With everything going on nowadays – COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and overall daily stressors, it’s easy to ignore one’s health issues. If your spouse or partner is like mine, he avoids going to the doctor at all costs. My husband practically has to feel like he’s “dying” if he really needs to make an appointment to see his doctor.

How appropriate that this month is Men’s Health Awareness Month. This is a perfect time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men and focus on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop, and gain the courage to do something about it. Early detection is always best and key to improving one’s health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are 100% more likely than men to seek preventative health care. What a statistic but certainly not unbelievable! My husband is a classic example. He recently experienced some chest pains. He only went to the doctor a day later after I forced him to get checked.

So let’s do our part as women to encourage and help our husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, or friends to make their health a priority with these simple ideas:

Go with them to their doctor’s appointment.

It is so important that men get their health checked at least annually. An annual physical will determine if cholesterol, glucose, or weight are at appropriate levels. At a certain age, men need to have their prostate checked and if they have any risk factors for cancers or heart disease, those need to be monitored as well. Preconception health is something I wished my husband spoke with his doctor sooner.

But it’s one thing to make an appointment. If your husband is like mine, he’ll make a doctor’s appointment after much nagging from me but then if work or something else comes up, he’ll gladly cancel or forget about his appointment. And he won’t bother to reschedule.

So in order to make sure your man in your life goes to his doctor’s appointment, it is highly recommended that you go with him. It’ll surely give him comfort knowing that you’re there to support and understand any of the doctor’s medical advice or diagnosis.

You’ll know what next steps to take – whether a blood test is needed or a followup appointment with a specialist – and hold him accountable to it.

Eat healthy foods with them.

Most men love their BBQ and brews. But it’s important that they eat healthy foods to prevent chronic diseases.

Whether it is introducing them to avocado toast, cauliflower fried rice, or zucchini spaghetti – you can help them eat healthy. Show them that healthy food can taste good too.

There are so many healthy options now on the market as well as a range of diets (paleo, vegan, keto, etc.) that may be a better choice for men to maintain their health.

My husband and I don’t do diets but we eat things in moderation. We indulge in wine and sweets every now and then. We try our best to be an example to our kids by showing them that eating fruits and vegetables daily whether it is a snack or part of a meal is a good thing to do.

Be active together.

It’s one thing to eat healthier together, but it is also important to be active together. Exercise doesn’t just have to be doing workouts together at home or at the gym. Running, biking, swimming or going for a hike are great physical activities.

The CDC states that regular physical exercise has many benefits – control one’s weight, reduce your risk for heart disease or certain cancers, and improve your mental health and mood.

Being active together as a family during these unprecedented times of social distancing has definitely kept us sane. Going for daily walks and runs around the neighborhood while discussing daily events has eased our stress. We love to play soccer with other families but because of the pandemic we’ve resorted to bike riding as a family in the meantime until we can start safely scrimmaging again.

My husband loves to start his day by getting in his daily runs in the morning before he goes to work. He’s always been a runner and by cheering him on when he does his half-marathon events, we support his active lifestyle.

Talk about mental health.

Mental health awareness is so important. We’re going through some crazy times these days and men are not known to talk about their feelings or show their emotions. They tend to cover it up with their work or just bottle it all up. Instead of ignoring it, be open and available to talk about life’s stressors and struggles.

According to the CDC, depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs of depression – persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.

If any of those affect the men in your life, seek help as soon as possible. Call 911, visit a nearby emergency department or your health care provider’s office or call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor.

Conclusion – Let’s Help Our Men

We want the men in our lives to live a healthier, happier, and longer life. I know I want to grow old with my husband and he wants to see his children grow up. Thank goodness his recent chest pains were just attributed to acid reflux.

My husband is due for his annual physical soon so what better time to schedule that than now with Father’s Day just around the corner. My children and I want to continue to celebrate many Father’s Days with him.

Let’s help our men continue to make their health a priority with these simple steps:

  • Go with them to their doctor’s appointment.
  • Eat healthy foods with them.
  • Be active together.
  • Talk about mental health.

Hope this helps the men in your life whether it be your husband, father, son, brother, or friend.

Faith, hope, and love always.

