By Sue Baldani
Let’s face it. Men don’t always take the best care of themselves. Common excuses are “I’m too busy” or “I feel fine. Why should I see a doctor?” Even when they think something may be wrong, some are still hesitant to visit a medical professional.
Since June is Men’s Health Month, it’s a great time to be proactive about health and wellness. So guys, get started on the path to good health, and women, let’s encourage the males in our lives to live and feel their best.
We all know that eating right, exercising, and getting proper medical care can lead to much longer lifespans. Follow these guidelines in June, and then continue to make these same choices throughout the year and every year:
- Make an appointment with your doctor: This is the first step. Your blood pressure and weight will be checked, and blood work may be ordered to test for issues such as diabetes, liver function, and cholesterol.
- Get screened to identify, treat and prevent diseases: Depending on your age and risk factors, your doctor will recommend appropriate screenings. For example, if you’re 50 or older and at an average risk of colon cancer, your doctor may prescribe a colonoscopy every 10 years. Your doctor may also suggest having prostate cancer screening and other important tests. Yearly skin exams by a dermatologist are also critical to check for skin cancer.
- Eat healthy: Include lots of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins in your diet, and drink plenty of water. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation.
- Quit or avoid smoking: Lung cancer, heart disease, and other serious health issues are much more common in smokers.
- Exercise: Like all of the muscles in your body, your heart needs to stay in shape. Get moving. You’ll not only feel better, you’ll look better.
- Do a mental health check: Depression and anxiety can cause people to miss out on some of life’s most enjoyable moments. Seek help from a mental health professional if you feel the need.
- Pamper yourself: Play golf, get a massage, take a nap, go for a hike – whatever it is you enjoy, do it. And then do it some more.
The blue ribbon is the symbol of Men’s Health Month, so get busy and take home that winning ribbon. Do it for yourself and for those who love you.
Written for Suburban Essex Magazine in New Jersey.