Tips for Men’s Health
Every year, men all over the world suffer from preventable causes such as heart disease, prostate and other cancers, strokes, lung disease and diabetes. Although men die from these causes at higher rates than women, men do not see physicians for exams as often as women do. In June, UF Health joins the Men’s Health Network in observation of Men’s Health Month, dedicated to increasing awareness of significant health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease.
Men’s health is not just a man’s issue, it has an impact on the lives of significant others, children, siblings, parents and all family members. Here are some tips to help men make their health a priority.
Visit a urologist
One out of seven American men are affected by prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. By ignoring symptoms or not having an annual checkup, men put themselves at risk. If you are experiencing difficulty urinating, have blood in your urine or have testicular pain, it’s time to visit a doctor. Make sure to stay informed and talk to your doctor about your risk of prostate cancer.
Know your blood pressure
High blood pressure can damage the heart, kidneys, arteries, brain and eyes. Keep a watch on your blood pressure to make sure that it stays in a healthy range between 80 and 120. If your blood pressure is high, it is putting extra strain on your arteries and on your heart. Make sure you limit the amount of alcohol you drink, reduce your stress and monitor your blood pressure at home.
Look for low-salt options in meals and snacks and check food labels for the product’s sodium content. Avoid eating canned and other prepared foods, processed meats and fast foods. Make sure you include potassium in your diet. Foods such as spinach, salmon, beans, bananas and avocados are rich in potassium.
Adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, but only about 50 percent of American men regularly meet that guideline. If you’re a father, take the time to play sports or go for a bike ride with your kids. More than that, look for opportunities to get in a few extra steps. Park farther away than normal and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Be a part of Wear Blue Friday
Friday, June 16, is Wear Blue Day, created by Men’s Health Network to raise awareness about the importance of male health and to encourage men to strive to live longer and healthier lives. Make sure you are starting conversations about men’s health in your community, workplace, family and social environments. It’s important to keep in mind that awareness starts with conversation.