‘Men’s Health’ is a strange word combination, isn’t it? Although ‘men’ and ‘health’ individually are both important elements in a functional society, the two words adjoined are not a topic spoken of enough. According to the Times Magazine, women are 10% more likely to seek medical attention than their male counterparts! While many attributes a general unwillingness to appear weak and to need help as factors behind this, it certainly is detrimental.
Men’s Health Week was initiated two decades ago and is celebrated yearly in mid-June, leading up to Father’s Day. The objective is to generate awareness of issues males generally face worldwide, with a goal to inspire changes that can contribute to an improvement of men’s health. Certainly, the imitative also seeks to encourage men to be more considerate of their health and well-being, to seek medical attention, and to live healthy lifestyles.
This year’s theme, Building Healthy Environments for Men and Boys, seeks to highlight the importance of forming better spaces for men. This includes better spaces to promote openness and to offer encouragement for males to conduct frequent health checks and be more aware of their health.
NCDs (Non- Communicable Disease) and Men
In our most recent blog post, we discussed what non-communicable diseases are. As a refresher, take a quick read of this mini recap!
A non-communicable disease (NCD) is non-infectious, meaning it cannot be on from one individual to the next. There are many NCDs and they account for 71% of deaths globally. In Belize, NCDs are responsible for 65% of deaths annually.
Examples of NCDs include cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Hypertension is one of the most common NCDs and is widely referred to as High Blood Pressure.
According to Men’s Health Resource Center, of 700,000 men diagnosed yearly with cancer, 43% results in death and 33% are prostate cancer. The Global Nutritional Report has shown boys ages 5-19 years with a higher obesity rate than girls from 2005 to current.
According to a study done by Insurance company Aflac in April 2021, 45% of men 18 years did not visit a doctor in the past year for an annual checkup. More alarmingly was that 75% of them did not visit a doctor even when displaying illness symptoms, and 85% of them did not consult a doctor while injured. The study pointed out that men are groomed to not communicate issues that affect them. Internalizing the “man up” responses and focusing on feminized health care policies gives the perception that health care and healthy habits are less “manly”.
Though these attitudes are rooted in learned behavior, they need to be unlearned, and quickly! In addition to being risky and illogical, ignoring medical issues and one’s overall well-being affects households considerably and even society as a whole.
How Can Men attend to their Health and Wellness?
- Incorporate natural, healthy food like fruits and vegetables into your diet! Healthy eating allows you to maintain a healthy weight, provides good sources of energy and healthy fats, and, improves your appearance; hint-hint!
- Keep moving! Regular physical activity allows you to burn calories and fat, develop muscles, and shed toxins from the body via sweat! If you don’t have the interest to sign up for a gym, sporting activities, running, and even walking (with a little extra speed) can help improve your overall well-being!
- Annual physicals save lives! We don’t always see or feel the effects of illnesses that may be brewing within us, and that can be deadly. Annual physicals give doctors a chance to detect issues that can be stopped in their tracts, allowing us to live longer, healthier lives!
- Cut bad habits. A can of beer after a long day is terrific; a case of beer on a random Tuesday? Not so much. Excessive intake of drugs or alcohol can be extremely detrimental to your overall health and well-being. In moderation, they may be okay, but requires advice from your medical professional considering the impacts they might have on you.
- Consider an insurance policy! What better way to give yourself and your family some peace of mind? A quality insurance policy can save the day when medical expenses arise and can cover annual physicals and other medical procedures that one would otherwise put off if they had to pay through a pocket. Insurance is certainly an asset that is better to have and not need than to need and not have. Connect with an RF&G Life agent to determine the most suitable insurance policy for you and your loved ones!