All posts filed under “Men’s Health

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Cold vs the Flu

It is the middle of the week and you’re looking forward to going to the Blazer game on Saturday night. You’re feeling a little tired but maybe it’s because you didn’t sleep well. You continue your day and by lunch you notice that your throat is also a little scratchy and your nose is a little stuffy. You think you maybe it’s a cold but the flu has been sweeping through the office. So how can you tell if you are coming down with a cold or with the flu? The chart below might help you out.

Cold Symptoms

  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Headache
  • Lasts 7-10 days

Flu Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Last 5-7 days

Whether you have a cold or the flu it is important to take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough rest, drink plenty of fluids, and stay home from work so that you don’t get anybody else sick. One of the best ways you can prevent getting the flu is by getting a flu shot. If you have any concerns it is best to talk with your doctor. Stay healthy and have fun this winter.

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Exercise for men’s health

Men, they bear the social burden of having to be strong both mentally and physically. Yet the highest rate of depression is in men who are 40-59 years old, and 41% of men who live in high-income countries do not exercise enough. Being aware of these conditions might not change these numbers but it can help those who are affected by them. Here are ten facts about how physical activity helps improve mental health as well as overall health.

  1. Exercise releases feel good chemicals in the brain, this can ease depression
  2. Exercise can improve sleep
  3. Exercise can increase energy and stamina
  4. Weight loss may be achieved
  5. Self-confidence may be improved
  6. Reduce your risk of chronic disease
  7. Improve learning skills
  8. Helps boost decision making skills
  9. Decreases stress
  10. Strengthens heart as well as muscles

It is suggested that adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Exercise is a great way to boost mental and physical health but it is important that you check with your doctor before you being your mood improving journey. Physical activity is also a great way to get involved in the community, and build connections and support within families. If you or somebody you know is suffering from physical inactivity or mental health issues, there is no better way to show your support than by getting out there and exercising with them. How will you being your journey?

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nick Page

 

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What is manlier than a well groomed moustache?

November is Movember, a month long campaign focused around men’s health. The Movember Foundation is an international non-profit organization that is all about spreading awareness and raising funds for men’s health issues. Their main areas of focus are on are prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity in men. Their cause is represented by growing a moustache (mo), getting active, or donating during the month of November. The Movember Foundation uses the funds that are raised to improve programs that save lives. Ladies are welcome to take part in the events as well, sign up and take the pledge to move  or donate during the 30 days of Movember. Below are facts about men’s health as well moustache facts, do your part and help spread awareness.

Men’s Health Facts

  1. 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
  2. Men 65 years and older are at a higher risk for prostate cancer
  3. 1 man out of 38 diagnosed will die of prostate cancer
  4. Half of testicular cancer cases are in men 20-34 years of age
  5. Most cases of testicular cancer can be treated and cured
  6. The highest rate of depression is in men 40-59 years of age
  7. 41% of men do not exercise enough

Weird Moustache Facts

  1. Mo is Australian slang for moustache
  2. There is a World Beard and Moustache Championship competition
  3. The average moustache has 600 hairs
  4. Albert Einstein had a moustache for over 50 years
  5. A man touches his moustache an average of 760 times a day
  6. Facial hair grows half an inch a month
  7. The world’s longest moustache is 14 feet long

There are lots of ways to grow, give and move for men’s health in November. Help raise awareness about conditions like prostate cancer, mental health and physical inactivity. Since 2003, Movember has raised $650 million and funded more than 1,000 men’s health programs around the world. Let us know in the comments below how will you grow, give, or move this Movember.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Anna Gearhart

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Accepting the aging process

Ok, you’re aging.  There’s no way around it.   You turn a certain age and people say “You’re how old?  Oh you don’t look your age at all”.  It’s a sideways compliment but what if you’re one of those people who has made peace with aging and you’re not going to fight it? You’re going to embrace every wrinkle, grey hair, and every crows foot line on your face.

Ann Brenoff, a senior writer and columnist with the Huffington Post, is just such a woman.  She asks “What exactly is aging gracefully anyway?  The definition of aging gracefully seems to be someone who doesn’t look or act the age they actually are.”   But she goes on to more clearly define the act of aging gracefully as “the simple act of not aging as rapidly as some people think is typical.”

Hollywood and social media set such a high standard for beautiful aging, look at Jane Fonda, age 77,  Helen Mirran, age 70, or Anthony Hopkins, age 77 they’re all stunning.  But is that the youthful beauty that is affordable to those who are able to pay for personal trainers, chefs, and high end cosmetics?  This may not be you but unless you make your living on the big screen, it doesn’t have to be you.

