by Omar Fercha, LAT, ATC

According to a 2020 study, 82% of men try to stay healthier to live longer for family and friends. However, only 50% of men engage in using preventive care. My fellow men, WHAT ARE WE DOING!? Life finds a way. The odds of us being born, according to some scientists, is about 1 in 400 trillion. Pretty low odds, to be honest. The odds of dying, well, those are more clear. It’s the circle of life and it moves us all (Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala).

Why are we not taking advantage of the low hanging fruit of preventative care!? Ignorance is bliss. I get it. It can be scary to get these screenings and wellness checks completed because of the fear of the outcome, but we need to set aside our egos and do what needs to be done. Let’s face it, men. If we can’t define ourselves by our thoughts, or experiences, or accomplishments, a healthier Ken-centric lifestyle can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.

Ready to tap into your ken-ergy? Let’s start with some baby steps (or let’s call them ‘ken-sentials’):

Regular physical exams: That means, establish yourself a doctor. If you’re younger than 50 and healthy with no pre-existing conditions, schedule exams every 3 years. If you’re over 50, you should be scheduling yearly checkups. Remember, many medical insurance policies include free wellness exams. There’s literally no excuse left for you to miss out.

Cholesterol and Blood pressure: I aorta tell you how important your heart is. A couple of ways to keep an eye on your hearth health is through blood pressure testing and getting your cholesterol checked. Both can be done at your annual exams. You can even keep an eye on your blood pressure by visiting your friendly neighborhood Work Right Injury Prevention Specialist.

Nice job taking that first step! I’M PROUD OF YOU. You’ve established yourself a doctor you can call on, you’re feeling healthy and, more importantly, you’re tracking healthy.

Now you’re a bit older. With age comes time to get a few more tests done. The uncomfortable ones, pun intended. Time to invite your friend Ben Dover to your next appointment.

Colon Cancer Screening: A colonoscopy is the traditional method to identify cancerous polyps, especially if you have a family history of colon cancer. However, advancements in medical technology have developed a noninvasive take home test to screen for colon cancer. So you can tell Ben Dover to back off! Remember, regular colon screenings are still recommended from age 45 through 75.

We live in an age where the ability to discover and prevent illnesses and diseases is at an all time high. We just have to take those first steps to ensure we can Ken as hard as we ken every day. Good thing the wonderful world of ken-jury prevention is upon us – we can take control of our own health! The future is looking bright. So, don’t forget to wear a pair of shades (or maybe two).

Omar Fercha, LAT, ATC || Omar is a Portland, OR-based Athletic Trainer with Work Right NW. He has 10+ years of experience working with youth to Division 1 athletes. Six years ago, he brought that experience to the sidelines of the industrial athlete. In his free time you can find him hiking with his wife, dogs, and toddler. .

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!