National Men’s Health Month is observed each June to coincide with Father’s Day. This month is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier, but they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.
You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices. Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetable have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. It is also important to limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
Another healthy habit that you can work into your daily routine is exercise. Regular physical activity can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Adults need 2.5 hours of physical activity each week, which is roughly 30 minutes, 5 days/week.
Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for different types of cancer, and don’t expose others to secondhand smoke, which also causes health problems. Call your state’s tobacco quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW [1-800-784-8669].
Another way to help in the process of quitting smoking, and other negative habits, help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes someone to feel threatened or anxious. It’s important that we develop healthy ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.
Finally, encourage the men in your life to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem. It’s important for men (and women) to understand their family health history, which is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. It is helpful to talk with family members about health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time.
Together we can work to help the men in our life stay healthy and happy!