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Mon, Oct. 14

Men's Health Week stresses prevention

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, file

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, file

Encouraging Dad to stay healthy is perhaps the greatest gift you can give him today, Father's Day.

In step with Father's Day, the Men's Health Network is celebrating this month the 20th anniversary of Men's Health Week, which Congress approved and President Bill Clinton signed. The observance was sponsored by former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and then Congressman Bill Richardson. This week is celebrated each year as the week that ends on Father's Day.

Men's Health Week recognizes that many health problems that affect men can be prevented and is designed to encourage men, boys and families to develop positive attitudes, engage in preventive behaviors and healthy lifestyles and seek timely medical service and care.

The Men's Health Network is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys and their families where they live, work, play and pray with preventive messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy, opportunities, and patient navigation.

The network encourages men and communities to organize events during June that promote awareness of men's health topics.

Smart dads know it's wise to get regular check-ups from their family physicians, but as families well know, it takes cajoling to get some fathers to the doctor.

As everyone knows, it's not wise to wait until you get sick to go to the doctor.

Mayo Clinic's website offers valuable health information that wives, sons and daughters can pass on to Dad today.

• Stop smoking. Stay on Dad's case until he dumps the tobacco habit.

• Eat a healthy diet.

• Maintain a healthy weight.

• Get moving.

• Limit alcohol.

• Manage stress.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, the list of threats to men's health is surprisingly short - heart disease, cancer and unintentional injury. "Thankfully, most men's health threats are largely preventable," the website says.

Popular television personality, Dr. Mehmet Oz has a long list of men's health tips, beginning with "roll on the floor laughing" as a way to ease stress and lower blood pressure.

So, consider skipping the boring tie for Dad this year on the day set aside to pamper him.

Instead, shower him with love that speaks, "We love you, and we want you around for a long time yet to come. Stay healthy. Take care of yourself."

For information about the Men's Health Network, visit menshealthnetwork.org.

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