Men, it’s time to focus on you during the month of November, otherwise known as Movember.
Born in 1999, Movember was the brainchild of a group of young men from South Australia. Throughout November, they sprouted mustaches for charity. The idea took off, and in 2004, dollars were raised for prostate cancer and depression in men. In 2012, 1.1 million people participated in Movember, raising over $95 million.
Today, as a global charity, Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. Through the power of the Mo (short for moustache), funds and awareness are raised to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.
Knowledge is Power
Here are 12 healthy tips from Altru Cancer Center to help you enjoy a happy and healthy life.
1. Know your numbers. No matter your age, one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is to know and track your key health numbers. These include BMI/weight, blood pressure, LDL and HDL cholesterol, waist line and blood sugar.
2. Brush up on family history. Family history is one of the most powerful tools to understanding your health, affecting your risk for certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Talk to your family and create your family health portrait at the Center for Prevention and Genetics.
3. Move. If you are not already doing some form of exercise, start small and work up to 20-30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. If you are looking to lose weight, aim for 60 minutes.
4. Don’t smoke. We all know that smoking is bad for us. If you still smoke, try to stop. ND quits provides free cessation materials and is free to all North Dakotans.
5. Take action early. If you are experiencing a health issue, take action right away. Find a provider and make an appointment. Go in for annual checkups and talk to your provider about preventive care.
6. Sleep well. Quality of sleep can determine how much you eat, metabolism speed, stress-coping abilities and your immune system. Get into a regular sleeping pattern.
7. Manage your stress. Managing your stress is essential to your health. Take time for yourself every day. Exercise is a great stress reliever.
8. Eat a healthy diet. Fuel up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and nuts. Eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars. Drink water instead of pop or sports drinks. Moderation is key.
9. Maintain a healthy weight. Calculate your BMI and measure your waistline. Men with a waistline greater than 37 inches are at an increased risk for chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
10. Stay mentally healthy. We all go through brief spells of feeling down, which is normal. If it persists for weeks or months, it is likely depression. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms. It is not a sign of weakness nor something you can “snap out of “ by “pulling yourself together.” With treatment and support, depression can be eliminated and managed.
11. Drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, but only if consumed in moderation. That means two drinks a day for men. Abstaining is encouraged for those with a family history of alcohol abuse.
12. Wear sunscreen. Even in our climate, the sun does damage. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in both men and women in the U.S. Prevent it with sunscreen of 15+ SPF, even in winter months. If you are concerned about skin changes, see a dermatologist.
Keep these simple tips in mind during Movember and throughout life to stay healthy and prevent future disease.
Ready to Grow a Mo?
Shine a light on men’s health during November by growing a moustache for 30 days. Here’s how:
- Register at us.movember.com. Search “Team Grand Morks.”
- Start the month with a clean shave on October 31.
- Other facial hair may accompany your ‘stache, but shall not join into a beard.
- Post pictures of your ‘stache to Healthy Choices Facebook page.
- Encourage those who ask you about your ‘stache to donate to your cause by visiting the Team Grand Morks page.
- Prompt conversations about men’s health wherever you (and your Mo) go.
Do you plan to participate in Movember 2013, or have you participated in previous years? Why? Share your story.
LeAnne Kilzer is the oncology resource nurse with Altru Cancer Center. In her role she coordinates screening and awareness events in the community, manages patient educational materials, educates staff on new chemotherapies and follows up with screenings. During her free time, LeAnne enjoys crafting and playing with her two little girls, ages 6 and almost 4 (Emily and Kathryn).