Five healthy habits to support men’s health

June 01, 2020
Men’s Health Month raises awareness of preventable health problems among men. Here are five healthy habits you can establish to help support your health and reduce your risk for disease.

Men’s Health Month is celebrated each June to heighten awareness of preventable health problems among men. It is also an opportunity to encourage men to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease or injury.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the top causes of death among men include the following:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • chronic lower respiratory disease
  • stroke
  • suicide
  • diabetes

For many of these causes, preventive care is essential to reduce risk and early detection. The CDC recommends establishing the following habits to help support men’s health. And, if you have medical coverage through the Board of Pensions, you can take advantage of the benefits and programs available to help support you in building these healthy habits.

  1. Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol. If you have medical coverage through the Board of Pensions, you have access to consultations with a network registered dietician who can help guide you as you establish healthier eating habits.

  2. Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Adults need two-and-a-half hours of physical activity each week. If you need ideas for fun ways to become more active, Call to Health has new challenges throughout the year to support you on your journey to wholeness and to help get you moving. Medical Plan members who are not participating in the online well-being program may register on the Call to Health website to start earning points toward lower medical deductibles for 2021.

  3. If you’re a smoker, quitting has immediate and long-term benefits. You’ll lower your risk for different types of cancer and won’t expose others to secondhand smoke. If you’re a Medical Plan member, your benefits include the Breathe Easy Ignite Your Life coaching program along with 100 percent coverage for certain smoking cessation medications.

  4. Recognize and reduce stress. We all deal with stress from time to time, but chronic stress can be overwhelming and may affect your health. Signs of chronic stress include difficulty concentrating, irritability, feelings of hopelessness, and changes in sleep habits.

    If you need help addressing your stress, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential service available to members with medical coverage through the Board of Pensions and anyone in your household. The EAP, provided through Cigna Behavioral Health, gives you access to licensed clinicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 866-640-2772. Employees who are not eligible for the EAP and retired members can call Cigna’s Behavioral Resource Line at 866-912-1687 to connect with qualified clinicians who can provide support and guidance.

  5. Get regular checkups. See your primary care physician for annual checkups. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem. All three medical coverage options — PPO, EPO, and HDHP — provide an annual preventive care benefit. There is no cost to you when using network providers for yearly well visits with your primary care physician and health screenings and immunizations listed on the preventive schedule.

    If you’re concerned about visiting your doctor in-person at this time, check with your provider’s office to see if they offer virtual visits. The Medical Plan covers virtual doctor’s visits the same as in-person office visits.

Get more details about these benefits and other features of medical coverage through the Board of Pensions.

Those enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan should consult their plan’s provisions for details about their benefits.