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Movember: Mustaches for men’s health

Have you heard of the ice bucket challenge? You may have participated or donated to help fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). I personally donated to the ALS Association, but hesitated to dump a bucket of ice water on my head. Surprisingly, though, people drenching themselves on camera created worldwide awareness of this devastating disease.

November presents another opportunity to raise awareness for a worthy cause. Have you noticed the men around you growing mustaches lately? There is good reason for this. November, in the past several years, has been coined “Movember.” Men around the world let their mustaches grow for the entire month of November to increase awareness of men’s health issues. Men and women raise funds for the Movember Foundation, which works to improve the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health problems.

I’ve tried to grow my own mustache, but it hasn’t worked out very well in years past due to some patchiness on my face. But if you are able to grow a nice mustache, I encourage you to participate.

The goal of the Movember Foundation is to change the way the public perceives these serious men’s health issues by putting a fun twist on them. A Movember mustache “changes the face” of men’s health and can give men the chance and confidence to learn about their health. Here are some stats from the Movember Foundation website that you may find interesting:

  • Average life expectancy for men in the United States is almost five years lower than for women.
    • Men – 76.2
    • Women – 81
  • One in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
  • Around 15 million American adults are diagnosed with depression each year (6.7% of the population).
  • 9% of American adults are obese.
  • 1% of men 18 years old and older are in fair or poor health.

 

Reasons for men having poor health:

  • Men are 24% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year.
  • They may lack of awareness of various health issues.
  • They may hesitate to take action when physically or mentally ill.
  • Men are more likely to engage in risky activities than women.
  • Men are not as open as women about discussing their health and feelings.
  • Men are more likely have misconceptions about mental health.

 

Ways to be proactive about your health:

  • Know your family history.
  • Exercise.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Take action early when experiencing a health issue.
  • Don’t use tobacco.
  • Consume alcoholic beverages in moderation.
  • Take care of your mental well-being, too.