By BethAnn Cameron, Health Educator, Army Public Health CenterJune 29, 2018
The Army Public Health Center is encouraging men to maintain good health. If you are a male, have you had regular scheduled check-ups and annual screenings? Army public health professionals are heightening awareness of preventable health problems and are encouraging men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. They are reminding men to take steps to be healthier. Women have a role as well. Whether it is for yourself or for your husband, partner, dad, brother, son or friend, you can help support the health of the men in your life.
What should men do to maintain good health? Most experts agree that men should be physically active; have a healthy diet; maintain a healthy weight; manage stress in a positive way; get seven to nine hours of sleep daily; drink alcohol only in moderation; not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. The Performance Triad campaign promotes the three key components of sleep, activity and nutrition designed to encourage healthy behaviors of Soldiers, their families and retirees. The Army Wellness Center and installation resources such as athletic centers and recreational programs can help men improve their health.
It is important for men to partner with their healthcare provider to choose an appropriate preventive health care program. Men should get regular, annual checkups with their healthcare provider. Men should also know their family medical history and share it with their family and with their healthcare provider.
Get preventive tests or screenings at the recommended age. Getting the right screening test at the right time is one of the most important things a man can do for his health. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups and screenings help identify diseases early, before symptoms occur. Many major health risks that men face, such as colon cancer, testicular cancer or heart disease may be preventable. Likewise, they are easier to treat when found early. These screenings are based on age and risk factors. Follow a preventive maintenance schedule as listed below:
• Get regular blood pressure screening.
• Cholesterol screening is advised for all men 35 and up, or 20 and up if there are other risk factors.
• Get colorectal cancer screening at age 50 and up.
• Get a Tetanus booster every ten years for men over 50.
• Get a flu shot every year.
• Prostate cancer screening is recommended starting at age 50 for average risk, based on individual case factors.
• Diabetes screening should occur every 3 years at age 45, or earlier if the man has high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
• Monthly self-exam for irregular moles are encouraged, with an annual visit to a dermatologist for a complete exam.
• Get an annual testicular exam by a doctor and do monthly self-exams to check for lumps.
Men also experience stress and may suffer from depression and other mood disorders, so taking care of mental and emotional health is key. It is a well-known fact that depression affects overall health and well-being. To help improve mental and emotional health, men should:
• Find ways to de-stress, including maximizing physical activity and sleep.
• Speak to a chaplain, behavioral health care professional or healthcare provider if there is a struggle with negative thoughts, excessive worries, or hopelessness or have suicidal thoughts or plans for suicide.
Are you interested in learning more about men's health? Educate yourself and check out the informative resources in the related links section.