Men: Take Charge of Your Health
A Few Healthy Habits Can Help You Feel Great and Live Longer
Most people know that statistics show men die earlier than women. But you may not know that more than half of these early deaths can be prevented. Getting annual exams and preventive screenings, as well as making some healthy lifestyle choices, can make a big difference.
Pick Up Some Healthy Habits
Men of all ages can benefit from taking a few steps to get healthy. You’ll feel better now and maintain your good health longer. Make these healthy lifestyle choices a part of your everyday routine:
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Keep serving sizes in check and watch your intake of salt, fat and empty calories.
- Get enough sleep.
- Protect yourself from injuries at work, home or play.
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
- Quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
- If you’re carrying extra pounds, lose the weight.
- If you drink, do so in moderation.
- Keep vaccines and health screenings up to date.
Don’t Wait until You’re Sick to Go See Your Doctor
Men tend to go to the doctor only when they are already ill or experiencing problems. But an annual exam that includes the right screenings and vaccinations for your age can help you avoid getting sick in the first place. It can also help prevent serious health problems later.
Use the following recommendations to determine what you may need to schedule each year.
- Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI): Every one to three years.
- Blood Pressure: At least every two years.
- Cholesterol: Ages 20 to 35 should be tested every five years. If you are over 35 or at high risk, talk to your doctor about frequency.
- Diabetes: Those with high blood pressure should be screened regularly. Others, especially those who are overweight or have additional risk factors, should consider screening every three years.
- Colon Cancer: Beginning at age 50, colonoscopy every 10 years, OR flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years OR fecal occult blood test annually.
- Prostate Cancer: Ages 50 and older, discuss the benefits and risks of screening with your doctor.*
- Hearing: Beginning at age 65. Talk to your doctor about frequency.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Once between ages 65 and 75 if you have ever smoked.
- Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis Booster (Tdap): Every 10 years.
- Influenza (Flu): Annually.
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): One or two doses for men ages 19-49.**
- Varicella (Chicken Pox): Two doses.**
- Herpes Zoster (Shingles): One dose at age 60 or older.
- Pneumococcal (Pneumonia): One dose at age 65 or older.
In addition, if you are between the ages of 45 and 79, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of aspirin use.
*Recommendations may vary; discuss the start and frequency of screenings with your doctor, especially if you are at increased risk.
**This immunization may not be necessary if you are already immune. Talk to your doctor to see if you need it.
Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Men's Health Network