YMCA of Central Ohio

June is National Men’s Health Month

Men’s Health: Taking Big and Small Steps Towards Wellness

The months have been quietly slipping by, and it may be hard to believe, but it’s already the end of June. As we approach the end of the month and the halfway point of the year, it’s a good time to stop and take stock of your wellness habits and healthy living throughout the beginning of 2017.

If you made any health-related resolutions in January, you can evaluate your progress-- have you slipped away from your goals, or are you still going strong? And if you didn’t make any resolutions, it might be even more important to look back on the first half of 2017 and think about whether you’ve found ways to take care of yourself, and potentially find places where you could make small improvements.

Reflecting on your habits and evaluating your health is important for everyone, but in June, it’s especially relevant for husbands, dads and sons, because it’s National Men’s Health Month.

When it comes to health, men and women tend to fare differently. Men’s life expectancy trails behind that of women, in part because men are less likely than women to seek medical care when they need it and nearly half as likely to take advantage of preventive health measures such as physicals and screening tests. Additionally, men are more likely to smoke and drink, factors that contribute to a variety of health problems.

That knowledge should be a catalyst. There’s a lot of ways to take your health into your own hands: you can add something to your daily routine, like exercising more, getting enough sleep, applying sunscreen, or even taking time to socialize-- or you can reduce harmful activities, such as smoking, alcohol, and tanning.

When it comes to taking steps to improve your general health, like being active, eating well, and surrounding yourself with a caring and uplifting community, the Y is always by your side to help you stay healthy and strong. We even offer personal training and programs like Diabetes Prevention to help you get your health on track.

However, there are also men’s health issues that go beyond day-to-day exercise and healthy habits. We want to draw attention to a specific health issue men face and challenge you to take an active step in looking out for your own health. Remember that statistic we mentioned earlier-- that men are nearly half as likely to take advantage of preventive health measures such as physicals and screening tests?

Well, to make it easier for men get the preventative care they need, Lisa C. Richardson, the director of the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, compiled a “cheat sheet” to illustrate what kinds of cancer screenings men should be focusing on, which we’ve included below.

She explains that “every year, more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer. The most common kinds of cancer among men in the U.S. are skin cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal (colon) cancer. There are screenings for each type of these cancers, but the CDC supports screening for colorectal and lung cancers as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).”
Early detection is one of the most important factors when it comes to surviving cancer and other severe illnesses. So, take a step beyond day-to-day wellness and learn what preventative actions you or your loved ones should be taking to take your health into your own hands.

Your Cheat Sheet to Cancer Screenings and Good Health