June 11 through 17 marks Men’s Health Week which leads up to Father’s Day and encourages men of all ages to take proactive care of their health by staying active, eating a healthy diet and getting regular medical checkups to prevent or receive early treatment for any illnesses or injuries.
Besides maintaining a healthy lifestyle, stress management and emotional and mental wellness are important factors of good health that many men don’t give enough consideration. Men are less likely than women to visit their doctor or dentist for routine exams and often wait until health problems become serious to seek medical attention.
This year, Men’s Health Week is focusing on diabetes; the signs and symptoms of the disease, prevention and how to live a healthy long life with diabetes. According to Men’s Health Forum, men are more likely to get diabetes than women and are also more likely to have serious complication including leg amputations or death as a result of the condition. Learn more about how diabetes affects men by following this link to the American Diabetes Association.
With stigma still plaguing mental and emotional illness, many males do not get the help they need and as a result men take their own lives at four times the rate of women. Men also have elevated rates of substance abuse and are significantly less likely than women to use mental health service, according to Psychology Today. The need for male-tailored mental and emotional health services is growing as men continue to face economic struggles, divorce or the challenge of returning home from military service.
While older adults are living longer and generally healthier lives, many men have unresolved emotional or mental health issues that are not being properly addressed. Taking proactive care of health in older age includes not only eating healthy, stopping smoking and getting exercise to prevent heart disease or stroke but also encompasses managing stress and promoting good mental and emotional wellness by staying socially engaged and seeking counseling when appropriate. Learn more about changes in mental health associated with aging at the Men’s Health Resource Center.