Men’s health month: Tips for longer, happier lives

Delaware Public Health celebrates Men’s Health Month with smart tips for men and boys to reduce their chances of getting chronic diseases, illnesses, and injuries.

Step 1: Prevent Diseases, Illnesses, and Injuries
· Obesity and sedentary lifestyles among men and boys are linked to escalating chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Men should get regular physical activity, make healthy food choices, maintain a healthy weight, and drink only in moderation. DPH supports the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages. Learn more from the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living.

· Boys and men should avoid using tobacco (including vaping), and seek help in quitting tobacco use. DPH’s Quitline program offers in-person, phone, and online resources for Delawareans 18 and older who want to quit smoking; call toll-free at 866-409-1858.

· Visit health care providers regularly for recommended check-ups and preventive screenings.

· Help newborn boys receive the best nutrition by encouraging their mothers to breastfeed.

· Visit the dentist for dental cleanings twice a year to remove plaque that can cause infections. Dentists also check the tongue, gums, lips, and inside of the mouth for oral cancer and other health problems. Learn more from the Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services.

· Seek treatment for addiction to illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol through www.helpisherede.com. It is an informational website built especially for Delawareans.

· Be smart on the roads. When driving or riding in a motor vehicle, wear seatbelts and use car seats. Be responsible: drivers should never text or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Bicyclists should wear bike helmets and follow laws. Pedestrians should wear reflective or light-colored clothing and cross at crosswalks.

· Eliminate household health risks. Keep prescription drugs out of reach of others, especially small children, and seek medicine disposal sites. (Delaware has eight permanent drug disposal sites.) If guns are in the house, remove them or keep them in a locked gun safe. Test the air for radon, which causes lung cancer. In homes that are older than 1978, test walls and railings for lead paint, which cause learning and behavioral disabilities in children. For more tips, visit the Delaware Healthy Homes Program.

Step 2: Monitor Your Health
Stay one step ahead of discomfort and disease by getting checkups each year or more often, depending on your age and risk factors for disease.

· The most commonly diagnosed cancers among men include prostate, lung, and colorectal types. To learn how to prevent and detect all cancers, visit http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph/dpc/cancer.html.

· Keep track of your numbers with easy-to-use home glucose monitors and blood pressure monitors. Providers determine blood cholesterol levels via bloodwork.

· Monitor your weight at home or at the fitness center. Then plug your weight and your height into a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to determine if you’re at a healthy weight or not. Use the Health and Human Services’ BMI calculator. For heart health tips, visit http://millionheartsde.com.

· On the field or court, wear eye and mouth protection to reduce your chance of injuries. Seek your health care provider’s advice immediately when experiencing a sports injury.

· If feeling unusually sad, anxious, worried, angry, or stressed, talk to your health care provider.

Step 3: Immunization
Keep immunizations up to date to prevent multiple infectious diseases, and lost work and school time. Children, teenagers, and adults need to prevent measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis, Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, chickenpox, and shingles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended vaccination schedules can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. The Delaware Immunization Program provides children and adult immunization records upon request by calling 800-282-8672.

Step 4: Take Control
If you’ve put your health on the back burner, change your attitude toward healing and take better care of yourself. Boost your awareness of other ways to improve your health so you can age well without experiencing preventable health hardships.

For more information about Men’s Health Month, visit www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph and http://www.foh.hhs.gov/calendar/june.html.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
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