Living Columns & Blogs

Men, read this article; ladies, give this article to your men

The Iron Men of Middle Georgia organization is hosting its annual Health Fair on Sept. 17. Board members of Iron Men are, from left, Charles Krauss, Pastor Charles Blackmon, board President Jimmy Mills, Danny Boykin, Tina Dennard and Tyrone Hill.
The Iron Men of Middle Georgia organization is hosting its annual Health Fair on Sept. 17. Board members of Iron Men are, from left, Charles Krauss, Pastor Charles Blackmon, board President Jimmy Mills, Danny Boykin, Tina Dennard and Tyrone Hill. Special to The Telegraph

The human male organism is known to be a stubborn species. Trust me; I’m a man. I know.

As men, we are accustomed to being strong and tough for our families. While this is good, it can also be detrimental in regard to health matters. We have a tendency to feel like we’re “supermen” and therefore we neglect to take care of ourselves.

What’s more, we notoriously make excuses for not going to the doctor. It might be because we feel like we can handle it. It might be because we think we don’t have time for it. It might even be because we’re nervous about going. Whatever excuse it might be, remember this one thing: They’re all excuses. Sometimes, we just might need to go to the doctor, guys.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and as you might know, prostate cancer is very common among American men. Black men in particular are disproportionately affected by the disease, being 60 percent more likely to develop it and 2.4 times more likely to die from it, said Sean Cavanaugh from the Prostate Center at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan.

Look, prostate cancer is no joke. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that it only happens to “other” people, because guess what? I guarantee that if you ask a prostate cancer survivor, you’ll likely find out that he also thought it happened only to other people — until it happened to him.

On Sept. 17, the Iron Men of Middle Georgia are having their annual health fair at Central Georgia Technical College at the historic Ballard-Hudson building. The theme is Prostate Cancer Awareness, which means that this is your opportunity to get screened. There also will be a host of other screenings for conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as various other health-related vendors who will be ready to provide you with information that will help you live a healthier life. And by the way, all of this is free.

So let’s talk a bit about prevention as well. Understand this: While there are a few risk factors for prostate cancer that we cannot control, such as family history, genes and being 50 and over, don’t let that distract you from the risk factors you can control. Those risk factors are diet and obesity. Consider the following:

▪ Diet: High consumption of saturated fat has been associated with prostate cancer, and according to the China Study by T. Colin Campbell, consuming too much protein in the forms of meat and dairy is also linked to the disease. So if you’re consuming lots of pastries, meat, milk and cheese, it’s time for you to strongly consider replacing a lot of that with nutrient-packed vegetables.

▪ Obesity: We are already familiar in our society with how carrying excess weight makes us susceptible to so many diseases. Prostate cancer happens to be yet another of those diseases, so if you’re carrying too much weight for your frame, change whatever habits you need to change to get rid of it. Put down the phone or the remote and get active. Eat food not just because it tastes good, but because it’s actually good for you. It isn’t easy, but we all know that it’s worth it to make the changes.

Remember to mark your calendars for the Iron Men Health Fair on Sept. 17. And don’t forget to email me your health and exercise questions!

Peach County resident Shawn McClendon is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of the health/fitness blog YourHealthAtTheCrossroads.com. Contact him at shawn@yourhealthatthecrossroads.com.

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