EASTERN NIAGARA HEALTHLINES: Men’s Health Month

David S. Arlington

June, the month, represents a lot of good things, like the start of summer, the half way point of the year, warmer weather and summer vacation for many school children. June also represents the importance of men’s health and is designated as Men’s Health Month.

From Harvard Medical School, here are five tips for men to remain healthy.

Get moving: Even just a brisk 2-mile daily walk can make a big difference in one’s health. If a male is in good enough shape to complete a 2-mile walk every day, he has a fitness level adequate to lower his chances of dying from heart disease or having a heart attack. Each increase of endurance helps translate to better heath.

Get checked for colorectal cancer: It is very important that men above the age of 50 get screened for colorectal cancer. This is one of the best cancer screenings available for men because it can prevent, not just diagnose, cancer.

Know your blood pressure: Men should get their blood pressure checked regularly and do whatever they need to keep it in a healthy range. High blood pressure can be known as a “silent killer” because it causes widespread damage, in the arteries, heart, kidneys, eyes and brain, over a period of time. An ideal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. Cutting back on drinking alcohol and increasing exercise can have an immediate positive effect on blood pressure.

Cut back on sodium: Statistics show that an average American male can easily take in 6 grams of sodium within his daily diet. This much sodium is more than twice the amount that is recommended. A lot of sodium comes from fast foods, processed meats, prepared foods and restaurant foods. It is key for men to try to eat as much high potassium food as high sodium food; those who do are more likely to lower their risk of heart disease.

Don’t ignore warning signs: Men should never ignore any unusual pain, ache or other possible warning sign of a symptom of something that could be dangerous. Men are known to “brush it off” or think it's “probably nothing” but it is always important to stay on the safe side and see a doctor.

To all men out there, enjoy the month of June and all of the good that come with it, but don’t forget to finish out the second half of this year on a healthy note!

David Arlington is an intern in the community relations office at Eastern Niagara Health System and a student at Baldwin Wallace University. Eastern Niagara Healthlines is a biweekly feature by ENHS. Questions may be directed to 514-5505.