When you’re a man in pain, it’s easy to feel both internal and external pressure to “toughen up” and put off seeing a medical professional. Especially if you aren’t exhibiting symptoms, reasons to put off preventative health screenings are usually easy to find. But ignoring preventative care options, like prostate exams, colonoscopies, and others often causes more harm than good.
It can feel invasive and unnecessarily vulnerable to seek medical attention of any kind, but annual physicals and other preventative care help you take responsibility for your own health in the long term. Such earns you the chance to monitor real risks, prevent healthcare complications, and catch any serious illness early when it’s likely easier to cure or treat.
These four men’s health tips will empower you with choices that put you on the road to your best health.
Understand Your Risks
Certain health issues are more prevalent in men, and taking preventative steps is critical toward managing and treating them. For instance, knowing you have an increased risk for developing certain diseases may convince you to take steps to improve your health.
Conditions that are more common in men include: heart disease (including coronary artery disease and heart attack), hypertension (high blood pressure), skin cancer, lung cancer, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Men are also more prone to atrial fibrillation, diabetes, having an elevated BMI, and using tobacco products.
Don’t Avoid Annual Exams
Even when you don’t feel sick, you should still see your primary care doctor at least once a year. Your annual wellness visits are an opportunity to engage with your physician and review family history, medical conditions, your history with surgery, and any current prescription and nonprescription medications or other supplements.
Normal preventive care practices, including screenings, immunizations, and counseling are often 100% covered by individual healthcare plans, so make sure to review your benefits and check with your doctor’s office before confirming an appointment.
Alternatively, using telehealth services will put you in contact with a doctor for a live virtual doctor’s visit. This option can help men who can’t easily make it to the doctor’s office find the time for preventative care, wherever they are.
Choose To Live Healthier
In addition to committing to annual checkups, adopting even small-seeming changes in your life can improve or even save it in the long run. To live a healthier lifestyle, consider the tips below:
- Exercise Diligently
- Regular exercise helps keep your body at a healthy weight, decreasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. The CDC officially recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days per week. Any physically strenuous activity counts, so choose something you enjoy — like calisthenics, cycling, swimming, or hiking — keeps it pleasurable for you. When you motivate yourself to exercise with fun, you’re more likely to commit.
- Eat Healthier
- Adjusting your diet can have a major effect on your overall health. Focus on eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean sources of protein (including fish and chicken that isn’t fried). Limit how much red meat you eat, and do the same with processed foods, saturated and trans fats, and foods with added sugar and sodium.
- Stay Within A Healthy Weight Range
- Making sure your weight stays within a healthy range has tons of health benefits: it lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. If you are overweight, it’s especially important to commit to gradual habit changes so your weight loss is consistent and lasts. If you’re trying to lose weight, start small to not overwhelm yourself. Ask your physician what your medically-based suggested weight range is and how to best get there.
- Stop Smoking And Limit Alcohol
- If you smoke cigarettes, vape, or use additional forms of tobacco (chewing tobacco, snuff, etc.), talk to your doctor about the best ways to quit. Ingesting alcohol increases your risk for certain types of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. If you occasionally drink, moderation is essential to keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Be Transparent With Your Doctor
To make the most out of your doctor appointments and build overall trust between you and your physician, transparency is crucial. Men may feel embarrassed about experiencing medical difficulty, but without being open about all the factors that contribute to your health, they can’t do their job as well.
Some men may not want to hear about having to change their diet or lifestyle habits, or may even not feel ready to confront a health issue. But your doctor is your partner in caring for your health and living a long, healthy life. You can be assured that whatever happens, your physician has heard similar concerns before and is trained to help you medically, whatever the cause(s).
At Renewed Vitality, we specialize in helping people stay informed and passionate about their lives and health. We are the Berks County area’s premier facility for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other treatments. We serve both men and women, offering safe, effective care that relieves hormone imbalance symptoms and restores quality of life for patients at all stages of life. To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact Renewed Vitality today!