Although we officially observe National Men’s Health Month each June, men would be wise – for themselves and their families – to focus year-round on their well-being.
As a urologist at the Adena Health System, I all too often see male patients who have disregarded their health, sometimes for years, which has led to very serious complications.
I would venture to say that some men probably take better care of their automobiles than themselves.
While advances in disease prevention and treatment have allowed both men and women to live longer, the male half of the population continues to lag behind women in longevity.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to improve one’s health, regardless of age, especially among men.
From my perspective as a urologist, I strongly encourage all adult males to have annual prostate examinations and to become aware of diseases that involve the prostate.
There also are a number of other things that men should consider in order to keep themselves healthy, many of which are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- See your primary care provider for regular checkups. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help diagnose issues early or before they can become a problem.
- Get a good night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests between seven and nine hours of sleep for adults – male and female.
- Stop smoking. It improves your health and lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease and other smoking-related illnesses.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Also limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol.
- Limit or avoid stress. It can be harmful when it is severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control.
- Reconnect with your family and friends, and stay active.
- Keep track of your numbers for blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and body mass index.
- Get vaccinated. Everyone needs immunizations to stay healthy, no matter how old they are. Even if you had vaccines as a child, immunity can fade with time.
While this list of suggestions may seem staggering, it’s really worth trying – not only for men, but for those who depend upon them being there.
And like that automobile or truck of yours, your body also requires regular maintenance so it continues to perform efficiently and economically.