The Baltimore Station specializes in turning lives around and helping men to overcome their adversities and thrive with their goals of self-sufficiency. So of course, we would find a way to spread the message of men’s health by reflecting on National Wear Blue Day.
National Wear Blue Day, celebrated on June 17th, is meant to bring awareness to men’s health as well as encourage the employment of healthy lifestyle changes that lead to a longer and stronger life. It was created by Men’s Health Network, a non-profit organization with the mission to “reach men and their families with health awareness messages where they live, work, pray, and play” (menshealthnetwork.org). Each year, people across the country use this day to raise awareness for getting regular check-ups and seeking education on testicular cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, and other health issues effecting men and their daily lives.
How The Baltimore Station Promotes Men’s Health
Here at The Baltimore Station, we work hard to offer healthy choices to the men as well as give them the resources to make those choices when they graduate the program. This year we started a partnership with The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where Residents lead a lesson and discussion at both of our locations on various health topics. The men at The Baltimore Station have learned about diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, the dangers of smoking, and other health concerns affecting them. These classes have allowed the men to not only learn about men’s health from different doctors, but also an opportunity for the men to ask any questions that have been weighing on their minds. The partnership will continue through 2023 with a new class of Residents starting with us in July.
We have also been fortunate enough to have a long-standing doctor who works with the men every week through a diabetes class. Dr. Sheitel comes to The Baltimore Station every Friday to answer questions and promote healthy choices as well as acknowledge the consequences of poor health habits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10.5% of Maryland adults have diabetes and 34% have pre-diabetes (health.maryland.gov). These numbers disproportionately impact populations based on income and education level, race and ethnicity, geographic location and access to healthcare. Our kitchen staff is currently collaborating with Dr. Sheitel as well as other staff members to create a diabetic and vegan-friendly lunch to offer the men an opportunity to cook both vegan options as well as sample different foods that they could one-day cook for a meatless Monday in their own homes.
Men’s health is encouraged through exercise as well. Over the years, The Baltimore Station has offered various options for physical fitness from group classes to individual opportunities. Our West Baltimore location is fully equipped with a squat rack, treadmill, weights, and mats. We have held yoga classes and low-impact exercises as part of our regular group therapies here with the help of volunteers. We also encourage the men to join programs like Back on my Feet which uses consistent morning running/walking to promote not only physical but also mental health. We were so excited to have softball back again at The Baltimore Station. This past week, students from Loyola came to our South Baltimore location to play a game of softball with the men to get some fun exercise and time in the sun in.
Thanks to our kind donors, we are fully stocked with all the healthy outdoor essentials: water bottles, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and bug spray. Although getting that vitamin D is important, it is equally important to protect yourself from the summer sunrays as well as dehydration. One of the easiest ways to promote a healthy lifestyle is to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen (yes, even if it’s cloudy outside).
So What Can You Do?
No matter your gender, everyone can participate in Wear Blue Day, because promoting men’s health is a job anyone can take on! Here are some easy ways to do your part this year for Wear Blue Day:
- Check in on family members; encourage them to go to their doctors’ appointments and gets regular tests done so they know what components of their health they should focus on.
- Make a social media post about the day and its importance
- Incorporate healthy meals into your family’s diet and talk about them at the dinner table
- Get out and get moving
- Find activities you enjoy, to reduce stress
- Quit smoking and encourage others to do the same
- Check in on yourself and how your journey to a healthy life is going
Need of the Week
Does your family have a favorite plant-based healthy recipe? We are working on diversifying our menu here and offering more meatless options. Please send any tips or recipes for healthy plant-based meals to email@example.com