When it comes to health, often men fall to the bottom of the list. This is usually because men think that they can just put off getting checkups because they are working or too busy. For this reason, there is a silent health crisis in America. The fact is that on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women. June is Men’s Health Month and it is a great time to start a new tradition of living a healthier lifestyle.
A healthier lifestyle is not just about changing your diet or exercising more. It’s about taking the time to visit your healthcare provider to ensure that you stay healthy. It’s about seizing the opportunity to enjoy the years of life that are available. Women are 100% more likely to visit their healthcare provider for annual examinations and preventive services than men. That’s why women outlive men by an average of more than five years.
The top five causes of premature death in men are heart disease, cancer, injuries, stroke and suicide. More than half of premature deaths among men are preventable. Getting annual check-ups and preventive services with your healthcare provider ensure that men can improve their chances of living a full and healthy life.
Keep from becoming a statistic by taking three steps to becoming healthier.
- Eat healthy. Start by taking small steps. Say no to super-sizing and yes to a healthy breakfast, and add at least one fruit and vegetable to every meal.
- Get Moving. Play with your kids/grandkids, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do yard work, play a sport, take a walk, or choose activities that you enjoy to stay motivated.
- Make prevention a priority. See your doctor for regular checkups and get regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, prostate health and more.
Prostate cancer is the number one cancer risk as well as the number two cancer killer among men. A simple PSA blood test can determine your risk. Lung cancer is the number one killer. Risk of colorectal cancer can be reduced by getting a colonoscopy every five to ten years after age 50. Bladder and skin cancers are other cancers that are high risk for men. Knowing more about the most common cancers for men should enable you to start decreasing your cancer risk. Talk to your healthcare provider about what additional prevention steps you should take and when you should schedule screenings. If you would like more information on men’s health you can speak with your healthcare provider or visit www.MensHealthMonth.org