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Men’s Health Month: A year-round priority

Capt. Juan Moreno, 15th Medical Group Active Duty Clinic physician assistant, holds a model of the human spine, to bring awareness to the musculoskeletal problems men face at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 25, 2020. The 15th MDG provides both in-person and virtual medical appointments to Airmen during the COVID-19 pandemic and can assist with men’s health issues. (U.S. Air Force Illustration by 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson)

Capt. Juan Moreno, 15th Medical Group Active Duty Clinic physician assistant, holds a model of the human spine, to bring awareness to the musculoskeletal problems men face at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, June 25, 2020. The 15th MDG provides both in-person and virtual medical appointments to Airmen during the COVID-19 pandemic and can assist with men’s health issues. (U.S. Air Force Illustration by 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

June gives focus to Men’s Health Month, but for men of the 15th Wing, focusing on their health is needed year-round.

The 15th Medical Group Active Duty Clinic provides medical care and education about men’s health. 

“We’re here to make sure we can get you feeling as good as you can, that way you can continue moving forward with your family, your health, and the mission,” said Capt. Mario De La Barrera, 15th MDG Active Duty Clinic physician assistant.

Common men’s health problems the 15th MDG deals with mainly stem from working out. These include sprains and tears from Airmen pushing themselves too hard at the gym. 

“Men have to know the difference between feeling sore and feeling pain while working out,” said De La Barrera. 

De La Barrera recommends working out between three to five times a week.

The clinic stresses the importance of men to come in regularly if they have questions or concerns about health ranging from fertility issues to high cholesterol. 

Capt. Juan Moreno, 15th MDG Active Duty Clinic physician assistant, recommends Airmen pay attention to five daily maintenance areas which include nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep, and stretching. 

“If Airmen pay attention to these five things, they’re going to be able to go further and be mission capable,” said Moreno. 

Moreno recommends staying away from supplements, which are unregulated, especially for men with a family history of heart conditions. Energy drinks should also be avoided and no more than two cups of coffee should be consumed a day. 

De La Barrera also urges Airmen to get six to eight hours of sleep along with drinking four to five liters of water a day, with an additional liter per hour of working out. 

Stretching daily is important because it helps with breaking up scar tissue, maintaining the elasticity and mobility of joints, and keeping muscles and tendons healthy. 

Moreno and De La Barrera both agree paying attention to changes to the skin is important, especially in Hawaii’s sunny climate. Men should be aware of anything on their skin that may change in shape, color or behavior. 

Men’s health is not limited to physical health, but mental health too. 

“It’s okay to be referred to mental health,” said De La Barrera. “As a military member, there is a stigma that if you go to mental health, you’ll lose your job. You’re not going to get in trouble or lose your job.”

To make an appointment with a primary care manager, call the Tricare Appointment Line at  808-448-6000