June is Men’s Health Month, so we will be focusing on things that men should do to get and stay healthy and things that their families can do to encourage this.
Let’s face reality for just a moment. Men, although usually physically stronger than women, are not as adaptable to changing situations. Physiologically speaking, women are far superior! Okay, so that might just be an opinion. The truth is that research shows greater survival rates of women then men, but the reasons are not fully understood. Whether it is genetic or a result of environmental factors is not really known, and it is likely to be a combination of both. For example, more baby boys are born than girls; about 105:100 ratio during typical times. As time goes on, that shifts and the ratio favors women. Some of this is due to infant mortality rates, but the trend continues until the ratio is 80 men to every 100 women.
Enough of the science lesson though, let’s talk about men’s health. It is obviously important because it is a family issue. Men are expected to be there for their families in ways that are not social expectations for anyone else. This can put more stress on men and their fragile psyche. (Okay, I’ll stop #beingsilly.) There can be increased stress though, and that can lead to health issues later in life. For example, drinking, smoking, and an unhealthy diet are all things both genders do to cope with stress. And sadly, those are all things that contribute to some of the causes of death of American men, like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
So what to do…
Preventing premature death is a top goal of Men’s Health Month. There are some simple things that can be done, such as eating healthy foods and limiting unhealthy ones, moving more, and limiting your alcohol and tobacco products.
I know the healthy eating part can be hard. Meat…potatoes! [Insert Tim “the Toolman” Taylor grunt here.] Start by using a smaller plate, making sure there is something green on it, and that your portion of red meat is limited to 2 ounces less than what you would normally eat. That should be doable and is a good place to start.
We’ll delve deeper into how men can get moving more next week, so be looking for that information too.
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