Focus on Men’s Health this Week
There’s no better way to lead into Father’s Day than to have a “Men’s Health Week.” We need to celebrate our dads and the other special men in our lives and we need to focus on their health.
Why are we celebrating and bringing awareness to men’s health? It is to focus on the preventable health issues and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
Okay dads, it is never too late to improve your health. Use these six easy steps to get yourself on the right path for a healthier you. We all want our dads, husbands, brothers, and sons to live a healthy and productive life.
Get up and get moving! If you are sitting in a chair all day at work, or you sit all weekend in the lazy-boy, start walking. Walking is the easiest exercise you can do. Take a walk by yourself or invite your family members to go along.
If you need music on your walk, take an mp3 player, not your cell phone. No phone calls on the walk. Choose a tune that will keep you moving at a brisk pace.
Hiking is also another form of walking that will take you to scenic places. This should be shared with other people.
How’s your blood pressure? Do you know what your blood pressure is? This is a very important number to know. Just like with how much you weigh and need to keep an eye on that number, your blood pressure is another number you need to control. The ideal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80.
Cut back on the salt. Salt makes our food taste good, but too much salt isn’t good. Prepackaged foods, fast food, and food from your favorite restaurants are loaded with salt.
If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your:
- and brain.
This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.
Get checked for colorectal cancer. If you are age 50 or older and have not been screened for colorectal cancer, now is the time to talk to your doctor about a colonoscopy.
Remember the line in Monty Python: “It’s just a flesh wound?” Men tend to brush off warning signs, pain and discomfort and have the mindset of, “it will pass.” Don’t ignore the warning signs.
Treatable heart or lung problems may have the symptoms of:
- Excessive sweating, shortness of breath, or exhaustion with exertion.
The pain of a heart attack may not be what you think.
- There is a belief that the pain of a heart attack is felt only on the left side of the chest and moves to the left arm. Heart-attack pain is often felt under the breastbone and pain occurs in both arms as often as in the left arm alone.
How about chest pain that is caused by activity but then goes away after you have rested?
- That symptom may suggest angina which is a narrowing of one or more coronary arteries.
What about the severe chest pain that isn’t relieved by rest?
- That may suggest a heart attack.
Cut back on the sugar. Did you know diabetes and related complications is the sixth most common killer of men. Some 40,000 guys die from it each year.
Are you carrying extra pounds around your waist? When fat builds up near the organs in your torso, it can mess with your pancreas and its ability to produce insulin, which is the hormone that controls your blood sugar. That can lead to diabetes.
Dads, husbands, sons, and brothers, this is your week and its all about your health. Be good to yourself. Make an appointment with your doctor and find out where the numbers for your health are. Work with your doctor to set achievable goals and set an appointment in the future to have an accountability meeting.
Happy Father’s Day!