Men’s Health Month: Five ways to improve your health this summer

June is Men’s Health Month, and we are focusing on five ways to keep your health in check this summer. Men are less likely to take their health seriously or to visit their doctor for regular exams, both of which can lead to sustained illnesses that could be easily prevented. This summer, focus on your health and follow these tips to leading a healthier life.

1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water every day is not only crucial for adequate hydration during the hottest months of the year, but also in preventing kidney stones. Kidney stones occur more frequently in men than women – approximately 19 percent of men are affected in their lifetime, as opposed to nine percent of women. Symptoms of kidney stones include nausea and vomiting, severe back and side pain, blood in the urine and fever.

TIP: It is generally recommended that you drink around 64 ounces of water per day, unless otherwise advised by a doctor. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to save money and to remind you to get in your daily water.

2. Quit Smoking

Lung cancer is more likely to occur in men than in women and is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. Around 1 in 14 men is likely to develop lung cancer in his life and black men are 20 percent more likely to develop it than white men. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, and although quitting is hard, it’s essential to prevent lung cancer and other lung diseases.

TIP: Join Infirmary Health at North Baldwin Infirmary and Atmore Community Hospital for an eight-week Freedom from Smoking program. You can also join the online program at FreedomFromSmoking.org.

3. Wear Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen is crucial in the summer months, especially before a day at the beach, out on the boat or in the garden pulling weeds. But, it is also important to wear sunscreen even if you are just running errands around town. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their life, and wearing sunblock, a hat and sunglasses is crucial to prevent developing the disease.

TIP: Check out our last blog to read more about staying ahead of skin cancer and how to check for possible signs and symptoms.

4. Get Active

Keeping an active lifestyle is important for maintaining your overall wellbeing. It can also help lower your chance for heart disease, give you more energy, and help you sleep. Getting outside in the sunshine for even a few minutes a day (with sunscreen on!) is also beneficial for vitamin D production.

TIP: Joining a local gym, getting outside to walk around and even playing with your kids or grandkids are just a few easy ways to get moving on a daily basis.

5. See your doctor for regular checkups

Visiting your doctor for regular checkups is important in maintaining your health. Pay attention to anything out of the ordinary such as chest pain, shortness of breath and intense headaches. Schedule an appointment to discuss them with your doctor. Catching problems like cancer and infections in their early stages is crucial for effective treatment.

Share these tips with other men in your life, and talk to your doctor about other ways you can improve your health this summer.

Resources:

National Institutes of Health https://www.nih.gov/
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/
National Kidney Foundation https://www.kidney.org/
American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/
Harvard Medical School http://www.health.harvard.edu/