Healthy Bites for June: Men's Health Month

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Men's health issues significantly impact everyone around them and far too many men do not ever see a doctor unless there is something seriously wrong or a partner or spouse makes the appointment for them. A good time to do that is June, Men's Health Month. Anchored by a Congressional health education program, Men's Health Month is intended to increase awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Check out the following tips and information for improving men's health.

Men's healthTips for Improving Men's Health:

Get regular check-ups. Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to make unhealthy or risky choices and put off regular checkups and medical care. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help diagnose issues early. If you can't remember the last time you had a check-up, call and make an appointment.

Sleep matters. Not getting enough sleep is associated with chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Lack of sleep is also responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents, causing significant injury and disability yearly. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep.

Move more, sit less. June is a great time to start a healthier lifestyle by being more physically active. Research shows exercise helps prevent heart disease and obesity, and lowers blood pressure. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes on most days. You can even spread it out over the course of your day.
Eat healthier. Ways to improve the nutritional quality of your diet include eating a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat foods. Especially limit cholesterol intake and avoid saturated fats. Be a healthy role model and encourage others to eat healthy and lead by example.

Toss tobacco. It's never too late to quit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. It improves health and lowers risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses. Avoid being around secondhand smoke. Inhaling other people's smoke causes health problems similar to those of smokers.

Pay Attention to Warning Lights. When a warning light flashes on the car dashboard, most men take the car to the shop. But when warning lights flash on their body, most men don't (or won't) notice. Examples of flashing lights to look for are changes in bowel or bladder habits, persistent backaches, recurrent chest pains, shortness of breath, excessive thirst, and extreme fatigue. Keep track of your numbers for blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), or any others you may have.

Women and men should educate themselves about potential male health problems. Check out for resources and health facts. For more food, nutrition, and health information from Nebraska Extension go to

Feel free to use/adapt Healthy Bites material (with credit) for your own articles, blogs, handouts, etc. An example credit line would be: Authored by or Adapted from Lisa Franzen-Castle, PhD, RD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Nutrition Specialist. Healthy Bites Newsletter,, June 2015.

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More resources:

All the Healthy Bites. Healthy Bites is a newsletter that focuses on a different food, nutrition and / or health theme for each month.

Cook it Quick. Our goal is to make you "hungry for healthy food" by offering tips and delicious, quick-to-prepare, inexpensive recipes.

Food Reflections. Food Reflections is a monthly email newsletter. Each issue provides a "how-to" message on food, nutrition, or food safety for health professionals, educators, and consumers.

Family Fun on the Run. Monthly newsletters are designed to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle by making walking an important part of your personal fitness program.

Food Fun for Young Children. Serving up quick, healthy snack ideas for younger children.

Nebraska Extension Food, Nutrition, and Health by the Month Calendar. National Food Days, Weeks, and Months for June.