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June is National Men’s Health Month, timely with Father’s Day in June. This post is to encourage you to be an advocate for the health of the men in your life. I’m grateful for these National months and days; it gets the conversation started for us.

I have many men in my life that I value and pray they live a long and healthy life. I have my husband the love of my life, I am a mom to four sons, I have my father and father-in law, I have a brother and five brother-in-laws. I am surrounded by great men.

I am grateful that our pastor is health conscience and frequently reminds us to get those important screenings like mammograms, colonoscopy, and annual screenings. Preventive care is some of the best medicine and the food we eat is also medicine to be mindful of.

Since June is National Men’s Health Month I want to encourage you to play an active role in the health of the men in your life. I know in our family I am the one who purchases the bulk of the food in our home, I prepare most meals. I can set my husband and sons up for success by feeding them healthy foods. I am by no means a nurse or super healthy, all organic person. But I know if I have fresh veggies and fresh fruit on the counter my sons will eat that, if I have cookies on the counter they’ll eat that. So I play a big role in providing healthy choices for them. Everything in moderation is key. If I have the ingredients to make healthy smoothies, my husband will make smoothies to take for breakfast which is much healthier than stopping for a fast food breakfast sandwich or burrito.

Aim to have less of these items in your diet: red meat, dairy, refined sugar, and processed foods. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, lean protein and heart healthy foods.

When you are having a family movie night, instead of eating ice cream and cookies all the time, swap those out for some healthy snack items, snack on popcorn, fresh fruit, frozen grapes, apple slices with peanut butter. Those small switch ups make a big difference in the long run.

I am the one who schedules my boy’s annual doctor and dentist appointments. I know sometimes men don’t visit the doctor for those annual screenings, many times they just don’t think to visit the doctor other times even in pain they let things go and try to work through the pain. Encourage the men in your life to get things checked out, schedule the appointment for them, go with them. I know sometimes just like men don’t like to ask for directions, you know they will find the way, they can be that way with their health, and not want to ask questions, so ask the questions for them.

Get active with your family! This is something I need to get better at, in the early years of our marriage my husband and I went to the gym together quite often, but once we had kids the gym exited our life. There are many things you can do to stay active without a gym membership, go on family walks, bike rides, go for a hike, swimming, and make it fun so it doesn’t seem like exercise. My sons enjoy being outside and active, but with electronics all around us in this technological world we live it it’s easy to not recognize how much screen time and sedentary time you are having.

Our men’s health affects the entire family. Many men are the breadwinners in their family, if they come ill it can take a financial hit on the family. Many times women are care givers for their elderly parents; if you can encourage your parents now to eat healthy and stay active they will have a better quality of life in their later years. It’s not fun when you have a loved one facing a health crisis, even if it’s a small crisis. So let’s do everything we can to help those we love have the best life, healthy and strong.

Use the month of June and National Men’s Health Month, to communicate with the men in your life the importance of healthy choices. Start with simple changes like eating healthier, get moving, and making prevention a priority.

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