This year, Men’s Health Week is observed from June 13 to 19. The week is intended to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems among men and boys and encourage early detection and treatment. Here are some tips for men to take control of their physical and mental health, and for families to teach young boys healthy habits throughout childhood that can potentially lower their risk of chronic diseases.
- Understand your risks. Collect your family health history and share it with your doctor at your next visit. Your doctor can use it to develop a more complete picture of your health and your risk factors for disease.
- Choose heart-healthy foods and drinks. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Avoid sugary beverages and choose water or unsweetened drinks.
- Aim for a healthy weight. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important to overall health and can help you prevent and control many diseases and chronic conditions. A body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9 is ideal for men.
- Get regular physical activity. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help weight management, reduce your risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities. It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. Children and adolescents should get one hour of physical activity every day.
- Quit smoking. Quitting smoking improves your health and reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses.
- Manage stress. Take care of your mind and body by making time to unwind and connect with others. Recognize when you need to ask for help.
- Avoid drugs and limit alcohol intake. Excessive substance abuse use can lead to increased risk of health problems such as injuries, violence, liver diseases, and cancer.
- Get enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep is linked to several chronic diseases and conditions. It is recommended that adults get 7-10 hours of sleep per day. Children and adolescents should get 10-14 hours of sleep per day.
- Check in with your doctor. Get regular checkups of blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. Continue with regular health appointments and stay up to date with vaccinations and screenings.
For more information and resources, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s men’s health website.