Ok, guys, this one is for you, specifically. June is Men’s Health Month and it’s time to focus on yourselves. We, the women of the world, appreciate all of your hard work each day—your long hours, your strength, your work ethic—everything—but, we insist you take a moment and practice a bit of selfishness.
Were you aware of the facts that men die younger than women; live less healthy lives; are more susceptible to the risk of death from 9 out of the top 10 leading causes of death, including most cancers and heart disease; are more likely to commit suicide than women; and that 30% of men experience depression, but only 1 in 4 every talk to someone about it?
If you aren’t listening more closely after that, re-read it and let those numbers sink in.
The facts are in, guys. You need to start taking better care of yourselves. As much as we say you drive us insane, we actually kind of like you and want you to stick around. Your families want you to stick around. Your friends, your spouse, your partner, heck, even your boss, wants you to stick around. So, for this month, make your health a priority and follow these three tips to put you on track to not only a longer life, but a healthier one.
Let’s Get Physical
Look, we all know the benefits of exercise (or have you not been reading these newsletters?). Heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and diabetes risks drop significantly with a regular exercise regimen. Get a daily walk in. Organize a weekly basketball game. Get your sweat on in whatever way is appealing to you, but make it a priority.
#manup and Get a Physical
Men make half as many visits to a physician for preventative care than do women. It’s time to put the ego aside and have a chat with your doctor. A number of health conditions can be detected and prevented early, so it’s worth turning your head and coughing to know that you are taking measures to ensure a healthier life. Additionally, sexually transmitted diseases and sexual health can impact your physical health, and can even be signs of something else going on. Erectile dysfunction, for example, can be a sign of cardiovascular disease. HPV can lead to cancer. There are preventable diseases out there that simply take being proactive and scheduling annual physicals to make a difference.
Big Boys DO Cry
Being a boy can be tough—too many grow up in households where showing emotions like sadness, depression, anxiety, or fear are looked down upon. For this reason, these boys grow into men who are out of check with their emotional state, or who simply don’t want to admit or talk about their depression in fear that it will be seen as a sign of weakness. The stronger man is the man who is willing to take a look at, and seek help for, depression. Men often lack the social network and support groups that women have—furthering their state of feeling ‘weak’ or ‘alone’ or even ‘not normal.’ And women—an interjection here—you can help by letting your guy, whether he is your father, brother, spouse or friend, know that you care about him—that he matters and you appreciate him and all he does. Encourage him to seek help. Regular visits to a counselor are not at all a sign of weakness. It takes massive strength to admit you need help and even more to seek it. With almost a four times higher death rate from suicide compared to women, isn’t it time we did something about those numbers?
June is not simply one day out of the month to celebrate fathers. Change the focus and make June the month you take control of your health and encourage the men around you to do the same.