Sunday, June 7, 2009

Men's Health Month? Never knew about that one...

In an environment where its is just assumed that men have everything this post I found via Toy Soldiers makes me feel a bit better.

When it comes to men's health things are not doing so well but at least the people in Cambridge are trying to do something about it by celebrating Men's Health Month. Claude-Alix Jacob, the city’s chief public health officer and director of the public health department says that “American men are experiencing a silent health crisis." have higher rates of death than women for heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and HIV/AIDS. They are also more likely than women to die in a car crash, commit suicide, or suffer a fatal workplace injury.

But despite how bleak men's health may be it would be easier than one thinks for us to turn things around.

Three things that Jacob mentions that could help us improve our health. The age old advice to include more exercise into daily life would help. The next bit of help would be to eat better. We see all these ads on tv about "man food". These products are usually notoriously unhealthy being loaded with calories, fat, and preservatives. Avoiding them would certainly improve the quality of our lives. The biggest piece of advice is also a bit of a touchy subject with men. Due to the conditioning we get from society men are of the mindset that a trip to the doctor is not needed unless a body part has been severed, something is broken, or there is so much blood it can't be cleaned up with a paper towel. This has to change.

For years we men have been denying ourselves medical treatment and preventive checkup and all for what? Working just a little bit longer to ensure the futures of our partners and children? Putting in ungodly long work weeks in order to get that promotion? Of course it is important to take care of one's partner and children and it is important to do the best you can in your career but what good is it to literally work yourself into an early grave if you aren't there to enjoy it with your partner and/or children?

It is important to stay healthy not just for our family's sake but for our own sake as well and this month is a good time to start. And if you're a woman or a child reading this then its a good time to encourage the men in your life to start making AND keeping doctor's appointments and not expecting aches, pains, and other abnormalities to just go away.