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Healthy You

Men’s Health: Staying Healthy

Thursday, November 10, 2016 7:34 AM

During the month of November you may start to notice a lot of mustaches appearing on men’s faces. Is it the dropping temperatures or a new fashion statement? Nope! The month of November is now known to many men as “Movember.”

What is Movember? Movember is about the importance of men’s health: focusing on having men live happier, healthier, longer lives. Men can sign up, pledge to grow a mustache and funds raised will focus on awareness in areas such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. Women can also sign up to pledge their support in fundraising and committing to exercise – for their own fitness and to encourage the men in their lives to join them.

David Vigder, MD, Internal Medicine at NorthShore, shares how you can participate in the men’s health movement year round:

  • Visit your doctor. Annual checkups are very important – whether you are sick or healthy. Your annual appointments with your doctor are important to monitor your health history so their doctor can treat problems before they start. Men over the age of 50 get a prostate exam at their annual checkups and men over 65 get checked for an enlargement in your aorta.
  • Know your prostate cancer risk. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Men should know their family history of the disease, ask their doctor for a prostate cancer screening and know their PSA numbers.
  • Familiarize yourself with testicular cancer symptoms. While testicular cancer is rare, men between the ages of 15 and 34 are more likely to be diagnosed. Some of the common symptoms of testicular cancer include: size or shape change in one or both testicles, a heaviness feeling in the scrotum and a dull pain in the lower back, abdomen or groin.
  • Keep your mental health in check. You have to focus on your mental health just as you would your physical health. Connect with people in your life whether it is your coworkers, friends, neighbors or family. There may be days where you feel down, but it will get better. If you feel that you are in a consistent blue mood, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
  • Move more! Not enough Americans meet the guidelines for physical activity. Start small with taking stairs instead of the elevator, walk on your lunch break and plan for a quick run after work. The average American should be getting 150 minutes of physical activity in every week.
  • Make smart choices. Changing little habits such as water instead of pop, applying sunscreen and getting in an extra hour of sleep versus TV time help. A little bit goes a long way.

How do you keep your health in check? Don’t forget to remind the men in your life to get to the doctor and be aware of their health this month and all year long.