By Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse
They will turn to the Lord, and He will respond to their pleas and heal them. -Isaiah 19:22
On May 31, 1994 President Clinton signed the bill establishing National Men’s Health Week which has now been expanded to the whole month of June. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. “Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” Congressman Bill Richardson (May 1994)
Healthcare experts have identified these specific things that men can do to focus on their health:
- Say no to super-sizing
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Eat many different types of foods to get all the nutrients you need
- Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol
- Play with your kids or grandkids
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Do yard work
- Play a sport
- Choose activities that you enjoy to stay motivated
Make Prevention a Priority
- Get vaccinated
- See your healthcare provider for regular screenings, including blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, prostate health and more.
Sleep is important
- 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
- Poor sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents
Keep stress under control
- Stress can be harmful when it is severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Find support
- Connect socially
Smoking—don’t start or quit
- It’s never too late to quit smoking
- 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.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Inhaling other people’s smoke causes health problems similar to those that smokers have.
Protect your skin from the sun
- Use sunscreen and protective clothing
- Avoid tanning beds
Men, it’s your month—take time to focus on health and wellness!