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33 Comments

  1. Hi Dana,

    Thanks for this article so that we could help men(not just husbands maybe fathers…) to live healthier lives. Among all, I have to admit that people tend to ignore mental health because it brings more bad influences to our bodies.
    I also like the ways you mentioned here to help husbands such as eating healthy and exercise together. Those are indeed a good way to keep them balanced and to cultivate a better relationship.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Matt

    1. My parents have been married for 50 years now – my mom always made it a point to go with my dad to his doctor’s appt so she knew what the doctor recommended. It saved us from not knowing because usually he would just tell us that the doctor told him he was fine. Thanks for reading!

  2. I think I am more like a man in that aspect. It takes me forever before I see a doctor, but if it is something like the cold or flu I always see the doctor rightaway before that gets worse.
    Healthy food certainly helps. I am vegan and so I eat a lot of plant-based food, and I have noticed how my health has improved.
    I think it is interesting that men don’t go to the doctor easily but the pain treshold is lower with men than with women. At least, that’s what I read and what I hear everywhere 🙂

    1. You’re right and I agree with you – men have lower threshold for pain – but they still won’t go to the doctor. I have friends that are now vegan and I see the benefits. Was it hard to switch and eat just plant-based foods?

  3. I really enjoyed this article. It’s funny how you mentioned healthy foods to introduce to our men; I just recently started fixing my fiance healthier foods since he needs to lose a lot of weight. I fixed him the food you mentioned. Avocado with fried egg on whole wheat toast (which he loved!), Cauliflower rice, and even zucchini pasta!
    He seems to like it!
    Also, I understand what you mean by getting them to go to the doctor. Man injured his knee four months ago and refused to go get it checked out. He finally couldn’t stand the pain anymore and went. Turns out that he ripped three of the four tendons in his knee and has to have surgery later this month.
    Thanks for sharing and I love the idea about going to the doctor’s with them! That might help a great deal!
    Best wishes,
    Devara

    1. Glad you had your fiancé try out some of the healthier options. Hope he has a successful surgery and speedy recovery. And yes, please go with him:) Take care!

  4. Depression, crazy to think about it. But it’s so true. I had it for many years and ended up taking medication that actually rewired my neurons and it went away. It was a miracle drug, and I don’t even remember what it was called. It was years ago, but I agree with this article. Thank you so much. Very heartfelt for sure.

  5. Hi Dana, you are so right when you say that men do not easily go to the doctor, and my husband is a prime example of that. But I am aware of the fact that since our boys left home and we have an empty nest, that we don’t do enough exercise together. We occassionally gor for a long walk, but this is a good reminder that we need to do more. 

    Mental health is also essential, so thanks for highlighting so many aspects where we as women can help to support the men in our lives to look after and improve their health. Liné

    1. Thank you! Walking is a good start, just got to do it at least daily. We went from walking to running, and now our latest thing is biking together. Your health is your wealth!

  6. What a great article. Thanks for writing about his very important issue and people in all our live. It is definitely an awareness that needs to be repeated over and over again as it is really helpful. Thanks for sharing and the detailed information.

  7. Men’s health is something that do not affect only men and at various junctions, it has bearing on the women attached to them too. From wives, to mothers and friends, it is really worthy that we are all aware and willing to help out and help to settle issues that are really wrong with men and how to settle things with them. This is a Great one and seeing this period as a time to really put away the differences and do the right things

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  9. Hello there, This is a very beautiful article that you have got here, I really appreciate you kind gestures and belief I’m supporting the wellness of you man (husband or partner). This article is very educative and it instructs women to take cognisance if their partners health. I enjoyed going through this article here in you website.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Pls feel free to share with others – the healthier we are, the better we are as a community!

  10. Hi dana

    thanks for sharing this informative review, it’s really helpful to us. Often times men keep things to themselves most especially when it concerns their health they really don’t want to share. There’s a  saying that  men are the  head and women are the neck, when the neck is active their is no way the heads going to  fall. Please women your man health wise and everything that  concerns  them. 

    1. I love that saying “men are the head and women are the neck, when the neck is active there is no way the head is going to fall.” I’ve never heard that before, but it is so true. Thanks for sharing and take care!

