Aspirus encourages men to make health a priority during Men’s Health Month
On average, men have a shorter life expectancy and are more prone to conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During Men’s Health Month, Aspirus is encouraging men to make their health a priority.
Men are historically less like than women to get routine physical exams and screenings.
“It’s really important for men to do preventative health visits to make sure that we catch things before they manifest into something more problemsome. Things like just over all cancer screenings, checking blood just to make sure there is nothing stewing inside of there Those are things that you feel fine but otherwise could have a huge implication for your health in the future,” said Charles Hayes, DO, Aspirus Family Medicine Resident.
Hayes says eating healthy and staying active are the best ways to prevent serious problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
He says even starting simply by adding more vegetables to your diet can make a big difference.
“More leafy vegetables. The things kids typically don’t like to eat are probably the things you should have a lot more of. Whether it’s broccoli, carrots, lower sugar-containing, high fiber vegetables,” said Hayes.
Aspirus offers the following tips for taking charge of your health, with help from the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
- Eat healthy and get active. A healthy eating routine and regular physical activity can help control your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. By keeping these numbers in a healthy range, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In terms of dietary changes, Dr. Hayes recommends limiting saturated fat and processed food intake, as well as overall sugar consumption. He says to “aim to make vegetables, such as leafy greens, the primary source of your daily calories.”
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. There is strong scientific evidence that drinking alcohol increases the risk for cancer, including cancers of the mouth and throat, liver, breast (in women) and colon and rectum, and for some types of cancer, the risk increases even at low levels of alcohol consumption (less than 1 drink in a day).
- Quit smoking. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and a greater risk of erectile disfunction.
- Prioritize your mental well-being. Life can get tough, and thinking things through with a mental health professional can help.
- Know your family’s health history. You don’t have to be embarrassed to talk about your health. Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family, then share this information with your provider.
- Get preventative care. Many people think of health care providers as someone to see when they’re sick. But they also provide services — like screening tests and vaccines — that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.