Written by Matthew A. Piacentini Friday, 10 June 2011 00:00
Leading up to Father’s Day every year, Men’s Health Week is used as a time to bring a focus to the males in your life who might not give their physical well-being enough attention. This year it is June 13-19.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, men need a push in the right direction:
• Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests.
• Men are 28 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure.
• Men are 32 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for long-term complications of diabetes and are more than twice as likely than women to have a leg or foot amputated due to complications related to diabetes.
• Men are 24 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for pneumonia that could have been prevented by getting an immunization.
The idea behind Men’s Health Week is to get men and boys and their loved ones thinking about the health problems that can be prevented (see Page 3 for screenings and tests) and the actions that should be taken to stay fit.
As Congressman Bill Richardson put it, regarding Men’s Health Week, “Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a men’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.”
Use this time of year to re-commit to a healthy lifestyle. Focus on:
• Physical activity
Taking a walk, doing yard work, biking, swimming, playing sports, are a few great ways to keep moving. You want to work up to at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.
• Eat right
You know the drill. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts are good, too. Try to eat foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
• Keep your weight in the right range.
Take in an amount of calories that you will burn. As you get older, you need fewer calories and more physical activity.
• Drink in moderation
If you drink, you should have two drinks or less per day. (One drink for women.)
• No smoking
• Your doctor may advise aspirin to avoid a heart attack.
If you are at risk for a heart attack (you’re over 45, smoke, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease), check with your doctor and find out if taking aspirin is the right choice for you.