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4 Ways to Celebrate Men’s Health Week

June 15 to 21 is National Men’s Health Week 2020. Observed yearly during the week before Father’s Day, this time is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier. Here are four easy ways to celebrate Men’s Health Week — and improve your health and those of the men around you.

1. Get Regular Checkups

Visit your healthcare provider for regular checkups. Some health conditions are asymptomatic at the onset, and checkups can identify these issues early.

Prepare for your appointment by learning about your family health history. Find out if any diseases are present in your family. Talk with your family members about health history and keep an updated, written record.

If you’re age 50+ (or younger, if you’re at higher risk of colorectal cancer), then it’s time to have a colonoscopy.  (Click to Schedule)

2. Cultivate Healthy Habits

Your good habits and choices will inspire the men in your life.

Eat healthily. A healthy, varied diet full of fruits and vegetables will provide the vitamins and minerals that protect you from chronic disease. Foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol should be limited. A registered dietician can help you change or improve your diet.

Get active. Regular exercise has so many benefits. It can reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers and improve your mental health and mood. Adults need two and a half hours of activity each week — that’s only a little more than 20 minutes a day.

Quit smoking. Don’t start smoking. If you smoke, stop. Encourage the men around you to quit smoking. Those who quit smoking lower their risk for cancer, along with other immediate and long-term benefits. For help quitting, call the toll-free Texas Quitline: 1-877-YES-QUIT (937-7848) or visit their website.

Recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension is often a sign of stress. This can include headaches, trouble sleeping, and indigestion. Learn how to manage stress. Find support, eat healthily, get activity, and avoid drugs and alcohol.

3. Know the Signs of Heart Attack

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S. In 2017, heart disease killed almost 350,000 men. That’s almost one in four deaths.

Signs of a heart attack in a man include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

4. Seek Help for Depression

A CDC survey from 2013 found that nearly 9 percent of men had daily feelings of depression or anxiety. It is a leading cause of disease and injury worldwide for men and women.

Signs of depression include:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Grumpiness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Tiredness and decreased energy
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you are suffering from depression, seek help. If you are in crisis, call 911 or visit your local emergency department.

If you feel suicidal, call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit their website to talk to a trained counselor.

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