Staying healthy is easy, guys
Thursday, June 1, 2017
All right, gents, let’s get right to it. You’re not the best when it comes to taking care of yourself.
Consider this, from the wife of one of our patients: “He has this ‘Oh, there’s nothing wrong with me’ mentality.”
This particular gentleman is in his mid-50s. He needed triple bypass heart surgery. Turns out, he’d also had four heart attacks that went undetected and untreated.
“He’d think, ‘Oh, I must have just pulled a muscle.’ He would just go in the house and lay down for a while when he wasn’t feeling well,” his wife says.
June is Men’s Health Month, with Men’s Health Week leading up to Father’s Day on June 18.
You can do better, guys. It doesn’t take much.
‘Just get up and get going’
The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five times a week or 25 minutes of vigorous exercise at least three times a week. Doing so lowers your risk for heart disease – America’s No. 1 killer – or a stroke.
“That may sound challenging. It isn’t,” Witmer says. “Just get up and get going.”
For moderate exercise, go for a walk. Vigorous exercise can include jogging or fitness classes.
Do what you can, Witmer says. If you haven’t been active, set a reachable goal for yourself. Keep at it, setting new goals and going longer as you get stronger.
Watch for prostate cancer
You also need to watch for prostate cancer as you get older, fellas. This doesn’t take much, either.
“It generally starts to be more common when men are in their 50s and gets more common as men get older,” says Dr. Richard Windsor of Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons. “If someone’s father or brother has prostate cancer, it’s more common, so we recommend starting the screening for it earlier.”
The screening is a simple blood test.
“If there are relatives that have the cancer, you start at age 50. Otherwise, starting at age 60 on an annual basis,” says Windsor, who also recommends regular physical examinations.
Men’s health by the numbers
Consider these findings from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Women are 100 percent more likely than men to visit a doctor for annual exams and preventive services.
- Men die at higher rates than women for each of the top 10 causes of death in America. One in four men dies of heart disease.
- The average American man can expect to live 76.4 years. Women? Almost five years longer, 81.2 years.