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June is Mens Health Month

Revving up for good health is the theme of Kelly Bonifer's "men's health" focus. She makes the point that the same prevention concepts that keepa man's prized automobile in topcondition can be applied to his personalhealth.

For many men, their most prizedpossession is their automobile. A lotof consideration is given to the make, modeland reliability of the vehicle. Ifthe automobile was pre owned, you expect a fullreport of its maintenancehistory. Once the purchase has been made, youwant to do everythingpossible to maximize the performance of thevehicle. You make sure the tirepressure is correct. You use the recommendedmotor oil and fuel. You takethe car to the garage for routine maintenancechecks. Occasionally, you haveto fix minor problems such as flat tires or brokenwindshield wipers.Sometimes, there are problems that you cantdiagnose or repair by yourself,so you work with a mechanic. And every once ina while, the car may needemergency service.

The same prevention concepts that keepyour automobile in topcondition can be applied to your personalhealth. According to a surveycommissioned by The Commonwealth Fund,men were less likely thanwomen to get routine checkups or preventativecare and often, ignoresymptoms and delay seeking medical help evenwhen sick or in pain. One infour men reported that they would wait as longas possible before seeing adoctor if they were in pain or feeling sick. Inaddition, 33 percent of the mensurveyed did not have a regular doctor.Whereas, only 19 percent of womendid not have a regular doctor.

Over half of all male deaths in Kentuckyeach year are caused byeither heart disease or cancer. Men need totake the drivers seat inaddressing these health issues. The first step isto practice healthy behaviorsand lifestyles that can help prevent heartdisease and some types of cancer.This includes not smoking, being physicallyactive, eating a healthy diet richin fruits, vegetables and whole grains, eatingless saturated fat andcholesterol, limiting alcohol consumption, usingsunscreen, and controllingyour weight.

Next, routine maintenance is necessary toprevent illness or catch it inthe earliest stages. In addition to annual vision,dental and hearing checkups,men ought to make sure that their healthcareprovider is monitoring theirblood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugarlevels.

During the annual health exam, men needto ask about specificscreenings such as colo-rectal, prostate,testicular and skin cancer exams.Knowing your familys health history will help thedoctor decide what agethese exams need to be done. Dont be afraidto have tests done. The earliera problem is detected, the greater chance forrecovery.

According to the Centers for DiseaseControl, over 1,200 Kentuckymen died from unintentional injuries in the year2000. This is the thirdleading cause of death for Kentucky men. Thebiggest culprit of these deathswas motor vehicle accidents. To reduce thechances of a fatal car crash, useyour seat belt, keep your speed down and dontdrive while sleepy or underthe influence of drugs or alcohol.

So remember your car is not the onlything that needs a regulartune up. Take care of your health like you takecare of your car withprevention and regular maintenance. For moreinformation, please contactthe Adair County Cooperative ExtensionService.

Educational programs of the KentuckyCooperative Extension serve allpeople regardless of race, color, age, sex,religion, disability or nationalorigin.

---Kelli BoniferCounty Extension Agent for Family & Consumer Sciences
Adair County Cooperative Extension Service
P. O. Box 309
Columbia, KY 42728
PHONE: (270) 384-2317
FAX: (270) 384-9167

This story was posted on 2003-06-24 01:00:00
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