The main goals of National Men’s Health Week are to raise awareness of preventable health problems that affect males of all ages, and to encourage their early detection and prompt treatment. Scheduled in June of each year during the week leading up to Father’s Day, National Men’s Health Week is observed not only by men and boys, but also by the women and girls who care about them. That’s because taking care of men’s health is not just a man’s issue; it is also a family issue.
Celebrated both nationwide and around the globe, National Men’s Health Week provides an opportunity for health care providers, public policy makers, the media and individuals alike to encourage all men and boys to have routine health screenings and seek early treatment for medical conditions and injuries. Of course, these steps are important for everyone, but annual checkups tend to be more of an afterthought for men in particular. Meanwhile, statistics show that, on average, men drink more alcohol, use more tobacco and engage in more high-risk activities than women. These factors (and others) contribute to a shorter life expectancy for males as compared to their female counterparts.
In addition to simply "not needing one," many men cite a lack of time when asked why they don’t see a physician on a regular basis. Neither is a good excuse. In order for a man to stay healthy, it’s important for him to stay on top of his health. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In addition to scheduling regular checkups, including cancer screenings, here are some simple steps that a man can take to adopt a healthier lifestyle:
- Refrain from smoking and using other forms of tobacco
- Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a nutritious diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats
- Get plenty of rest
- Find ways to reduce stress, such as spending time with family members and close friends
Some creative outreach activities for National Men’s Health Week include health fairs, free screening tests, media coverage and "Wear Blue Friday," which is designed to raise further awareness of this initiative on the Friday before Father’s Day.
If you would like to learn more about National Men’s Health Week, locate events near you or arrange for a cancer screening test, contact Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-MOFFITT.