Did you know that men are far less likely than women to visit their healthcare provider annually? As part of National Men’s Health Month, we are encouraging all men to schedule an annual check-up appointment with their provider. Your provider can help monitor your weight, blood pressure, and levels of cholesterol in your blood. Excess weight, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Your provider can recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or other treatments to help get your weight, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol under control.
While visiting your provider once a year is a great way to stay on top of your health, the following tips are other great ways to maintain a healthy weight, keep your blood pressure down, and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Eat Natural Foods
Packaged and processed foods are often full of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, artificial additives, and calories. Try replacing these foods with a variety of:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole-grain products, such as brown rice and whole-grain bread
- Fiber-rich foods, such as beans and leafy greens
- Lean cuts of meat and poultry, such as skinless chicken breast and lean ground beef
- Fish, such as salmon
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease and keep your heart strong. It can also help you improve and maintain your overall physical and mental wellness. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise during the week. Aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, swimming, or sports such as basketball or tennis.
Take Your Vitamins
Most people can get the vitamins and minerals they need for optimum health by eating a well-balanced diet. It’s important to eat a wide variety of vitamin and mineral-rich foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Some individuals may also benefit from taking a daily multivitamin or other supplements. At your next check-up, ask your doctor about the potential benefits and risks of adding a multivitamin or other supplements to your daily routine.
Break Unhealthy Habits
Avoid or quit unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, using recreational drugs, and/or using anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass. If you smoke, drink too much, or use illicit drugs, your provider can help you develop a plan to quit.
Protect Your Skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, men over the age of 50 are at a heightened risk of developing melanoma, or skin cancer. To lower your risk of developing melanoma, take steps to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. When you’re outside:
- Spend time in the shade
- Cover exposed skin in sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you’re sweating or swimming
Get Your Prostate Checked
Second to melanoma, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis among men. If you have trouble urinating, develop pain when you urinate, or notice blood in your urine, it may be a sign of prostate problems. If you are experiencing these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your provider.
Check for Colorectal Cancer
It’s important to begin screening for colorectal cancer starting around age 50. Your provider can use a colonoscopy to check for cancerous growths in your colon. They will also check for polyps, a type of noncancerous growth. Certain types of polyps can develop into cancer at a later time.
Commit to your health and schedule an appointment with your provider today. If you need help finding a provider, visit our website or give us a call at 503-406-9451.