Each year, the week leading up to Fathers’ Day marks National Men’s Health Week. So let’s talk about men’s health and how you can keep it in focus not just this week, but every week!
Men’s health is so much more than a yearly physical and the occasional trip to the gym. In fact, there are so many factors that go into your overall well-being that it’s easy to overlook a few of them. This week is about celebrating what you’re doing well as much as it’s about doing something new. Let’s talk about different ways you can give attention to your health this week.
Men and Physical Health
Let’s start with the most obvious way to care for your physical health: exercise. It comes in all different shapes, so why not try something new this week? Skip the gym and go for a long walk in a park you normally don’t go to. Get your friends or family together and go bowling. Volunteer somewhere that requires some labor, like cleaning at a local non-profit or even visiting an animal shelter.
Another obvious way to stay physically fit — eating healthy. Now, we fully support the occasional treat, but your day-to-day diet should be filled with fruits, vegetables, and grains while avoiding sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods. We know that dietary needs change as we age, so make sure you know the recommended diet for you and stick to it as best you can.
Drink water! They say if you’re feeling thirsty then you’re already dehydrated. So challenge yourself to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day this week — then keep doing it. Dehydration can be serious, especially for older adults, so this small goal can have a major impact on your health.
Finally, take time this week to schedule an appointment with a provider you haven’t seen in a while (or at all), like a dermatologist, dentist or orthopedic. Do you have any aches and pains that you’ve been ignoring? Use National Men’s Health Week to get them checked out.
Men’s Mental Health
Mental health is health too and should be celebrated during Men’s Health Week! The stigma of this type of care is gone, and people are now openly sharing their mental health journeys. There is no shame in speaking to a professional to help you shake those blues away. Know the signs of stress, and reach out to others if you’re feeling isolated. You can also read our article about being your own mental health advocate here.
Did you know that being tidy has mental health benefits? Take time this week to declutter. Whether it’s the garage, a closet, or even just a countertop — clearing your living space helps clear your mind. Plus, the act of cleaning counts as exercise, so it’s a two-for-one task!
Getting outside is another great way to boost your well-being. The sun has plenty of Vitamin D that can improve your mood and even help you fight illnesses. Get outside to garden or play a round of golf. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing so you don’t get burned!