Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wellness Wit and Wisdom

By Maureen Deutermann, MSN, R.N.
Director of Community Education

Warning! This column is for women only!!!

They are undoubtedly from another planet. They leave the toilet seat up, and their dirty socks down (on the ground wherever they took them off!). They are slow to fix a leaky faucet but quick to disappear at the dreaded phrase, “let’s go shopping.” They have no clue that television programs should be watched one at a time, unless of course it’s a football game.

They are the men in our lives, and despite their idiosyncrasies, they are treasures. They may not understand why we cry, but they dry our tears. They patiently explain the mysteries under a car hood or extol the virtues of their collapsible ladder, blissfully oblivious to our blank stares.

They are little league coaches, landscapers, handymen and even short order cooks. They are our fathers, brothers, husbands, lovers and friends. Exasperating and wonderful, these great guys are nonetheless not invincible.

June is National Men’s Health Month. Time to lovingly nudge the men in your life toward improved health. Consider these facts:

1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men in the U.S.
2. Men are 30% more likely to suffer a stroke than women.
3. In 2006, over 90% of lung cancer deaths in men were attributed to smoking.
4. Overall, seven of 11 adults visiting doctors are women, despite the fact that men die younger than women.
5. Men who watch television for three or more hours per day are twice as likely to be obese as men who watch for less than an hour.
6. In a decade-long British research study, the death rate (from all causes) of least sexually active men was found to be twice as high than the most sexually active group.

Given the above statistics, try these nearly painless strategies:

1. Urge your gentlemen to visit a physician on a regular basis. Many risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, have no symptoms but are easily detected through simple procedures. Likewise, many cancers respond wonderfully to therapy, but early detection and treatment are vital.
2. Don’t expect the man in your life to get off the couch unless you join him. Walking together three to four times a week will do you both good. Have that doctor’s visit first if exercise has long been a foreign word.
3. If your guy is a smoker, strongly support his non-smoking efforts.
4. Re: #6 above. Advice is self-explanatory. Go for it, ladies!

Celebrate those precious men in your life with love and gratitude!

Reference: Center for Disease Control; wholefitness.com