By Capt. Joseph McQuade, director, public health and family medicine physician, Naval Hospital Jacksonville
Men’s Health Week (June 10 – 14) is celebrated each year the week leading up to Father’s Day.
Whether you are a father or not, a visit with your health care provider is the best time and place to learn about your health risks and make sure you’re taking preventive steps for a lifetime of good health. Together with your Medical Home Port team of health care providers, you can create a health plan based on your age, family history and your unique medical history.
Your Medical Home Port team will answer any questions you have about your health. In our busy line of work, staying on top of health concerns doesn’t have to add to the stress.
No matter what your age or background, you can always find ways to help address top men’s health threats which include heart disease, cancer and unintentional injury. With simple steps you can assure yourself the best possible health as you move forward in your career and home life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips to help men make their health a priority: get good sleep (7-9 hours), quit smoking, eat healthy, manage stress and exercise weekly.
Starting an exercise program can be intimidating. The benefits to regular cardiovascular exercise, however, are extensive and involve all aspects of the body. When exercising regularly, the heart becomes a more efficient pump, meaning it doesn’t have to work as hard to supply the body with the nutrients it requires. This helps lower blood pressure. In some cases, regular exercise and a healthy diet are enough to eliminate the need for blood pressure medication. Moderate exercise also improves focus, the immune system and weight loss.
Knowing and understanding your numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI) and others you may have is also important. These numbers can provide a glimpse of your health status and risk for certain diseases. If your numbers are too high or low, you can work with your Medical Home Port team to get them to a healthier range.
Because some diseases and conditions do not have symptoms, it is also important to get regular checkups to include screenings and vaccinations. Checkups help diagnose issues early or before they become problems.
With simply steps, you can take control of your health and get on the road to prevention. So make the most of Men’s Health Week by scheduling an appointment with your Medical Home Port team.
NH Jacksonville’s priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation’s heroes and their fami-lies. The command is comprised of the Navy’s fourth largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population—about 163,000 active and retired military and their families—more than 57,000 are enrolled with primary care managers at one of its facilities. On average each day, a dedicated team of 2,500 military and civilian personnel sees 1,800 outpatients, admits 15 inpatients, cares for 80 people in the ER, performs 14 same-day surgeries, fills 4,700 prescriptions, conducts 4,600 lab tests and delivers three babies. Additionally, up to eight percent of its active duty staff is deployed around the globe providing com-bat, humanitarian and disaster care. For more information, visit www.med.navy.mil/sites/navalhospitaljax.