In 1994, Congress declared National Men’s Health Week should be observed during these days leading up to Father’s Day. It represents an opportunity to raise awareness of the diseases and illnesses that are most prevalent among American men and to reiterate the importance of early detection and preventative health practices. During this week, all men are encouraged to evaluate both their mental and physical health and to focus on living a healthy lifestyle.
Establish Healthy Habits
There are many factors that contribute to your health including diet, exercise, stress management, and mental and emotional wellness.
- Eat healthy portions of proteins and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
- Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active. Adults need a minimum of 2½ hours of physical activity each week.
- Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage others in your life to quit smoking. Quitting smokinghas immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for several types of cancer and don’t expose others to secondhand smoke—which causes health problems. Call your state’s tobacco quit line (for English speakers, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW [1-800-784-8669]; for Spanish speakers, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA [1-855-335-3569])
- Recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol?
- Use a Condom, Every Time. It is that time of the year when Zika carrying mosquitoes will become a greater health hazard. Although primarily spread through mosquitoes, Zika can also be spread through sex by a person with Zika to his or her sex partner(s). If you’ve traveled to an area with Zika, use a condom to protect against infection every time you have sex. This is especially important if your partner is pregnant because Zika can cause serious birth defects. Condoms can also protect against HIV and other
Get Regular Checkups
See a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and learn about your family health history.
- Men are less likely than women to visit their healthcare providers, often missing out on critical treatments that can protect their overall health and wellbeing. Individuals who have routine check-ups better understand the association between a healthy lifestyle and a greater quality of life.
- Men can prepare for doctor’s visits and learn which preventive tests or screenings they need. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem.
- It’s important for men (and women) to understand their family health history, which is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. It is helpful to talk with family members about health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Every 43 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack; and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Major signs of a heart attack include:
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
- Shortness of breath
Seek Help for Depression
Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Although Americans are living longer, healthier lives, we cannot ignore emotional and mental health, or the stigmas that prevent individuals from seeking treatment and recovery support services as part of their overall welfare. Serious mental illness, such as major depressive disorder, has robbed too many of fathers, brothers, and sons of their potential, and has contributed to rising suicide and drug overdose rates. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life.
- Signs of depression include persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.
- Those that suffer from depression or anxiety should seek help as early as possible.If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please seek help immediately.
- Call 911
- Visit a nearby emergency department or your health care provider’s office
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor
- Contact the National Helpline by calling1-800-662-HELP (4357). It is a free service offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that can make confidential referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. It is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
As we observe Men’s Health Week, we celebrate the advances being made to improve healthcare for everyone and champion the importance of prioritizing both physical and mental health. To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.