Learning about and preventing male health problems isn’t just about you. Your health impacts others in your life, like your mom, your wife or partner, and your kids. Men’s health is a family issue. When you take daily steps to prevent disease and injury, you’ll also improve your mental and emotional health.
Try picking one health action step that you can tackle today. Maybe start with a check-up? Studies show that men don’t score as well as women when it comes to getting yearly checkups for common health problems. For men, that includes high blood pressure, diabetes, and prostate and colorectal cancer.
Getting on top of those things will feel good, and give peace of mind to your loved ones.
Besides getting a check-up, here are a few more health action steps you can take:
- Quit using tobacco or vaping. Also avoid secondhand smoke. Your health coverage includes nicotine replacement therapy and telephone counseling to help you quit.
- Get a flu shot every year. Flu shots are free for members.
- Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can result in car and machine-related accidents, and make any existing health problems worse. Studies show adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
- Be active. Getting the right amount of physical activity each day will strengthen your lungs, heart and muscles. It will also improve your balance, give you more energy for other things (including romance), and help you keep your weight down. For most men, about 30 minutes of physical activity is about right. Think broadly. It could be shooting hoops, walking the dog, riding a bike or doing yard work. It’s a good idea to take it slowly if it’s been a while since you’ve broken a sweat. You may also want to check with your doctor to make sure you’re okay for increased activity.
- Eat fruits and veggies. Eating a variety of fruit and veggies will help protect you from most chronic diseases. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and fiber. Fiber also helps you feel full with fewer calories.
Some stress can be good, but when it makes you feel overwhelmed and out of control, it’s bad for your health. Find support by talking it out with your family and friends to come up with ways to de-stress your life. Being active helps. And drugs and alcohol can make things worse.
Get your game on
Here’s a good checklist for when you see your doctor for regular checkups. Ask which preventive screenings are important for you, based on your personal and family health history. Getting on top of these issues will help you live longer, and in better health.
- Blood pressure. High blood pressure has no symptoms, but can cause serious and permanent damage to your body organs.
- Cholesterol. This screening is most important if you or a family member has a history of heart disease.
- Colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer, but it doesn’t have to be. Screening can find growths before they become cancerous and detect cancer at an early stage when it is highly treatable.
- Diabetes. Diabetes (high blood sugar) can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves and other body parts.
CareOregon Health & Wellness: Quitting Tobacco
CareOregon Health & Wellness: Flu Shot
Men’s Health. Links to a variety of men’s health topics
“Accelerating Health Equity for Boys and Men of Color”