Editorial: It’s time to remember men’s health
Did you know June is Men’s Health Month? If you didn’t know, now you do.
According to the Men’s Health Network, the purpose of the month is to “heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.” It grew from 1994 legislation introduced by none other than Kansas Sen. Bob Dole originally calling for the creation of a National Men’s Health Week.
According to the network, this month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media and other individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
We love this idea and certainly appreciate how it adds to the legacy of one of Kansas’ most famous sons, Sen. Dole.
Keeping all of this in mind, let’s talk about men’s health for a moment.
According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, men on average die five years younger than women, and die at higher rates from nine of the top 10 causes of death. Men are also less likely than women to be insured. The office also points out that many of the factors that contribute to these shorter lives are preventable.
To the ladies reading this, encourage the men in your lives to take notes and follow up on our suggestions. Most of these are common-sense things and easy enough to follow.
Guys, when was the last time you got a check-up? If it’s been more than a year, we suggest you find a way to see a doctor. Establishing baselines of your overall health will help you and your doctor track your health and your progress. It can also lead to early detection of diseases like cancer, which can make it more treatable.
Are you staying active? It should come as no surprise that there are many health benefits to physical activity. Most health care professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. If you’re not already doing so, find a way to get up and get moving. Perhaps start taking a walk or sitting less during the day. These are easy ways to bump up your activity levels.
Are you eating right? Diet, like exercise, is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking to make a modification to your diet, the CDC has some great tips.
How is your mental health? Are you practicing self-care? This is a really stressful time with protests, political rancor and a worldwide pandemic. Take time to relax, and if you need extra help, talk to a professional.
Finally, wear blue on Friday, June 19, to support and promote men’s health. The Men’s Health Network also encourages using the hashtag #ShowUsYourBlue on your social media channels to help promote men’s health.