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Four Simple Steps for Men's Health Month

Written By: 
Carole Vande Velde / Director of Marketing

It’s Men’s Health Week! Celebrated annually during the week ending on Father’s Day, it’s the perfect time to focus on health and wellness for boys and men of all ages. If you’re a guy who’s been busy taking care of everyone but yourself, spend a few minutes this week thinking about fitness, disease prevention, and overall vitality!

Here are four simple steps you can take towards better health:

  1. Honor your body’s warning signs. If you experience any possible warning signs – unusual pain, unexplained weight loss or gain, changes in sleep patterns – don’t just brush them off or try to “power through.” Such symptoms may be harmless or easily sourced, but that’s a conclusion to be reached in consultation with a medical professional. And since heart disease is still the leading killer of men, be especially aware of symptoms like shortness of breath, unusual sweating, or exhaustion when exercising.

  2. Take a week off. “Dry January” has come and gone but you can use Men’s Health Week as an excuse to take a few days off from tobacco or alcohol. Men are more likely than women to use such products, and both significantly increase one’s risk of cancer. 

  3. Schedule a screening. Many diseases that predominantly or exclusively affect men – testicular cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, to name a few – have obvious symptoms early on when they are most successfully treated. Ask your doctor for the recommended screening schedule and then follow through on these appointments and tests. Early detection saves lives.

  4. Don’t forget about mental health. While the prevalence of mental illness in men is often lower than in women, men are less likely to seek treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Men and women can develop most of the same mental disorders and conditions but may experience different symptoms, including anger, irritability, or aggressiveness, changes in energy level or appetite, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, and suicidal thoughts. Mental disorders can be treated, so ask your primary care physician if you need a referral.