During the month of June, we want to bring attention to the health problems that can affect the lives of men. Prevention is key to a healthy life, so here are a few tips to help you stay healthy this summer.
Exercising for 30 minutes a day, five days a week helps you maintain a healthy body weight and supports cardiovascular health. Research from the American Society of Clinical Oncology found that men who were the most fit in their middle ages were less likely to have lung or colorectal cancer as they aged. A higher fitness level can also decrease your risk of death from heart disease. Men are more likely than women to have a heart attack, and men’s death rates from heart disease are greater than women’s, so it’s especially important for men to be aware of their cardiovascular health. Hiking, riding a bike and swimming are all fun ways to improve blood circulation, which decreases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
2. Watch what you eat
Men in the U.S. are at risk for a number of common diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As of 2014, approximately 9.4 percent of all adult men in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. To avoid these health risks, start with small steps such as limiting portion sizes and making sure you eat a high-protein breakfast. Choose low-fat, low-sugar foods and plenty of non-starchy vegetables. Adding fish to your diet and eating more whole grains can support heart health. Pair your salmon with dark vegetables like beets and kale to prevent inflammation in the joints. Add berries to your breakfast for healthy brain function, and choose a handful of nuts for a healthy snack with plenty of minerals and antioxidants. These simple changes can help increase your energy level and ward off many common illnesses.
3. Schedule regular check-ups.
Many men cannot remember the last time they visited a doctor. Only three in five men receive annual physicals. However, many health conditions are treatable when detected early by a healthcare professional. Prostate cancer, which affects one in six men, can be detected in a regular check-up. Testicular cancer is treatable in 95 percent of cases, but early detection is key. Make it a habit to schedule regular screenings with your doctor for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and prostate health. Men in their twenties should begin to be tested for cardiovascular disease and should receive blood pressure screenings. It is suggested that men over 40 begin seeing a urologist on a regular basis, and men over 50 should receive regular colon cancer screenings. Early detection could keep a small problem from becoming a big one, so it’s important to communicate with your doctor when you feel that something isn’t right.
Make your health a priority this month, and pass these three steps along to the men in your life!