St. Mary's Co. Raising Awareness About Health Care for Men


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June is Men’s Health Month, observed across the country to raise awareness about health care for men and focus on encouraging boys, men and their families to practice and implement healthy living decisions, such as exercising, eating healthy, getting regular health screenings, and paying attention to mental health.

The goal is to educate the public about the many preventable health problems that affect men and boys, and empower them and their loved ones to move towards a healthier, happier life. Men die five years younger than women, on average, and die at higher rates for nine of the top ten causes of death. Men are far less likely to see a doctor for preventive care. All of this impacts their ability to be an involved father, supportive husband, and engaged member of their community.

There are things you can do to stay healthy or help keep the men in your life healthy: Encourage them to:

Get early and regular screenings. Screenings can save your life and/or make life easier to manage if diseases are caught early on. This is an opportunity to increase awareness about health issues important to men such as prostate, testicular, skin and colon cancers, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Exercise regularly You should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to keep your heart healthy and stay at a healthy weight.
Consult your health care provider before starting an exercise program if you have health concerns. Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits. For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity exercise.

Eat healthy. A healthy lifestyle involves many choices – among them, choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan.

A healthy eating plan includes:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, fat or added sugars. The key is eating them only once in a while, and balancing them out with healthier foods and more physical activity.

Don’t forget about your mental health, too. Your mental health is inseparable from your physical health. Many mental illnesses affect both men and women; however, men may be less likely to talk about their feelings and seek help. Recognizing the signs that someone may have a mood or mental disorder is the first step toward getting treatment and living a better life.

During Men’s Health Month, we encourage men to take control of their health, and for families to teach young boys healthy habits throughout childhood.

For more information about physical activity and healthy eating, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For information about mental health resources, visit the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Local Behavioral Health Authority webpages

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