Men’s Health Month Brings Focus to Important Health Issues for Men

Find an Exercise You Love and Stick With It

Health issues can be equally complex for men as for women. Getting it right involves eating well, exercising regularly and getting regular checkups. It sounds simple enough, but we can sometimes lose sight of how important these health truisms are.
 
When it comes to exercise, we need to find, and do, something we enjoy. If you love to swim, that’s what you’ll do, but if that’s not your thing, there are many other ways to stay active. Here’s an article about finding an exercise you love and sticking with it.
 
In seeking information about men’s health in June in observance of Men’s Health Month—and June 11–17 during Men’s Health Week—we quickly see there are some very good reasons to follow these health axioms. 
 
The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This annual observance gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. 
 
The Men’s Health Resource Center, managed by the Men's Health Network, a national non-profit headquartered in Washington, DC, suggests the health spectrum for men includes cardiovascular health, sexual reproductive health, mental health, prostate health, cancers, and health issues connected to obesity, aging and nutrition. Aging issues can include cardiovascular, dental, eye, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and respiratory health.
 
And then there’s our favorite—skeletal health, or what we call musculoskeletal health. Maintaining musculoskeletal health can be challenging. According to the Men’s Resource Center, middle-aged men don’t experience loss of bone mass at the rate that women do following menopause, yet by age 65 or 70 both women and men are losing bone mass at the same rate. And the ability to process calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health, decreases in both sexes. 
 
There are other statistics that are more troubling about men. For example, men are at greater risk for death in every age group. And more men than women are born (105 vs. 100), yet by age 35, women outnumber men. 
 
According to the Mayo Clinic, the top threats to men’s health include heart disease, cancer and unintentional injury. Men also die at higher rates than women from 9 of the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 92% of workplace deaths. And yet women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men (CDC study, 2001). What you don't know can sometimes hurt you.
 
The Alameda County Public Health Department offers a valuable resource guide on its website suggesting ways that men can stay physically, mentally and even financially healthy. Click here for a pdf copy of the guide.