Our View: Men’s health is important

Published 11:47 am Monday, June 3, 2019

On average, men die five years younger than women, and die at higher rates from nine of the top 10 causes of death.

Men are also less likely than women to be insured.

All of this impacts their ability to be involved fathers, supportive partners and engaged community members.

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That is why June is set aside each year as a opportunity to raise awareness about the important of importance of men’s health.

National Men’s Health Month is a time 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.

Within National Men’s Health Month, National Mens’ Health Week is recognized the week leading up to Father’s Day, this year from June 10-16.

Men’s health is not only important to men. It’s a family and community-wide issue.

Healthier men can be better fathers, better partners, better employees, better volunteers and better members of their community.

Health.gov encourages friends, family members and partners to support the men in their lives in making healthier decisions. Here are some tips from Health.gov to recognize National Men’s Health Month:

— Encourage him to get a physical. Most of the factors that contribute to men’s shorter, less healthy lives are preventable. Prevention starts with seeing a healthcare provider on a regular basis. Adult men in the United States visit primary care providers at lower rates than adult women. Establishing baselines for factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and PSA (a screening test for prostate cancer risk)—and monitoring how they change over time—will enable the provider to catch potentially dangerous conditions early, when they’re still treatable. You can download a helpful chart of recommended screenings at www.healthfinder.gov.

— Encourage him to get physical. The benefits of physical activity on health outcomes are extensive, and many people find it difficult to get motivated for physical activity on their own. Rather than simply telling your dad to exercise and then hoping that he will, do it with him. Join a recreation league at your local community center, sign up for group personal training sessions to get fit together, or simply make a routine out of regular walks. Simple, yes, but not always easy.

— Let him know you care. One reason men disregard their own health is they’re too busy taking care of everyone else. What they don’t realize, however, is that if they die early, they’ll be hurting the very people they’ve worked so hard to protect. So remind him that you and your other family members love him and need him to be alive and healthy for as long as possible.