Written By: Sara Jensen
Every June our nation celebrates Men’s Health Awareness. This is a topic that is so very important, but often overlooked. Today I hope to highlight the importance of men’s health and ways men can be encouraged to take good care of themselves.
Men’s health is one area in society that does not get very much attention. In a recent study, it was pointed out that by 2010 women were outliving men by an average of almost six years (Baker et al., 2014). The study points out that men are less likely than women to make those preventive care appointments, and if they do, they may not share with their doctor some of the symptoms they may be having. Another statistic stated in this study is that men’s premature mortality and morbidity cost the United States economy alone an estimated 479 billion dollars annually (Baker, et al., 2014).
It is not my goal to point out these statistics to shame men in any way. In fact, just the opposite is true. The responsibility for improved men’s health lies with all community members. We need to do a better job encouraging men to get regular check-ups, manage stress levels, add in some exercise and maybe improve eating habits a little. A few lifestyle changes can really make a big difference in improving things like cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels, and just overall health and well-being. We really do have all we need within us to make our wellness a priority before something catastrophic does happen.
If you are female and reading this, be aware of the health of the men in your life and encourage them to take steps toward good health. If you are male and reading this, allow yourself a little time to take good care of yourself. If it has been a while since you have been to the doctor, make that appointment. If you just don’t feel like yourself but aren’t sure what it is, make that appointment. If you haven’t had a day off in weeks, take one!! Slow down, do something fun, relax a little. If you know you could improve your eating habits a little or perhaps add in some exercise, go for it!! Small steps can really make a big difference and you just may be surprised at how much better you begin to feel.