Don’t Let Your ‘Stache Turn into Nothing But Lip Service

So here we are, almost the end of November – or Movember, if you’re one of the many men around the world who’ve sprouted some facial hair as a way to give something more than lip service to men’s health. But growing a Fu Manchu or a goatee or anything else isn’t magic. Facial hair doesn’t cure cancer or reduce your risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack.

The only way to truly get men’s health concerns into the national conversation on healthcare is to have some actual conversations. Start with your buddies (if you haven’t already done so, invest a few minutes and watch the hilarious Australian video send-up our dangerously silent approach to our own health.

Whether you talk to your friends or not, at least pick up the phone and schedule a physical exam for yourself. Visit the Men’s Health Network site and print out a list of the screenings you should have at your age, and promise yourself that you’ll talk to your doctor about all those little things that have been bugging you lately but that you don’t want to talk about because you worry that there might be a problem and you thing (hey, we all do) that if you ignore it it’ll go away. And get a jump on those New Year’s resolutions and make a commitment to get more exercise and eat better—and if you smoke or you drink more than you should, cut back or quit. If not for yourself, then do it for your family. That gorgeous beard you grew for Moveber will look a lot better on you if you’re alive.

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