Remember this….we are not our bodies.  The soul of who are you are is not always a direct reflection of your outer shell.  Give yourself permission to not defy nature and embrace the changes that will happen to your appearance.  You’re not a failure because you don’t look 25 you’re whole life.  There is beauty in aging – embrace your beauty.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by: The Arches

 

 

 

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7 facts about HPV for parents

Hey parents, did you know that your child is at risk of getting an STD (sexually transmitted disease)? It is estimated that nearly all sexually active individuals will get HPV (Human Papillomavirus) at some point in their lives.

Now we know what you are thinking… “My child isn’t sexually active yet!”

That may be true, but HPV is so common that the best protection is to get your child  vaccinated before they become sexually active. This will allow the vaccine to develop an immune response within the body. Currently there is a FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved series of vaccines (3 shots total) that are available for both preteen girls and boys around the ages 11 and 12.

It is important to note that a person with HPV has no symptoms. Studies also show that individuals with HPV also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. But keep in mind, prevention is possible!

Here are 7 facts about the HPV vaccine:

  1. There are 3 vaccines approved by the FDA to prevent HPV infection.
  2. The HPV vaccine can help prevent many types of cancer (such as vaginal, cervical, anal and throat).
  3.  The HPV vaccine can be given to females until they are 27 years old.
  4. Males can get the vaccine as well, up to age 22.
  5. Two of the HPV vaccines can protect against genital warts.
  6. No serious side effects have been shown to be caused by the vaccines.
  7. Protection from the HPV vaccine is long lasting.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and FDA continue to carefully study and monitor the HPV vaccine; these studies have continued to show that the HPV vaccines are safe and effective. Parents are encouraged to talk to your child’s doctor about the HPV vaccine and what they can do to make sure their child is protected.

Moda Health offers members with a pharmacy benefit HPV immunization services at select network pharmacies. For a complete list of network pharmacies or for questions, call Moda Health Pharmacy Customer Service at 888-361-1610.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by By: Agência Brasília

 

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Aging gracefully is easier than you thought

When you think of the aging process you may think of diminished vision and hearing senses, wrinkled skin, and arthritic joints.   Some of these may be a genetic predisposition but there are definitely ways to age gracefully – physically, mentally and socially.

Here is a list of 5 attributes that may help ease the stereotype of aging:

  1. Be a happy camper.  Not all seniors have to be cranky but depression can be a common as you age.  Find something positive in every day. Pay a compliment to a stranger, say a kind word, find joy in unusual places and celebrate.
  2. You’re a survivor.  Just by aging you’ve experienced wisdom, resilience and a mature prospective.  Growing old is an accomplishment in itself and you’re stronger than you think.
  3. Accept changes.  The aging process brings on many changes.  Instead of fighting them, embrace them.  Life isn’t the same as when you were in your youth. The environment, culture, and world has changed.  By accepting changes and adapting to new situations you’re continuing to remain mentally and socially flexible.
  4. Avoid stereotypes.  Aging doesn’t mean that you are required to sit in a rocking chair and knit sweaters; unless that’s what you want to do.   Live by your own standards and don’t feel like you need to join the Red Hat Club just because you’ve reached a certain age.  Live for yourself.
  5. Find meaningful activities. Retirement has always been defined as a time when you move away from your regular day-to-day activities. This is historically when depression may set in.  Instead of seeing retirement as an end, see it as a beginning. Now you have time to learn to play a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, volunteer at the library, or any number of other activities that keep your brain and body socially active.

Click here to watch a great video on aging advice from young and old.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by David D

Do you feel like you have tried every diet out there and failed? Well I am about to change your life, enter intuitive eating.
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Tired of dieting? Try Intuitive Eating

Do you feel like you have tried every diet out there and failed? Well I am about to change your life, enter intuitive eating. In this new approach, you can eat whatever your body craves (even that cheeseburger and fries!). The catch – you must learn to eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Seems to be that with this diet filled world, many of us have forgotten how to just…eat.

Do not be mistaken, this is not a diet. It is considered a non-diet, weight-neutral approach. The focus is on total health and well-being, rather than weight loss. You might even be amazed that your body actually craves healthy foods once it’s not thought of as a punishment.

