Men are known not to focus on their health until something goes drastically wrong and then see the doctor.Thus it is important that they understand the top threats to their health and what they can do to overcome these threats.
The Mayo Clinic Staff has compiled information from the CDC (Centers of Disease Control) and this is what they found.
No. 1: Heart diseaseHeart disease is a leading men's health threat. Take charge of heart health by making healthier lifestyle choices. For example:
- Don't smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. It's also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
- Manage chronic conditions. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's treatment recommendations. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine. Choose sports or other activities you enjoy, from basketball to brisk walking.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds increase the risk of heart disease.
- Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
- Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
No. 2: CancerVarious types of cancer are of particular concern to men, including lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. To reduce the risk of cancer, consider these general tips:
- Don't smoke. Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke counts, too.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — may lower the risk of various types of cancer.
- Get moving. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own may lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can't guarantee cancer prevention, it may help reduce your risk.
- Protect yourself from the sun. When you're outdoors, cover up and use plenty of sunscreen.
- Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you've been drinking regularly.
- Take early detection seriously. Consult your doctor for regular cancer screenings.
No. 3: AccidentsMotor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of fatal accidents among men.
To stay safe on the road, use common sense. Wear your seat belt. Follow the speed limit.
Don't drive under the influence of alcohol or any other substances, and don't drive while sleepy.
No. 4: Chronic lower respiratory diseasesChronic lung conditions — which include bronchitis and emphysema — also are a concern for men.
To protect your respiratory health:
- Don't smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit. Also avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Steer clear of pollutants. Minimize exposure to chemicals and outdoor air pollution.
- Prevent respiratory infections. Wash your hands often and get a yearly flu vaccine. Ask your doctor whether you need a pneumonia vaccine as well.
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Joseph A. Jones & The WellLife Team