[As appeared on The Boston Herald] Did you know that June is Men’s Health Awareness month? In June, we celebrate and appreciate our fathers, so it is only appropriate that we celebrate their health too! Many men are notorious for ignoring their own health, which is likely why 12% of men aged 18 and older are in fair or poor health.1
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies."
I Corinthians 6:19-20
It's a perfect time for a tune up. Here are a few priorities to consider:
The best way to start this tune up is with an annual physical. Most insurances and some insurance-alternatives, like Medi-Share, offer annual physicals. Establishing a relationship with your doctor and assessing your baseline is an important part of prevention or early detection for a variety of health conditions. Regularly monitoring metrics like blood pressure and cholesterol can enable you and your health care provider to catch potentially life-threatening conditions early enough to be treated. Talk with your doctor about areas in which you could improve. Begin monitoring now for a healthy future.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 36.6% of American men, 20 years and older, are obese1. A quick and easy way to screen yourself for obesity is to use a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator, such as the one provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (BMI Calculator). Simply enter your height and weight, then click “Compute BMI.” Next, compare your BMI to the BMI categories listed. If you are above or below the normal range, talk to your healthcare provider about next steps to improve your body composition.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the factors that individuals have the most control over. The lifestyle choices we make every day impact our weight either positively or negatively. Yes, our genetics play a role in how much we weigh, but thankfully our genetics do not have to be the only determining factor with weight.
Heart Disease Risk
CDC statistics indicate heart disease is the leading cause of death in U.S. men1.
Heart disease risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Diets high in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and salt
- Sedentary lifestyle
If you’re thinking there’s nothing you can do to improve the health of the men you love as a wife, sister, mother, or daughter… think again! Possibly the easiest thing to do is to set an example by:
- Aiming to make healthy choices 90% of the time. Limit foods that are high in sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol to the remaining 10%. This could be special treats on holidays or at celebrations, but not everyday foods.
- Inviting your loved one to stay physically active with you. Encourage adult men to be physically active 2 ½ hours each week.
Just like your car tune-up is done one step at a time, there is no need to try to correct or improve everything all at once! Long-term lifestyle changes impact health more so than quick fix trends. Here’s to Men’s Health Awareness Month and living your best life with the ones you love.
Check out the Medi-Share Wellness Library for free health and wellness tips!
Debbie Ryan is a Public Relations Specialist with Medi-Share. In addition to being a wife and mom, Debbie is passionate about health and wellness, and encourages others in healthy living every chance she gets.