It’s National Men’s Health Month, and there’s no better time than now for men to start taking control of their health.
Did you know that men are 80 percent less likely to use a regular source of healthcare, like a primary care physician, than women? In fact, a lot of men go to the doctor only if they’re sick or have a medical emergency.
Heart disease, cancer, diabetes are among the leading causes of death in American men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many times, serious problems are avoidable and preventable with a healthy lifestyle and annual check-ups.
Below are few tips to help you, or the man in your life, get on track to leading a healthier lifestyle:
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Choose a doctor with whom you feel comfortable sharing your health concerns and who can facilitate needed lifestyle changes to improve your health. Be sure to also keep up with your yearly checkups.
Many diseases can be prevented or treated more easily when detected early. Consider getting screened for obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, diabetes, and sexually transmitted infections.
Check Your Mental Health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Pay attention to the signs of depression or bipolar disorder, especially if you have a family history of mental illness, suicide, or substance abuse.
Watch Your Diet
Avoid processed food, and focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Be sure to also stay away from foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Once you have shed the pounds, keep it off by balancing the number of calories from food with the calories you burn. If you find yourself gradually gaining weight again, try portion control, keep a food journal, and increase your physical activity.
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your heart and overall body strong. Aim to do about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days of the week. This can include walking briskly, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, or playing sports like tennis and basketball.
Don’t Smoke… and Limit Drinking
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Smoking can cause health conditions such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and heart disease. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. For example, men should consume no more than two drinks per day, or the equivalent of 24 ounces of beer, 10 ounces of wine, or 3 ounces of spirits.