Man to Man talk ~
Its men’s health month. Let’s face it, we tend to neglect our health until the problem is unrelenting and they have no choice. Men don’t necessarily like to read a whole lot. Men prefer pictures instead! Here are some simple, quick and good guidelines to keep in mind. It’s worth the read, men!
Here are 10 suggestions:
- Sleep: Probably one of the more important functions to a healthy lifestyle. Most studies suggest about 7 hours is adequate for the average adult. However, a significant problem in our country is sleep apnea. If you have daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, high blood pressure, poorly controlled sugars as a diabetic…, you may have sleep apnea. Addressing this would be a significant step in improving your overall health.
- Workout: Exercise is also critical to our long-term survival, and to minimize health complications. Varying your exercise is beneficial but stay active. There are many programs out there. Keep trying until you find the one you can be most consistent with. As they say, “sweat till you’re wet.”
- Eating: You are what you eat. A healthy diet is easier said than done. We live in an environment where we have access to a lot of carbohydrates. Try salads more frequently. Fruit and vegetables should be a part of your daily diet. …And fish, you can almost never go wrong with adding more to your diet.
- Preventative care: Once again, men tend to wait to see the doctor. I can give you many anecdotal examples how a routine exam prevented a catastrophe. Especially as we age, this is very important. Establishing a primary care physician relationship is crucial.
- Mental health: As men, sometimes we think we can “handle” our own problems. We are reluctant to talk to others or ask for help. More recently in the news there have been stories on the rise in drug addiction (opioids), alcoholism and suicide. If you think you have an addiction problem or suffer from depression, you should reach out to your primary care physician and/or a psychiatrist/therapist. Unfortunately, we men in America tend to under value our mental health and see it as a weakness if we can’t handle our problems ourselves. This desperately needs to change.
- Consider meditation. Once you learn how to do it and get into the daily habit, this can be a significant stress reliever.
- Prostate care: 1 in 7 men will eventually develop prostate cancer (if you live long enough). Eighty percent of men who reach 80 have prostate cancer cells in the prostate! This should be closely followed as you age. A low-fat diet will reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- Don’t skip breakfast: This is one of the most important meals of the day. Fiber in the morning means less hunger later in the day.
- Take care of your teeth: They need to last you a lifetime. Brush and floss regularly.
- Go green: Green tea that is. It has a compound called polyphenols. This helps fight cancer and the tea itself boost alertness from caffeine (albeit a smaller dose than black tea).
Most of all, enjoy yourself. Life has a way of passing you by very quickly. Thinking positive, treating others as you would like to be treated, and caring for yourself (mentally and physically) will set you on a track for an enjoyable life. But sometimes, to accomplish this it requires help, teamwork… If you have questions or concerns, we have the resources to help!
Dr. Robert Dean, MD