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June is Men’s Health Month. In the United States, women statistically live longer than men. There is an average gender age gap of 5 years: women live 5 years longer than men, but some ethnicities have a wider gap. The mortality rate for men is also 41% higher than it is for women. Even though there are many reasons for these statistics (genetics, ethnicity, etc), a proactive approach is one of the best ways to ensure a long and healthy life.
The top causes of death among adult men in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other health risks include lung cancer, diabetes, depression and suicide, and prostate cancer/prostate related issues. Most of these risks are preventable with some specific lifestyle choices and healthy habits.
Don’t avoid your doctor simply because you don’t feel sick. An important way to prevent illness is to get regular check ups. Your doctor can recommend early screenings based on your medical history. You can also learn to listen to cues from your body. If something seems off, ask questions, call your doctor, don’t ignore it.
Practicing healthy lifestyle habits is also highly effective for maintaining good health. Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke to prevent lung cancer. To prevent or manage heart disease and diabetes, adopt a healthy diet and regular physical exercise. There are many resources available for depression and mental illness. Wear protective gear when necessary and follow all safety instructions.
There are risks that men and women share, there are some illnesses that are specific to men. The bottom line is that men should be proactive about their health just as women should. Good health is more than just going to the doctor when you get sick. Good health is achieved and maintained with intentional daily decisions.
DISCLAIMER: This article contains information that is intended to help the readers be better informed regarding exercise and health care. It is presented as general advice on health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Before beginning any new exercise program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of a licensed physician. The reader should consult with their doctor in any matters relating to his/her health.