June 5, 2015 --
Twelve percent of men, 18 years and older, are in fair or poor health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While men should make health a priority and take active daily steps to become healthier and stronger, there are many easy things men — and women — can do to improve and maintain health.
June is Men’s Health Month, a time to raise the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection.
“By proactively getting the right health services, screenings and treatments, we help our chances of living a longer, healthier life,” Capt. John Le Favour, commanding officer, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida, said. “Things such as age, health and family history, lifestyle choices and other factors impact our health care needs and how often we need it. That’s why early detection is key. So we encourage you to get regular checkups and tests to find problems before they start.”
Get good sleep
Insufficient sleep can be associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and depression. Sleep needs change with age — seven to nine hours is ideal for adults.
About 30 percent of U.S. men smoke cigarettes. It’s never too late to quit, plus it produces immediate and long-term benefits — lowers risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease and other illnesses. And avoid second-hand smoke — it can cause problems similar to those who smoke.
Thirty-eight percent of U.S. men are overweight. At least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is recommended each week for adults. And indulge in muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week. Work all major muscle groups to include legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms. Spread activity out during the week, no need to do it all at once.
Men should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, as they are sources of the many vitamins and minerals that protect from chronic diseases. Choose healthy snacks and limit items high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol.
Physical or emotional tension is often signs of stress. Sometimes stress can be good, but harmful when severe — feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Self-care and social support can be the best way to manage stress. Avoid drugs and alcohol, stay active and find support when needed.
Stay on top of your game
Patients should see a primary care manager for regular checkups. Because certain diseases may not have symptoms, regular checkups can help diagnose issues early — before becoming a problem. Pay attention to obvious signs and symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath.
Individuals should also track personal numbers like blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and body mass index. PCMs can identify what tests are needed and frequency needed. And get vaccinated. Immunizations help maintain health, regardless of age. They can protect individuals and the community from serious diseases.
NBHC Albany’s Medical Home Port team is ready to meet the urgent, preventive and routine health care needs of its patients. To meet the Medical Home Port team and doctors, visit the website, www.med.navy.mil/sites/navalhospitaljax, and click on Medical Home Port.
For after-hour issues, call the Nurse Advice Line at 800-TRICARE (800-874-2273) to get clinical advice and urgent care referrals 24/7.
Sign up for RelayHealth, a free and secure email service that allows patients to contact their care teams for routine needs — from requesting lab results to appointments. Because this system is for non-urgent issues, it can take up to one business day for a reply. Visit www.relayhealth.com to sign up.