They say that women live longer than men. Men, I'm sorry to say that it's true.
According to NCBI, “countries with established socio-economic order women live on the average 4-7 years longer.” (1)
From disease to problems with stress to food choices, the mortality rate for men increases with a variety of these choices. There is no solid answer as to why they don't live longer than women; the only thing we do know is we can try our best to live the healthiest life we can.
This week is Men's Health week, a week dedicated to improving the health of men and boys around the world.
There are many ways to improve your health and overall quality of life. It all starts with you. Read below to find out how you can change your life for the better.
What is Men's Health Week?
Created by two congressman in 1994, Men’s Health Week falls the week preceding Father’s Day every year. Men’s Health week is an international week dedicated to raising awareness for men’s health, as well as to inform men and boys about diseases harmful to their gender. (2)
It began in 2002, when representatives from six leading men’s health organizations met at the 2nd World Congress on Men’s Health in Vienna, Austria. At this meeting, they established International Men’s Health Week, and since then, a global awareness of men’s health has expanded across countries, highlighting the importance of good health for the male population.
What Diseases Are Common Among Men?
Like women, men have diseases specific to their gender. A few of the ones listed below happen to women, but they are predominantly common in men, even boys.
Testicular cancer is simply cancer in the testes, or testicles, of the male anatomy. Click here to learn more about testicular cancer and how it can affect you.
Prostate cancer is cancer in the prostate, the walnut-sized gland responsible for transporting semen. It is the most common cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. (3)
A form of androgenetic alopecia, this condition affects roughly over 90 percent of men. (4)
Because it happens with age, there is no cure, but there are ointments and other treatments to help with hair loss.
Male Breast Cancer
Although it affects less than one percent of the male population, men can get breast cancer like women because the cancer forms in the breast tissue. (5)
This condition affects both boys and men by a chromosomal defect. Instead of one X and one Y chromosome, there is an extra X chromosome. It causes infertility and small testicles. It can also cause reduced facial hair, body, and muscle mass. More importantly, it causes little to no sperm and small amounts of testosterone. Detection can be early as infancy and as late as adulthood. (6)
Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. They're painful, but they usually pass with no permanent damage. (7)
How Can You Improve Your Health?
Without a doubt, the best part of the day is breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With food we can indulge and nourish. But we should also enrich and cleanse. While carbs and sweets are the bees knees, eating vegetables, fruits, and healthy greens are a top priority. You are what you eat, and if you only eat processed foods, you may feel sluggish. Give your body what it needs, and make sure to buy produce next time you go to the grocery store!
Staying active has many benefits. Exercise increases cardiovascular health, maintains muscle mass for movement, and elevates your energy levels. Keeping a consistent work-out routine helps to maintain your health, and improve it if you aren't at your healthiest.
Less Time on Social Media
Social media is the communication outlet of the ages. Never has it been easier to connect with others instantly, and to share the best moments of your life. It's an addiction - instant gratification made up of photos and words. But with this instant gratification comes the fear of missing out, loneliness, and anxiety. Seeing other's having a great time on social media may cause feelings of jealousy. For example, other people may be vacationing, hanging out with friends, or updating on their life, while you may just be home or going to work.
With all these negative emotions swirling around, it's time to think about removing social media. Taking a break is good for your mental health. It's important to focus on yourself and not worry about what other people are posting, sharing, or tweeting through media platforms.
Avoid Substance Abuse
Alcohol and recreational substances can be a fun time, and it can also be a dependency issue. It's important to remember that these substances have a deadly bite. Make sure you are being responsible, and if not, avoid it altogether. You can read about the effects of alcohol and other recreational habits here.
Practice Good Mental Health
Just like physical health, mental health is absolutely vital to your well-being. The brain controls all facets of your life, and when its doing less than its best, it shows in you day-to-day activities. Issues like depression, and anxiety can alter the way you think, your mood, and even the area around you. It's important you take care of your brain because, if not treated, it can result to harmful effects
Raising awareness can be as small as wearing a wristband or as big as hosting a fair. Check out the 4 different ways you can raise awareness for Men's health.
The most important thing you could do to check in on you health is to go to a screening or a check-up. Free screenings occur in your local area; be aware of when your town will host theirs.
At screenings, they check for: (8)
- Prostate Health
- High Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Colorectal Cancer
Talk to your doctor to see what needs to be checked.
Host or Donate to a Fundraiser
Like most awareness topics, hosting, or contributing, to a fundraiser is a key start in raising awareness. Foundations donate to charities and other organizations, allowing for instant aid for those that need it. You can donate to a foundation or be involved directly! There are many foundations available pertaining to men's health, starting from the Prostate Cancer Foundation up to & Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation.
Educate with a Fair
What better way to inform people in a fun, engaging environment than at a fair?
Hosting your own Men’s Health fair allows for people of all backgrounds to come in and learn about the importance of men’s health. Set up booths, spread out brochures and promotional products, and get ready to educate the public!
Encourage Healthy Habits
It’s easy to say we are healthy, but it’s harder to actually do it. This is why encouraging healthy habits helps spread the importance of men’s health. Whether it’s the gym, dancing, eating fruit, or playing basketball, healthy habits are easily attainable and don’t take up more than an hour or two a day. It only takes 66 days to make a habit, and then to turn it into a lifestyle.
A great way to spread awareness is through clothing! Because blue is the registered color for men and boys, Wear Blue Day occurs during Men’s Health Week. It can be a suit, shirt, tie, pants, anything! As long as you’re wearing blue on this day, you’re guaranteed to make an impact.
In addition, the prostate cancer awareness is blue, so make sure to sport a blue ribbon or custom wristband on this day. At Rapid Wristbands, we have blue wristbands available to customize for prostate cancer awareness. Click the button below to design yours today!
Obtaining the best health you can is no easy feat. Wellness is everyday work. But knowing that you are trying to be the best health you can be will help you in the long run.