Health & Safety

June 8, 2012

Men’s Health Week is around the corner

by Brig. Gen. W. Bryan Gamble, M.D.
Management Activity, Deputy Director

National Men’s Health Week is June 11-17, making this a good time for men to focus on their health by talking to their doctors about preventive health screenings and recommitting to a healthy lifestyle.

Preventive screenings are an important part of health promotion, but unfortunately, many men put off going to the doctor. Many of the major health risks that men face — like prostate and colon cancer or heart disease can be treated if diagnosed early. Screenings and awareness of the early signs of various diseases can lead to their detection at an earlier stage when they are easier to treat.

TRICARE beneficiaries do not pay cost shares for many preventive health services such as screenings for high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, prostate cancer and HIV testing. Your primary care manager (PCM) can help assess your individual health maintenance needs or advise you on the best way to monitor and treat any health conditions you may have. You can check out the preventive care section of TRICARE’s website, www.tricare.mil/preventiveservices, for more detailed information.

You can contribute to your overall health by maintaining healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle.  Active duty service members and their families have lower obesity rates than other Americans, but after retirement, the rates jump much closer to civilian levels. Commit yourself to being active, and encourage your children and spouse to join you. Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and limit high calorie and high fat foods. You can be an example to your family, while simultaneously keeping yourself healthier and better able to take care of them. Visit www.cdc.gov/family/tips for tips on promoting your families’ health.

Summer is a great time to improve your fitness routine. Consider swapping out your car for a bike or walking when you run errands. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park farther away from your destination to increase your walking distance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. You can visit www.tricare.mil/getfit for information, and you should consult with your PCM before starting a physical fitness program.

There are many reasons to get or stay healthy. You can do it for yourself, your family or your career. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/men/nmhw.




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