Men’s Health Month is celebrated each June to encourage men and their families to seek out preventive care, engage in healthy lifestyle choices, and raise awareness of male health issues. The Men’s Health Network, its partners, and participating organizations around the globe use this month to actively promote screenings, host health fairs, and engage in various health education and outreach activities.

If you are a male and have ever avoided a visit to the doctor or have been continuously encouraged by loved ones to get a regular checkup, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are 100 percent more likely than men to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventative services. With fewer checkups and preventive health measures being taken on an annual basis, men have a higher likelihood of suffering from heart disease, cancer, injuries, HIV/AIDS, and various other health issues.

Wellmark Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tim Gutshall says the most important way to prevent these health problems is to establish a relationship with a primary care physician and get age appropriate screenings that they recommend based on your personal and family health history, adding, “A disease found in its beginning stages is more likely to have a better outcome if treated early on.”

Get active. Engaging in physical activity every day can significantly improve one’s health by reducing the risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and type 2 diabetes. Activities as simple as walking the dog and cleaning the house benefit your health. Young males should be encouraged to participate in sports or other activities to keep them active and healthy.

Manage stress levels. Our response to stress can affect our health. Alleviating stress by doing yoga, reading, running, meditating, and spending time with loved ones are healthy means of coping. If stress levels are not maintained at a healthy rate, it can lead to stroke, depression, heart disease, and stomach disorders.

Get the most from your calories. Consume foods low in calories and high in vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Cut down on foods with high calories and low nutritional benefits to avoid overconsumption of empty calories.

Live tobacco free. The health benefits of a smoke free lifestyle are numerous. Not only does risk of heart disease drop significantly, but the risks of being diagnosed with lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and cataracts decrease as well.

Men’s Health is an important family issue. Take time throughout June to raise awareness, encourage loved ones to take preventive health measures, and engage in healthy lifestyle choices.

For more information on health and health insurance, call the Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Personal Health Assistant 24/7 at 1-800-724-9122, or visit www.wellmark.com.

From Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield