Thibodaux Regional helps men stay healthy
June is National Men’s Health Month. Did you know that men are far less likely to see a physician for an annual exam as women? By putting your health first, you’ll live a happier, longer life.
Get Heart Healthy
One in three men suffer from cardiovascular disease. One in four will die from it this year. Heart attacks, stroke, and atrial fibrillation (aFib) all affect your heart’s ability to function. And your risk of heart disease doubles each decade.
Want to get heart healthy? Start with your diet. Even modest changes can make a huge difference. Eat more whole grains in your diet, like brown rice, whole wheat, and oats. Lay off the mayo and the salad dressings – they’re full of unhealthy fat. Go for healthier snacks, like fresh veggies, popcorn, or pretzels. Start incorporating healthy oils, like olive oil and canola oils, into your cooking.
Exercise is another key component of living heart healthy. Shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, each week. Starting small is perfectly okay – just keep at it. Your heart will thank you.
Finally, if you smoke, stop now. Smoking drastically increases your risk of CVD. If you need help, ask for it. Talk to your doctor.
Shed Those Extra Pounds
If you’re carrying around a few extra pounds, do everything you can do drop them. Obesity can lead to a host of health problems – including diabetes and heart issues. Do what you can to eat better. Ditch the saturated fats (goodbye, junk food!), watch your salt intake, and add more leafy greens to your diet.
Get active. You already know exercise is great for your heart. It can also help you lose the excess weight. Find an activity you enjoy – you’re more likely to stick with it.
Make Mental Health a Priority
Did you know that men are much less likely to seek help for depression and other mental health issues? If you are struggling, talk to your doctor. Tell them if you’re having any symptoms, like increased irritability or anger, notable mood changes, or feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
Take charge of your mental health, and don’t be embarrassed to speak out. Depression is a common condition, and your doctor will know how to help you.
Get a Prostate Exam
More than 30 million men have prostate conditions that affect their lives. This year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 175,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in American men.
As with all cancers, early detection of prostate cancer is key. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better the chance of successful treatment. Early stages of prostate cancer often have no symptoms. This is a major reason having an annual physical with a prostate exam is so incredibly important. And talk to your doctor about whether you need more involved prostate cancer screening.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, take the steps you need to take to ensure your good health. Schedule that checkup. It’s worth your time. Preventative care is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those you love.
For more information on health and wellness, contact the Wellness Education Center of Thibodaux Regional, 985-493-4765.
Katie Richard, MA, BSN, RN, is an Education & Training Coordinator for Thibodaux Regional Medical Center.