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National Men's Health Week 2014: Do you know your score?

National Men's Health Week
National Men's Health Week
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

This June celebrates the 20th anniversary of National Men’s Health Month; and the week leading up to and including Father’s Day, June 9-15, is National Men’s Health Week. This week was created to bring attention to increase the awareness level regarding health issues facing men, along with helping to promote a healthier lifestyle and well-being for both men and boys.

Men’s Health Forum will take the lead this year focusing on health and the workplace, including unemployment and stress. The Herald News report on June 7, states, “macho, strong, breadwinner…there’s a definite theme to traditional male stereotypes,” and stress in the workplace accounts for 40% of all work-related illness, resulting in an average of 24 sick days off per person.

Here are some startling statistics that all men should consider this month: Men live about five years less than women, men have a higher death rate due to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and men make half as many doctor visits than women.

The biggest question still remains, “Why Don’t Men Make Doctor Visits?” There are plenty of excuses: Can’t take the time off of work, or waiting to see if they will get better on their own, while others may see going to a doctor as a sign of weakness, mixed with fear of what they “might” find.

So what is the solution? OK men, it is time for a quick sports analogy. Imagine that your body and your organs: your heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, etc. are your “team.” But not just any team, your team is picked for the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the World Series. What would you do to ensure that your team has the best chance of getting there, and winning? You need to be proactive in planning your strategy, including planning your offense as well as your defense.

To help you plan out your health strategy, you first need to answer the question, “What’s Your Score?” Men’s Health Week has a quick survey you can take to help you find your score, with questions geared towards your specific age group by clicking here.

Make a commitment this month to a healthy way of life. Know your score, call your doctor, and make your plan to help ensure that your “team” has the best chance of crossing the finish line. If you need a pep talk to help get you started, below is your motivational “half time pep talk” from one of the greatest coaches who ever lived.

“Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life,
he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him.
It's something we call heart power.
Once a man has made this commitment,
nothing will stop him short of success.”
-Vince Lombardi