The longstanding stereotype that men don’t go to the doctor still holds true today. Despite the wealth of information about health and fitness available, men continue to lag behind women in scheduling annual exams and taking proactive steps for their health. June is National Men’s Health Month, a perfect time to highlight the health challenges men face and encourage them to take charge of their well-being.

A study by the Cleveland Clinic reveals that nearly 60% of men don’t regularly see a doctor, only when they are seriously ill. The survey also found that only 3 in 5 men get annual physicals, and nearly half of the 500 men surveyed admitted that their health is something they prefer not to discuss.

You may be wondering, but what’s stopping them?

A survey by Orlando Health found that the top excuse men use to avoid appointments is being too busy. The second most common reason is the fear of discovering something seriously wrong. It’s crucial to remind men that early detection of diseases makes treatment much easier.

So, what can be done about this?

Gloria Cabral, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist at Care Resource, stated “Men should use this month to take stock of their health now and think about where they want it to be. Do they want to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply eat more vegetables? It is important to set small and achievable goals…”

Here are a few ways to improve men’s health:

  • Visit your primary care provider: Annual check-ups help catch potential health issues early, making them easier to treat.
  • Get preventive screenings: Screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and certain cancers are crucial for early detection and treatment.
  • Take care of your heart: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men. Protect your heart by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and managing stress.
  • Eat balanced meals: Focus on incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your diet.
  • Stay on top of your mental health: Don’t hesitate to seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed.
  • Limit alcohol and quit tobacco: Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use are major risk factors for numerous health issues, including liver disease, heart disease, and cancer.

Another factor that men face is insurance coverage, according to the CDC, 11.5% of males under 65 lack health insurance coverage. Fortunately, local community health centers, like Care Resource, provide essential services on a sliding fee scale, ensuring that lack of insurance isn’t a barrier to receiving care.

Men’s Health Month is only 30 days, but taking care of your health is a lifelong commitment. By forming healthy habits, men can ensure more time with the people they love. All it takes is one small step.