Men's Health Week
by AAA T.L.C., on Jun 14, 2021 8:00:00 AM
In 1994, the United States Congress established Men's Health Week to raise awareness of men's health issues and ways to improve it. There's no better time than now for men to make sure they take good care of their fitness, vigor, and overall health.
Do you consider yourself too old for that? Regardless of your age or current health status, you can always improve your health.
Here are five things you can you do to improve your health.
- Get Moving:
Can you walk 2 miles at a brisk pace? Having a level of fitness sufficient to reduce the risk of heart disease or death from a heart attack means that you are in good health. You can get there by putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward each day. By improving endurance, you can decrease your risk of diabetes and possibly avoid certain cancers. Additionally, you will feel much better.
- Get Checked for Colorectal Cancer:
Age 50 and older should be screened for colon cancer. Cancer screenings for men offer different approaches, but this one is the best because it prevents the disease as well as diagnoses it. Colonoscopies and similar procedures can detect and remove polyps in the colon that may lead to cancer. Getting your colon checked at a younger age may be a good idea if your siblings or parents had polyps removed before age 60 or had colon cancer at any age.
- Know Your Blood Pressure:
Get your blood pressure checked if you don't know it -- and do what you can to keep it in a healthy range. This silent killer, high blood pressure, threatens the body's systems from head to toe. A wide range of organs is affected, including the arteries, kidneys, eyes, and brain. Under 120/80 is the ideal blood pressure. Getting more exercise and cutting back on alcohol if you drink more than one or two alcoholic beverages a day will have an immediate impact on your health.
- Cut Back Sodium on Your Diet:
Six grams of sodium are easily ingested each day by the average American man. This is more than double the recommended amount. This is almost entirely due to the foods we eat, such as fast food, processed meats, canned food, and restaurant meals. Also, it's important to add high potassium foods such as raisins, bananas, tomatoes, and spinach to the diet. Potassium intake equal to sodium intake decreases cardiovascular disease risk for men. Reducing the consumption of processed and pre-packaged foods is a good start. Plan to prepare fresh meals each week that include vegetables, and then save the leftovers for the next day.
- Don't Ignore Warning Signs:
It is important not to brush off unusual pain, ache, or other symptoms as "probably nothing." Blood in the urine or stool may be harmless, but it is not "normal." It needs to be evaluated by a health care provider. In America, cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death among men. The signs should not be ignored:
- Sweating excessively or feeling short of breath while exercising can be signs of heart or lung problems that can be treated
- Many men believe that a heart attack causes the pain to appear only in the left arm and left side of the chest. Not everything is a cut-and-dried matter. Heart-attack pain is often felt under the breastbone (sternum) and pain occurs in both arms as often as in the left arm alone.
- A pain that is triggered by activity, but then subsides with rest, suggests angina (a narrowing of the coronary arteries). A pain that persists even with rest suggests a heart attack.
Make it a point to take care of yourself this week. Don't stop at Father's Day; you should keep it going.
Check out Men's Health Month on how to spread awareness.