According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men die an average of 5 years earlier than women. Additionally, more men die of heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries compared to women(1)These statistics reveal the glaring disparities between men and women.
June marks Men’s Health Month, a time for men to take control of their health and well-being. It encourages boys, men, and their families to recognize and implement important practices for healthy living. The campaign is headed by a Congressional health education program supported by organizations nationwide.
Men’s Health Month is celebrated with a range of activities including health fairs, screenings, media appearances, and various health education outreach activities. It’s emphasized by the Men’s Health Week, recognized during the week leading up to Father’s Day.
Men’s Health Month serves as a springboard to initiate conversations surrounding men’s health. Too many men lose their lives to preventable health problems that could be avoided with early detection. However, delaying or neglecting things like routine doctor visits keep them from finding out about potential health problems until it’s too late.
Seeking preventative medical care is important, yet hundreds of thousands of men avoid it every year. One primary goal of Men’s Health Week is to raise awareness of the impact of preventable health problems. Another is to encourage men to follow through on receiving regular medical advice and intervention for both active and potential health problems.
There are many different ways men can care for their health and Men’s Health Month is a great time to learn about them and to implement some of them.
The foods you eat are the building blocks for your overall well-being. Just like your car won’t run as well on low-grade fuel, your body doesn’t run well with poor nutrition habits. Diet affects mental, emotional, and physical health, contributing to how you feel each day, week, month, and year.
Reconsidering your diet doesn’t mean cutting carbs, eliminating sweets, or eating salads for every meal. However, it does mean looking at the foods you regularly eat and potentially substituting or supplementing them with more nutritious alternatives. Following the 80/20 Rule is a smart, simple guideline to follow, where whole, nutritious foods comprise 80% of your diet and the other 20% you can splurge with a serving of your favorite foods.
Regular exercise is crucial to a long, enjoyable life. Your body wasn’t made to sit at a desk for 40 hours per week and then on the couch for the remainder of it. Start with small, attainable goals. Something as simple as a daily walk or going for a bike ride a few times a week can make some incredible health differences.
Find some forms of exercise you like to do and begin participating in them regularly. This could include lifting weights, jogging, hiking, swimming laps, riding your bike, or even practicing yoga. There are many different ways to get moving that you’re sure to find at least a few you enjoy.
Healthy living is more than just eating right and exercising. Routine doctor’s visits are an important part of ensuring your overall health. But studies show that men are far less likely to go to the doctor for routine checkups than women (2). Caring for these most basic aspects of your health sets the foundation for a healthy life.
Many men believe they don’t need to think about routine health care until they’re older, but many conditions such as prostate cancer can start at an early age. Preventative care is crucial for finding these potential problems and treating them sooner rather than later. Early detection is the best way to avoid long-term complications.
Another benefit of Men’s Health Month is the opportunity it provides for you to set a good example for your family. Children look up to their fathers and it is up to men to teach their sons health habits from their youngest years. Fathers have the opportunity to instill an avoidance of medical care or encourage their sons to seek routine checkups to limit potential health risks.
Men’s Health Month is the perfect time to recognize room for change in your life and implement the steps necessary to make those changes.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Mortality in the United States, 2018.
2. NBC Right Now. (2022). June is Men’s Health Month.