Men: Take Charge Of Your Health


The Basics: Overview

Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to:

• Smoke
• Drink alcohol
• Make unhealthy or risky choices
• Put off regular checkups and medical care

The good news is that you can start taking better care of your health today.

How can I take charge of my health?

See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel fine. This is important because some diseases don’t have symptoms at first. Plus, seeing a doctor will give you a chance to learn more about your health.

You can also take care of your health by:

• Getting screening tests that are right for you
• Making sure you are up to date on important shots
• Watching out for signs of health problems like diabetes or depression
• Eating healthy and getting active

The Basics: Healthy Habits

It’s not too late to start healthier habits.

Make eating healthy and being active part of your daily routine. A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help lower your:

• Blood pressure
• Blood sugar
• Cholesterol
• Weight

By keeping these numbers down, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

You can also help prevent health problems by:

• Drinking alcohol only in moderation
• Quitting smoking

Take Action: Small Changes

Use these tips to take charge of your health.

Make small changes every day.

Small changes can add up to big results like lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

• Take a walk instead of having a cigarette.
• Try a green salad instead of fries.
• Drink water instead of soda or juice.
• Eat less salt.

Find more small changes you can make to keep yourself healthy.

Talk about it.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about your health. Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family. Use this family health history tool to keep track of what you learn. Share this information with your doctor.

Take Action: Get Preventive Care

Get preventive care to stay healthy.

Many people think of the doctor as someone to see when they are sick. But doctors also provide services—like shots and screening tests—that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.

Get screening tests to find problems early.

Screenings are medical tests that doctors use to check for diseases and health conditions before there are any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.

• Get your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 years.
• Talk to your doctor about getting your cholesterol checked. You could have high cholesterol and not know it.
• If you are age 50 to 74, get tested regularly for colorectal cancer. Ask your doctor what type of colorectal cancer screening test is right for you.
• If you are a man age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked, talk with your doctor about your risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
• If you feel stressed, anxious, or sad, ask your doctor to screen you for depression. Most people with depression feel better when they get treatment.

Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day.

If you are age 50 to 59, taking aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and colorectal cancer. Talk with your doctor about whether daily aspirin is right for you.

—Courtesy of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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