Men’s Health Month

June 13, 2017
Larry C. Brakebill, MD, FACP
Larry C. Brakebill, MD, FACP

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You may not realize it, but June is Men’s Health month. Take action to be healthy and safe, and encourage the men and boys in your life to make their health a priority. Here are some steps men can take each day to improve their health:

  1. Get Good Sleep.

Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Also, poor sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents.

  1. Toss Out the Tobacco.

It’s never too late to quit. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. It improves your health and lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking related illnesses.

  1. Move More.

Adults need at least 2 ½ hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week, and muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) on two or more days a week. You don’t have to do it all at once. Spread your activity out during the week, and break it into smaller amounts of time during the day.

  1. Eat Healthy.

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.

  1. Tame Stress.

Sometimes stress can be good. However, it can be harmful when it is severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control. Take care of yourself. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Find support. Connect socially. Stay active.

  1. Stay on Top of Your Game.

See you doctor for checkups. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem

Pay attention to signs and symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive thirst, and problems with urination. If you have these or symptoms of any kind, be sure to see your doctor.  Don’t wait!

Keep track of your numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), or any others you may have. If your numbers are high or low, your doctor can explain what they mean and suggest how you can get them to a healthier range. Be sure to ask him or her which tests you need and how often you need them.

Get vaccinated. Everyone needs immunizations to stay healthy, no matter how old you are. Even if you had vaccines as a child, immunity can fade with time. Vaccine recommendations are based on a variety of factors, including age, overall health, and your medical history.

So men, let’s take care of ourselves. And those in our lives, please help us to do so.