All of this week, TherapyWorks is joining with people and organizations around the globe to observe Men’s Health Week. This article includes 3 reasons why we think this is an important week and 3 ways you can help support men’s health, too!
In the words of Dr. Bradley Gill at the Cleveland Clinic, “You rotate your tires, you change your oil … What you don’t want to do is wait until there’s smoke coming out from under the hood and the car stops running. The same thing goes for men’s health.” Men’s Health Week is all about just that, helping men live healthier lives in the long run so they can avoid most health emergencies.
Why Should I Observe Men’s Health Week?
1. Numbers Don’t Lie
Men in the United States have a shorter life expectancy than women. In 2019, men were expected to live more than 5 years shorter than women. In 1920, men lived only 1 year less than women. Moreover, out of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, men are at higher risk for 9 of them. This is unsurprising when you learn that men make half as many preventative physician visits as women. Men are also more likely to be uninsured.
Men are more likely than women to die from common diseases such as heart disease, cancer, liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease, HIV, and lower respiratory disease. Most of these causes of death disproportionately affect men of color. The good news is most of these problems are also preventable! A main reason to observe Men’s Health Week is to encourage men to improve their health through early and preventative care.
2. It’s a Community Issue
It’s not an accident that Men’s Health Week is the week leading up to Father’s Day. Men are an integral part of our families and community. They are our fathers, brothers, uncles, and sons, but they are also our teachers, storekeepers, coaches, and nurses. Healthier men make for a healthier and stronger community. So, make sure the men you love are taking care of their health.
3. We Need a Little Push
Sometimes we all need a push to live a healthy life. A healthy diet and exercise can be tricky. Seeking medical care can be even harder. There will always be more fun ways to spend time and, in some cases, money. However, there are few expenses that are more important.
Choosing to focus on health can be even more difficult for men, who are often culturally pressured to be “invincible.” Men are more prone than women to put off doctor’s appointments, avoid preventative care, and hide symptoms while they try to “tough it out.” This is not a successful long-term health strategy. Sometimes, men need a little encouragement from the people in their lives to seek medical help.
How Can I Help?
1. Make an Appointment
annual prostate exam. Your doctors are trained to recognize the early signs of health problems, often before you realize it yourself. Treating problems early almost always improves the patient’s outcome. So, use Men’s Health Week as a reason to schedule that appointment.
This is also a good time to make that appointment you’ve been avoiding. Set a time to get that mole checked. Schedule a free screening about the ache or pain you’ve been ignoring. Little health concerns can turn into major health problems if they’re left alone.
2. Make Healthy Changes
Men’s Health Week is a great time to commit to living a healthier life! Summer is an easy time to live healthy, when the weather is good and the food is fresh. Try adding some more physical activity to your routine, such as swimming, golfing, or going for walks.
Also take this time to learn some new, healthy recipes. It’s the perfect season for grilling, so try popping some chicken and veggies on the grill! Vegetables are fresh, so replace some potatoes with salads in your go-to meals. In the long run, making a few of these small changes could have a big effect on your health.
3. Wear Blue on Friday
This Friday, June 18, is Wear Blue Day for Men’s Health Week. The day is designed both to bring awareness and to show support. No matter your gender, you can show the men around you that you support them and their health.
If you visit us at TherapyWorks on Friday, be sure to wear blue to join our staff in supporting men’s health.
Have an ache or pain you’ve been ignoring? Don’t wait to schedule your appointment with a physical therapist. Call our office today.