Hiking man and boy

Good Health for Men Often Depends on Wellness Awareness and Early Screenings

June is Men’s Health Month – a perfect reminder for men to make wellness a priority. Many men take care of their health, but additional work is needed to keep more men healthy.

The statistics for men’s health are disturbing. For men, life expectancy is 76.3 years; for females, it’s 81.2 years. Nearly 71 percent of men are at risk of being overweight or obese, compared to 59 percent for women. Far more women than men are likely to go to a physician office visit.

These statistics may be alarming for men and their loved ones, but many of the health risks that men face can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle and getting recommended and timely preventive health screenings.

Men’s Health Month is a reminder for men to take charge of their health. I know first-hand what it takes to help men of all ages get and stay healthy. It’s what I do every day in my practice.

Regardless of gender I give my patients the same general health advice, but men often need more reminders. One of my focus areas for patients is physical activity. Regular physical activity can control weight, reduce risks of developing heart disease and some cancers, and can improve overall mental health and mood. Another important priority is nutrition. I encourage my patients to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, and limit foods and drinks high in sugar, salt, saturated fat and alcohol.

There are other important reminders for men. For example, don’t overlook the importance of using sunscreen. All patients need to work with their doctors to get a full understanding of the purpose and side effects of the prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and supplements they take. In addition, it’s important for men and those close to them to be aware of the warning signs for depression.

If you or the men in your life are not making positive health choices, now is the perfect time to take charge of your health.

More information is available at optumcare.com/menshealth.

June 24, 2019 | by Theodore "Theo" C. Edwards MD