Men’s Health Week has been celebrated annually during the week leading up to Father’s Day, and June has been designated as Men’s Health Month. So, guys, just in case you haven’t been taking care of yourself “Here’s your sign!” The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Help spread the word by wearing blue on the Friday before Father’s Day by wearing blue. But more importantly, take time during the year to get regular health checkups, watch your diet, and get plenty of exercise. Remember, men’s health is a family issue, as it impacts wives, daughters, mothers and sisters. Find more activities that you can do year-round, and other activities that are happening during the week and month, on the Men’s Health Month website.
If you have a desk job, (or know someone who does) you may want this heads up. Research is revealing the health dangers of being tied to a desk for 8 hours each day. And yes, it’s being described as “the new cancer” because it’s that bad for you! Yet there’s hope: a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology shows that standing more could potentially ward off the weight gain that contributes to increased health problems and comes with being sedentary. While your boss might frown upon you getting up and walking around every 20 minutes, you might want to consider asking for a standing desk, a fixture gaining popularity and use in offices around the country. Researchers say that standing versus sitting for six hours a day would help a 143-pound person burn an extra 54 calories a day. Add it up over the course of a year, and that’s equal to 5.5 pounds of fat! It’s admittedly not enough for you to rely on solely as your exercise program, but the added benefits of increased circulation, and lowered blood sugar, triglycerides, and blood pressure certainly give you something to stand and think about…
Are you planning a vacation this summer? For decades, Americans took an average of 20 vacation days each year. But in the year 2000, that number started to decline. Today, the average American worker takes only 16 vacation days, almost a full work-week less. And one third of those who do take time off report that they bring along at least some work with them, saying that it is “somewhat” to “extremely” important to do so. In a world where time demands have risen exponentially on employees, many report fearing negative feedback from their bosses about taking time off, or returning to an overwhelming pile of work. But getting out of your routine and getting away bring much-needed health benefits.
Several studies of vacation habits and heart disease, for instance, found that men who skipped their vacations for five years running were 30 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who took at least a week off each year. Women who stepped away from work less than once every six years were almost eight times as likely to have heart problems. It’s been reported that engaging in regular leisure activities like vacations lead to lower blood pressure, thinner waistlines and an overall feeling of improved health, including an improvement in family relationships. And women who take at least two vacations a year are less likely to become tense or depressed and were more satisfied with their marriages. So if you haven’t already planned a getaway, get with the family, grab your calendar and let your boss know when you’re “gettin’ outta’ Dodge” this summer for some R&R. It’ll be good for everybody involved!
Here in southwest Georgia we are in the midst of “another hot one”! But while you may be used to it, the effects of extreme heat are nothing to ignore. Sadly, and although preventable, there were 7,416 heat-related deaths from extreme heat in the United States from 1999 through 2010. Contributing factors are high humidity, which makes it difficult for your body to release heat effectively, and personal health, such as age, weight, poor circulation, and prescription drug and alcohol use. Those most at risk are those 65 years or older, children under 2, and those with chronic diseases. Keep safe by staying hydrated (drinking even more water than you’re used to), limiting outside activity (especially sports-related), wearing light, loose-fitting clothing, taking cool showers or baths, wearing properly-applied sunscreen, and staying in air-conditioned areas when possible. And remember to never leave pets or children unattended in a car, even for a short while. During periods of dangerously high heat stay tuned for news bulletins on the radio or TV.
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