June is Men’s Health Month | PostIndependent.com

June is Men’s Health Month

Carolyn Hardin

Carolyn Hardin

June is a time for celebrating the men in our lives. In addition to Father's Day, June is designated as the Month of Men's Health to raise awareness about preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Statistics for men's health are sobering and a key to improving men's health is preventative care.

Men can improve their health and longevity with a healthy lifestyle and preventative care; however according to menshealthmonth.org, men make half as many physician visits for prevention as women. This despite the facts that men are dying an average of five years younger than women and lead in nine out of the 10 top causes of death, including cancer (prostate, lung and colorectal are the most common), heart disease, diabetes and suicide. The average life expectancy for men in 2016 was 76.3 years, versus 81.2 years for women, and one in two men will develop cancer in their lifetime. Men are at greater risk for death in every age group. More males than females are born (105 versus 100), but by age 35, women outnumber men.

Veronica "Roni" Morales, Mountain Family Health Centers care coordination supervisor, has these suggestions for men to follow to protect their health:

Establish a relationship with your medical provider. Regular medical visits allow both patient and medical provider to be involved in the control of blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, mental health and other aspects of health. Having a current health record helps health care providers to identify potential problems and, in turn, treat them with greater effectiveness.

Early treatment of disease and injury leads to better health outcomes.

Reduce stress by constantly striving for a balance between work life and mental health.

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Develop a healthy eating and exercise plan.

Stop smoking, get enough sleep and decrease your alcohol consumption.

Make an appointment with your medical provider to discuss your concerns and goals for a healthy lifestyle. Your provider can help you recognize symptoms and will give you practical, easy-to-implement prevention strategies.

Men are more likely to be uninsured than women. If you do not have a medical provider, or need financial assistance to see one, you can call Mountain Family Health Centers at 970-945-2840 to make an appointment.

As Morales says, "Guard your health; your family depends on it."

For more information, visit the Men's Health Network or http://www.menshealthmonth.org.

Carolyn Hardin is a Development Consultant for Mountain Family and other nonprofits, with 30 years of experience in public health and human services in the Roaring Fork Valley. She can be reached at chardin@mountainfamily.org.