year period. Additionally, men are three times more likely to admit going five years without a visit and twice as likely to admit that, as an adult, they had never seen a doctor or health professional. The result? While a number of factors are probably involved—men tend to take a greater number of risks, and have more dangerous professions than women—women on average, live seven years longer than men and are less likely to die from eight of the top ten causes of death in the U.S.
With statistics like these in mind, President Bill Clinton signed a bill in 1994 recognizing the third week in June as National Men’s Health Week. Celebrating men’s health throughout the month of June quickly followed suit. The goal of Men’s Health Month is to “heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among me and boys.” Men’s Health Month also presents many groups and organizations, such as health care providers, public policy makers, the media, corporations and individuals, with the opportunity to urge both men and boys to obtain regular medical advice and early treatment for diseases and injuries.
Awareness – Prevention – Education – Family
It is always important to be aware of the lifestyle choices we make and the way those choices impact the quality of our lives long term. Raising awareness means…
- Consciously making healthy lifestyle choices that positively affect the foods you eat and the amount of daily exercise you get.
- Scheduling regular annual visits with your doctor or primary care professional. Many health conditions can be prevented or detected early with regular checkups and screenings.
- Educating yourself about the diseases that disproportionately affect men—diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
- Starting basic healthcare conversations with your friends and family and discussing the health issues that you encounter.
This year, Wear BLUE Day is Friday, June 16. Wear BLUE Day was created by the Men’s Health Network with the twin goals of raising awareness about men’s need to seek regular check-ups and of raising money for education about diseases such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer and the other health issues that primarily affect men. “Wear BLUE Day is celebrated by private corporations, government agencies, sports teams, and individuals to show their concern for the health and wellbeing of boys and men.”
For more access to men’s health resources or for more information on Wear BLUE, National Men’s Health Week and National Men’s Health Month, please visit: www.menshealthmonth.org or the Men’s Health Network at: www.menshealthnetwork.org.
Men’s health is a family issue: it affects men and their wives, partners, sons and daughters, and moms and sisters. Ministry Door County Medical Center’s Dr. Nate Hayes, primary care physician at MDCMC’s Algoma clinic, cares for men, women and children. “With women twice as likely as men to visit a doctor (and living five years longer), Men’s Health Month is the perfect time for guys to ‘man up’ and make an appointment with their provider,” says Nate. “Men need to take care of their loved ones, but that’s hard to do if they don’t take care of themselves, too.”
Here are Dr. Nate’s top tips for men’s health:
- Stay active. Physical activity is a major factor in health, but you don’t need to make huge changes to see a benefit. A walking program is a great starting point: shoot for 30 minutes, three times a week, and build from there. Weight lifting also has many benefits, including building lean muscle and improving metabolism.
- See your doctor. “Women often see their providers the same time each year, making appointments easy to remember. Men can benefit from doing the same.” Visiting your primary care physician regularly enables you to stay on top of any changes to your health through routine screenings such as cholesterol and blood pressure checks, and catch preventable disease early.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening conditions. Plus, non-smokers look younger and have more energy than those who smoke. It’s never too late to stop smoking, and your doctor can help.
- Be aware of your mental health. “Most people, men and women, will have mental health challenges at some point in their lives. They are real, and they affect overall health.” Primary doctors can help screen for depression, anxiety, substance related problems and more. “At Ministry, our Behavioral Health program provides mental health services in the comfort and privacy of your doctor’s office,” he adds.
- Safety first. Men account for 92% of fatal workplace injuries. Take advantage of safety features at work, use a buddy or spotter when climbing ladders or lifting large items, and always wear your seatbelt.
Dr. Nate practices what he preaches by leading weekly community walks Monday evenings. “Walking with a group is a great way to get exercise, stay motivated, and get connected to other people – another important factor in health.”
Join Dr. Nate for weekly 1-3 mile walks in Algoma Mondays at 6:00 p.m. through June 27. Meet at the Algoma Community Wellness Center at 1715 Division St. (attached to Algoma High School).