If any of this resonates with you, check out the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating as summarized below:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality – Throw out your diet books an magazine articles.
  2. Honor Your Hunger – When you are hungry, eat.
  3. Make Peace with Food – Give yourself unconditional permission to eat any food.
  4. Challenge the Food Police – Throw out terms like good food and bad food.
  5. Respect Your Fullness – Listen to your body and stop when you are full.
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor – Food is pleasurable! Enjoy it.
  7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food – Food won’t fix any of your feelings.
  8. Respect Your Body – Love the body that you have right now.
  9. Exercise-Feel the Difference – Learn how much better your body feels with movement.
  10. Honor Your Health – Balance your tastebuds while making you feel well. You don’t have to eat perfect to be healthy.

As you can see, a major component of this program is acceptance. Making peace with yourself and your body, learning to not use on food for emotional support, etc. This little graphic says so much.

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For more information on intuitive eating check out the book that made it famous, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by reynermedia

How to avoid your enemy and know if you've been bitten.
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Quick guide to spider bites

Spiders seem to be more plentiful after a mild winter.  Along with spiders comes the increase of spider bites.  Luckily not all spiders are poisonous, but if you’ve ever been bitten by a venomous spider you should know how to treat the bite.

The Pacific Northwest can claim several varieties of spiders that carry a bite to be medically important.  To know the difference between venomous, dangerous, and low-risk non aggressive spiders, refer to the USA spider identification chart.  In the unlikely event you’ve experienced a bite, know when to seek professional medical care vs simple home care of the bite site.

Remember, prevention is the first defense in avoiding a nasty spider bite.

Per the Mayo Clinic, here is how to prevent spider bites :

  • Wear a long-sleeve shirt, hat, gloves and boots when handling stored boxes or firewood, and when cleaning out sheds, garages, basements, attics and crawl spaces.
  • Inspect and shake out gardening gloves, boots and clothing that have been unused for a while.
  • Use insect repellents, such as DEET or Picaridin, on clothing and footwear.
  • Keep insects and spiders out of the house by installing tight-fitting screens on windows and doors, and caulking or sealing cracks or crevices where spiders can come in.
  • Discard old boxes, clothing and other unwanted items from storage areas.
  • Store items you want to keep off of the floor and away from walls.
  • Remove piles of rocks or lumber from the area around your house.
  • Avoid storing firewood against the house.
  • Vacuum spiders and spider webs and dispose of them in a sealed bag outside to prevent re-entry into the house.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  Ray Bouknight

Watch your sun exposure
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Bad sunburn art could increase melanoma risk

Crazy trends are just that…..CRAZY!  And this one ranks right up there as one of the worst.  Instead of the previous summer quest for no tan lines some people are going in the opposite direction and are deliberately using their skin and the sun to create temporary art on their skin.    What?  Since when is melanoma art?  The American Cancer Society website has great information on skin cancer causes and prevention.   The biggest culprit is prolonged exposure to UV (ultra violet) rays.

There are other ways to have temporary art on your skin that aren’t cancer causing or permanent (tattoos).  How about Henna ink?  Seems like a safer choice. 

Let’s hope this trend fades like a tan  before you have to see the Oncologist

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Alan Light

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3 secrets for guys to maximize their health

Maybe you bust out a few push-ups now and then, cut back on your beers, and have even tried kale. Those are awesome health habits to keep up – but do you know how to maximize your health? It’s easier than you think!

Tip #1: Schedule a check-up

You may feel healthy and fine, but you still need your yearly check-up. Schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) and get it done.  Men are more likely than women to put off their regular check-ups than women, and this leads to more health complications in men- break the pattern and schedule a visit with your PCP!

Tip #2: Get your screenings

Men ages 40-64 need the following:

  •  Get your blood pressure checked every 2 years if the top number (systolic) is between 120-139. If your bottom number (diastolic) is between 80-89 – get it checked every year.
  • Cholesterol screening every 5 years starting at age 34
  • Diabetes screening every 3 years starting at 45
  • Colon cancer screening starting at age 50 (I know…no one likes  this one, but get it done!)
  • Dental exam each year
  • Eye exam every 1-3 years (depending on your vision problems or glaucoma risk)
  • Flu shot each year
  • Physical exam each year at age 50
  • Lung cancer screening each year at age 55 if actively smoke or have history of smoking

That seems like a ton of visits to schedule, right? Wrong! Your physical exam (annual check-up) can take care of most of these items in one visit. Use this visit to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, your flu shot, and diabetes screening.

Tip #3: Take steps toward good health

Being proactive with your health will set you up to feel your best. Don’t wait to schedule a visit until something feels off…knock it out early! Talk to your doctor about screenings that can help you feel your absolute best so you can be the Superman that you are!

Source:  Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, National Institutes of Health

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Mike Ryffranck