Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month across the US. The entire month is devoted to bringing awareness to the importance of men’s health and educating men and boys on healthy lifestyles and practices. On average, men die 5 years earlier than women, and they pass away at higher rates than women from 9 of the top 10 causes of death. Men are notorious for not going to the doctor enough and not being as actively involved in their health care as women, but Men’s Health Month is committed to changing that status quo and helping men take a stand for their health and wellness.

Prevention Is Key
Heart disease is the top killer of men in the United States. Other common causes of death in men include cancer, injury, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, and suicide. Many of these issues are preventable and can be controlled with proper exercise habits, a good diet, and other preventative measures involved in a healthy lifestyle. When men are encouraged, most often by the women in their lives, to get regular physical exams at the doctor and take care of any health concerns they may have, they are more likely to discover issues earlier and have a better chance at preventing chronic diseases and staying healthier for longer. Men need to know the signs and symptoms of common health issues so they can be aware of them and take action when needed, and Men’s Health Month is committed to educating men and boys so they can prevent health complications both now and in the future.

Establish Healthy Habits
Knowing what to do is only half the battle—actually doing it is the other more important half. Men should be encouraged to consume a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, along with healthy proteins and whole grains. They should minimize processed foods, sugar, and refined food products. Additionally, staying physically active is vital to living a long and healthy life. While some men think they need to lift weights and spend hours in the gym to be healthy, the reality is that they only need about 30 minutes of moderate activity each day to stay healthy. A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are linked to almost every single chronic health condition out there, so the more healthy habits men can establish and stick to, the better off they will be both short-term and long-term. Additionally, men should take care to minimize bad habits, such as smoking, excessive drinking, and more. Smoking significantly increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, erectile dysfunction, and more.

Mental Health Matters
Men are known for being more stoic than women or for not dealing with their mental health appropriately at times. While everyone is susceptible to mental health problems, men tend to be more prone to severe mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts or actions. Men should be encouraged and supported in exploring their mental health and dealing with any issues that may arise. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, chemical dependency, or something else, mental health is an important part of men’s health overall and should be handled appropriately. Men often feel the stigma of seeking mental health help is too negative to face, and they can be filled with shame or embarrassment about their mental health needs, preventing them from getting help. Poor mental health can greatly impact physical health and overall, so any mental health struggles should be dealt with as quickly as possible. At regular adult health checkups, men should talk to their healthcare providers about any behavioral health concerns to ensure their issues are addressed and handled accordingly.

Start Them Young
Good men’s health starts early, so the more thoroughly we can teach our young boys how to take care of themselves, the better off our future generations will be. By encouraging boys to be honest about their physical and mental health, it teaches them that there is no shame in admitting that they have worries or concerns. The earlier boys learn to be real with themselves about what they are facing and what they need—both physically and mentally—the healthier they will be as adults. Encourage boys to stay active, eat well, and take good care of themselves on a regular basis so that they can establish good habits now that will benefit their health in the future.

Enlist Adult Services at NCHS to Ensure Men’s Health
Men should schedule regular checkups to stay up-to-date with their doctors and be sure any health concerns are addressed regularly. At NCHS, we have a number of adult services, behavioral health services, and more to keep the men in your life as healthy and happy as possible. NCHS has several locations across North County to best serve our community, and we provide a number of quick care services and more to answer your health-related questions and keep you feeling great.