Millions of men across the world are looking hairier than usual this month.
Though it may draw some stares and the ire of their wives, girlfriends and partners, it’s all for a good cause — Movember.
Every November, The Movember Foundation, a global charity focused on men’s health issues, asks men to grow out their moustaches for 30 days to raise awareness. It also encourages both men and women to make a commitment to get moving and increase their levels of physical activity.
The goal is simple: help men live happier, healthier and longer lives. To that end, the Movember Foundation focuses on four key areas: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. Since the foundation began its Movember movement in 2003, more than 5 million people have participated in the effort. This support has allowed the Movember Foundation to raise more than $650 million, which it has invested in medical research and by funding more than 1,000 men’s health programs in 21 countries.
The Movember Foundation’s emphasis on these four areas is critical because in many ways they pose the biggest threats to men’s health. Prostate cancer, which affects more than 220,000 men every year, is the second most common form of cancer in American men. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in 15 to 34-year-olds; 25 percent of adults will experience mental health issues every year, and only 54 percent of men get enough physical activity. Plus, poor diet and lack of exercise increases men’s risk for several chronic diseases. Research shows that regular physical activity can lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer by 50 percent and reduce the risk of early death by 30 percent.
This November I hope you will grow your moustache for a great cause. It’s never too late to start. And ladies, please encourage the men in your life to do the same. If facial hair is not your thing, sign up for the Movember Move fitness challenge. I am half way through my fitness challenge and it has been difficult, but I’m doing it for Movember, my patients, and my family.
Sign up at Movember.com and ask your friends and family to donate to the cause. As the foundation says, too many men don’t talk about or take action when it comes to their health. Let’s band together to change that — this Movember and every day of the year.