Robins to focus on men’s health awareness throughout June

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  • Robins Public Affairs
Robins is encouraging men to take better care of themselves as part of National Men's Health Month.  

"It's a perfect opportunity to encourage the men and boys in our lives to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury," said Stuart Bapties, Health and Wellness Center Flight chief.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest data, the two leading causes of death among men in America of all ages and ethnic backgrounds are Heart Disease and Cancer.  

"Both are largely treatable when detected early, but we have to make sure men are doing things to ensure prevention and early detection," Bapties said.   

Men can make their health a priority by doing some small things every day to keep themselves healthier and stronger. Here are some tips:
*Go for a walk.
*Take a bike ride.
*Toss a ball.
*Eat less salt.
*Try more fruits and veggies.

Men can follow these additional tips to stay healthy.

Get Good Sleep;
"Insufficient sleep and fatigue is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression," Bapties said. "It's also responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents leading to substantial injury and disability each year."  

While sleep needs change as people age, in general, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Toss out the Tobacco
"It's never too late to quit," Bapties said. "Quitting tobacco has immediate and long-term benefits. It improves your health and lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease and other smoking-related illnesses."  

Call the HAWC or your primary care manager for more information on options to quit tobacco.  

Tobacco cessation treatment - including counseling and medication - is completely free for TriCare beneficiaries and employees with Federal Employee Health Benefits.  

"Avoid being around secondhand smoke because inhaling other people's smoke can cause health problems similar to those of smokers have," Bapties said.

Just Move
Adults need at least two and a half hours - about 150 minutes - of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, weekly. They also need muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups, including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms, on two or more days a week. 

"You don't have to do it all at once, and you can start by spreading your activity out during the week and breaking it into smaller chunks of time during the day," Bapties said.

Eat Healthy
"Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day to provide your body with vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases," Bapties said. "Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol. And, choose healthy snacks."  

Call the HAWC to register for one of the free nutrition classes or multi-session programs offered.

Tame Stress
Sometimes stress can be good. 

However, it can be harmful when it's severe enough to cause people to feel overwhelmed and out of control, Bapties said. 

"Take care of yourself and don't let stress fester," he said. "Avoid drugs and alcohol. Find support. Connect socially. Stay active." Robins has resources to help manage stress. 

Call the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-222-0364, the Military & Family Life Consultants at 478-538-1732, or the Mental Health Clinic Resources at 478-327-8398.

Stay on Top of Your Health Game
See your provider for regular checkups. 

"Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help diagnose issues early or before they can become a problem," Bapties said. 

Pay attention to signs and symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive thirst, and problems with urination. 

"If you have these symptoms, see your provider right away," Bapties said. "Don't wait and assume they'll just go away."

Bapties said people should know their blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, body mass index and any other personal health numbers. 

"If your numbers are high or low, your medical provider can explain what they mean and suggest how you can get them to a healthier range," he said. "Be sure to ask what tests you need and how often you need them and stop by the Health and Wellness Center in Bldg. 827 or the Occupational Medicine Clinic in Bldg. 207 to pick up your free men's health tests and screening passport to record and track your numbers."

Get vaccinated
"Everyone needs immunizations to stay healthy - no matter how old you are," Bapties said. "Even if you had vaccines as a child, immunity can fade with time. Vaccine recommendations are based on a variety of factors, including age, overall health, and your medical history."

Vaccines can protect you, your loved ones, and your community from serious diseases like: influenza; shingles; pneumococcal disease; human papillomavirus infection; and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.  

Other vaccinations you may end up needing include those that protect against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox (varicella), measles, mumps, and rubella. Ask your medical provider which vaccines you need to stay healthy.

Throughout June, anyone with base access can stop by the HAWC or OMS to pick up a free Men's Health Tests and Screenings Passport along with other men's health educational materials.  

For more information contact the HAWC at 478-327-8480.