Gentlemen, and women who care about their gentlemen, this week is National Men’s Health Week! Celebrated each year during the week leading up to and including Father’s Day, National Men’s Health Week aims to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
According to data obtained from the National Men’s Health Week website, in 1920 women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Men have experienced a drastic change in fortune since then. Today, men die almost six years earlier than women. Data also shows that men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death, and are victims of over 92% of workplace deaths.
Despite these daunting statistics, men are not a lost cause. The Center for Disease Control outlines several habits that will make it easier for men to live long, healthy, and productive lives. For instance:
Get Sufficient Sleep
Insufficient sleep can be linked to a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Also, insufficient sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents, causing substantial injury and disability each year.
Just Say No to Tobacco
Smoking increases the risk of heart-disease, lung disease, and other smoking related illnesses.
Get Off the Couch
Adults need at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) every week, and muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups on two or more days a week. If you have not worked out in a while, or if you don’t have time to make it to the gym, start out by doing push-ups at home and shun all elevators in favor of steps.
Your body will thank you for skipping that scrambled egg and cheese at breakfast in favor of oatmeal. For lunch try a turkey burger instead of that bacon cheeseburger at the local grill, and when you get a craving for a sugary snack try a bowl of fruit.
See your doctor for regular check-ups. There are plenty diseases and conditions that do not have symptoms, and check-ups can diagnose a condition before it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, women are more likely than men to schedule an annual exam. Help reverse that trend by visiting a local Community Health Center for a check-up. Health centers can provide affordable primary and preventative health care services all under one roof and help prevent or control chronic illnesses that can become serious, for instance diabetes and hypertension. In fact, in 2011 (the most recent data available) health centers saw over two million patients with hypertension and over one million with diabetes — just over 41 percent of their patients are male.
To find a health center in your area please visit this link.