Today’s post comes from Chris Barry, PA-C, MMSc. Barry is a nationally certified physician assistant specializing in pediatrics. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants and currently serves as the Medical Liaison from the American Academy of Physician Assistants to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Barry currently serves as one of ENC’s Health Professional Advisors.
We’re quickly approaching the end of June and I hope that you had a chance to celebrate Men’s Health Month. The purpose of Men’s Health Monthwas to raise awareness of preventable health problems and to promote the early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Prevention is stressed throughout the medical training of today’s health professionals. As a health care provider, I have seen the many benefits of preventive medicine. Immunizations alone have prevented countless diseases, hospitalizations and deaths. Through regular well visits, appropriate screening tests and immunizations, many serious illnesses and health conditions can be prevented.
As a son, brother, husband and parent, living a healthy lifestyle is a personal thing for me. My favorite moments in life are times spent with family, and I want to be able to enjoy those times as long as possible. Taking good care of myself took on an added importance after the birth of my first daughter 8 years ago, and my second daughter 4 years ago. My family is the center of my life. I try to set a good example for them and I want to enjoy them as long as possible, so our whole family tries to be healthy.
An important part of living a healthy lifestyle is eating well. Whenever possible, I encourage our children to come with us to the grocery store, so they can help select fresh fruits and vegetables for our meals. My wife and I teach them which foods are healthier than others. This is not to say we don’t occasionally eat treats, but we teach them to eat those foods in moderation.
We also encourage our children to help (in an age-appropriate fashion) with meal preparation. By helping make the meals, they are not only learning how to cook, but also are learning how easy it can be to prepare healthy meals. For example, when I make omelets, my girls have fun breaking eggs and mixing them in the bowl. They watch me while I make the omelet and they get to add their favorite ingredients. Cooking together is a fun family activity- I highly recommend it if you have children!
Remember men’s health is celebrated in June, but you can promote it all year long by leading a balanced lifestyle including eating well, physical activity, and regular doctor visits.