  11. Hi,
    I enjoyed reading your article.
    For my family, the roles of myself and my wife are reversed. My wife is working full time while I take care of my 4-year-old daughter and do some works at home.

    I haven’t been aware that women are 100% more likely to seek preventative healthcare issues than men. I laughed when I read this part because I care about health more than my wife. 🙂 . I’d better encourage my wife to think about her health issues.
    My wife and I visit a doctor for the comprehensive check-up once every two years. I wonder if I need to do a check-up more often.

    All four tips are great ones. I will keep them in my mind and apply all of them to myself and my wife.
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks Jason for sharing! Your health is your wealth as well as your wife’s, so please encourage her to see her ob/gyn at least once a year. Depending on her age, her ob/gyn doctor will recommend what checkups are necessary. Take care!

  12. I guess I also kind of fit into that stereotype of avoiding health care when I don’t think it is needed, but I didn’t think the statistic was that women are 100% more likely to seek help than men! This was definitely an informative read, and I’ll make sure to pass this article along to some others in my life.

    Thank you for sharing!
    -Joseph

  13. Wow, what a stat: women are 100% more likely than men to seek preventative health care. Not much leeway in that one!!! Why do you think it’s so definitive between men and women?

    I used to be fully in that corner when I was younger, but over the years I’ve seen a lot of hidden problems that show up and it’s too late. Those experiences along with a health condition of my own a few years ago have definitely changed my tune.

    Luckily for me, I’m married to a very supportive spouse who is also a health care worker. She keeps us both on track and was glad to check off a few of the boxes on your topics above. Diet, exercise and regular doctor visits are part of our family, including my SON. Hopefully we can start to change the trend and get that number down from 100% in the future.

    Thanks for sharing, Kerry

    1. I don’t know Kerry…is it because men see it as a sign of weakness to seek help and/or women by nature are more nurturing therefore we want to get help or help others?? I’m not sure but huge kudos to your wife who is a health care worker during this COVID-19 pandemic. I think this pandemic has made us all realize how important our health is and how we shouldn’t take it for granted. May you and your family continue to stay safe and healthy!

  14. Dana,
    Thank you very much for this post. It is a great reminder for me to be pro-active in taking care of my family’s health, not only my baby but my husband as well.
    I try to cook healthy food every day. So with work from home order, my husband can eat healthy lunch on his break. Because he works 12hr shifts and sometimes at work he forgets to have lunch and gets so caught up with work.
    Men, sometimes they don’t want to show it or tell what’s going on in their minds. It’s normal because of their men’s ego. My husband always wants to make sure our baby and I go to our doctor’s appointments. He puts us first but often neglects his own health.
    Once again thank you for your post, I’ll make sure to take care of my family’s health. 🙂

    1. Sounds like my husband too…he will remind us about our appts but forget about his. With this pandemic and staying home more often, I got to cook healthier meals for my family and my husband was able to bring lunch to work instead of resorting to fast food meals. Take care and stay healthy!

  15. It’s important as a senior man to brush up on your health facts, you must also listen to your body and be sure to get regular checkups. by doing this, Not only will you live longer,  you’ll have a better quality of life.

    i have learnt a lot from this article that you have posted. i would like to share it with my friends

    1. Totally agree with you on living a longer and better quality of life. Pls feel free to share with you friends. Thank you so much!

  16. Luckily I am a man that knows how to open up and I am also someone that looks after himself. However, being in the Fitness Industry for as long as I have,  numerous male clients let egos get in the way of their health. Many of them want to bury their heads in the sand, instead of facing the truth. I am loving the motivation in your articles. Thank you.

  17. hello Dana,

    so thoughtful of you to share such an insightful post on men’s health awareness month and how women can help… Thanks for writing about his very important issue and people in all our live. It is definitely an awareness that needs to be repeated over and over again as it is really helpful..

    thanks a lot for sharing, I look forward to share it on my social media page…

    1. You’re very welcome! It’s in our nature to take care of others:) Another male reader stated that it’s all because of a man’s ego that they don’t take care of themselves…we’ve got to change that by raising awareness. 

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