Most men feel comfortable discussing severe pain they are experiencing after a hard workout, working in the yard or just sleeping in an awkward position the night before. Emotional pain is a different story. Feelings of depression, loneliness, or anxiety on a regular basis often get stuffed down and ignored. June is “Men’s Health Month” and we want to focus on more than just the physical side.
We are committed to helping men live a more healthful and active lifestyle. We want to encourage you to make this a month to evaluate all aspects of your health and rally the men in your life to do the same. With more and more people experiencing high levels of stress and a more sedentary lifestyle, we want to encourage you to take the following actions this month and the rest of the summer to commit to better overall health:
- Get busy. No, not with your job, but with a hobby. No matter what type of pastime makes you smile, make an effort to pursue it more often this summer. Pleasure activities stimulate your brain in a different way than work and chores do, leading to greater feelings of peace and wellbeing. Bonus points if your hobby gets you active and puts you in contact with others; Many studies have found that those who practice leisure activities in a social setting are less likely to experience depression than those who participate alone.
- Get moving. You probably already know this, but a multitude of studies (let alone common sense) have proven that exercise stimulates production and release of endorphins. These hormones can reduce the perception of pain and trigger positive feelings. You don’t have to run a marathon or work out for hours to get the natural high; studies have shown that both lifting weights and steady-state cardio can each significantly boost your mood as well as help fight obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Make a commitment to exercising 30-minutes or more each day.
- Check it. Let’s face it, men often avoid visiting the doctor until it’s necessary. Make a point this month to set that appointment. Get a regular check-up as well as those screenings for prostate cancer and skin cancer (two of the leading…and preventable cancers in men) and make this more a priority each year.
We take all aspects of men’s health seriously every month, but let’s all commit to focusing on the men in our lives this month and start some new healthy habits that will last for years to come. To show support for Men’s Health Month, be sure to wear blue this Friday, June 15th. For more tips and information, be sure to visit MensHealthMonth.org.