Though it is important for everyone to take steps towards a healthy lifestyle, men have additional risk factors that are important to consider. Take action to be healthy and encourage the men in your life to make their health a priority. Here are some simple things you can do every day to stay heathy:
Maintain a healthy weight: Men are at a higher risk of heart disease than women so it is important to ensure you have a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Adults need 2½ hours of physical activity each week. Spread your activity during the week, and break it into small amounts of time during the day.
Get plenty of rest: Sleep is important for your health. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep is linked to many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, depression, and obesity.
Don’t drink alcohol: Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases including: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems, cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
Don’t smoke: Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for different types of cancer, and don't expose others to secondhand smoke.
Get a checkup every year: Men are half as likely to visit their doctor than women. It is important to keep these visits. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem. Here’s a cheat sheet to manage screenings and good health for the future:
|Type of Cancer||Screening Method||When to Get Screened|
|Colonoscopy, or fecal occult blood testing (FOBT)||If you are 50 to 75 years old, get tested. The schedule depends on the type of test used.|
|Lung cancer||Low-dose CT scan||If you are 55 to 80 years old and are a heavy smoker or a past smoker who quit within the last 15 years, get a low-dose CT scan every year.|
|Prostate Cancer||Digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) test||If you are over 50 years or have family history of prostate cancer, talk to your doctor. Screening often depends on age and risk factors.|
|Skin cancer||Periodic total-body examinations by a clinician||
Talk to your doctor, if you have family history or are at high risk a full skin exam or referral to dermatology may be recommended.
*Talk with your doctor about when and how often you should be screened. Depending on your personal health history, family health history, or screening results, your doctor may recommend a different screening schedule.
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Article written by: Steven Gately, PharmD Candidate 2018