Don’t be an average man
Published 12:44 pm Monday, June 12, 2023
In recognition of National Men’s Health Month, this article will bring to light many things average men have in common.
It’s common for men, for the most part, to overlook their health—until issues become more serious. Statistics bear this out. On average, men die five years earlier than women. And out of the fifteen leading causes of death, men lead women in fourteen categories.
Demetrius Porche, DNS, RN, and editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Men’s Health, said, “Men put their health last. As long as they’re working and feeling productive, most men aren’t considering the risks to their health.”
Men are also known for taking greater physical risks than women, making accidents the third leading cause of death in America. Men are twice as likely to die from unintentional injury. The most common fatal injuries are overdoses, motor vehicle accidents and falls. Simple behavior modifications with significant impacts include reducing drinking, using safety ladders and wearing seat belts.
The list of health risks includes heart disease, cancer and unintentional injury. The good news is most health issues facing men are preventable. Easing into small changes can make significant improvements. And the motivation that comes from each success encourages us to make more positive modifications. Men, modifying your daily healthy eating and physical activity routines are substantial preventatives.
A nutritional diet is as essential to getting adequate sleep. Change your routine to focus on nutrients over calories and seek a variety of healthy foods you enjoy. Also, find variation in your physical activity. Mix up aerobics, stretching and muscle training. And lastly, don’t compromise on your sleep. Strive to get seven hours of sleep every day.
Cleveland Clinic has a program, MENtion, that seeks to encourage men to see the doctor. The campaign included a survey that sought to understand the attitudes of average men better. The highlights of that survey are:
- Seventy-two percent of men said they would rather do household chores, like cleaning toilets, than go to the doctor.
- Sixty-five percent of respondents said they avoid going to the doctor as long as possible.
- Twenty percent admitted they aren’t always honest with their doctors about their health.
- Thirty-seven percent said they had withheld information from their doctors in the past precisely because they weren’t ready to deal with the potential diagnosis.
“As a primary care doctor, I think the number one reason men avoid the doctor is fear,” explained Tisha Rowe, MD. “They worry about a bad diagnosis or a bad outcome.” Rowe explained, “Men want to see themselves as forever strong and capable of handling anything. They see going to the doctor as a weakness.”
THE FIRST STEP
Stop being an average man — get on board with protecting your health today.
Through a grant made possible by the Ann Jacob Toms fund at the Polk County Community Foundation, St. Luke’s Hospital and The Foundation for St. Luke’s Hospital will host the second annual FREE Men’s Health Tune-Up, at Harmon Field on Saturday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
There will be a car, truck, bike show, health screenings, healthcare education, and made-to-order breakfast burritos! All at no cost to you! People’s Choice Awards and health fair door prizes will be awarded for each car show category.
To pre-register cars, trucks and bikes, email Amanda.Thompson@slhnc.org or call her at 828-894-2693.
If you have a healthcare topic of interest or want to learn more about St. Luke’s Hospital, send me a note at Michelle.Fortune@slhnc.org. Also, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or visit our website at StLukesNC.org