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Men's Health Month: How to be a healthier man

Show on Corporate Home, Body, Men's Health

A lot of men find that their healthcare tends to take a back seat to other priorities—like work or fatherhood. Sometimes they even skip going to the doctor when they know they should.

But if you’re a guy who’s been putting your healthcare on the back burner, you may end up shortchanging those other big priorities (like your family or career) in the long run. Luckily, you have the power to change that narrative.

In honor of Men’s Health Month this June, take a look at our tips on how to be a healthier man.

Schedule a checkup

We all need regular medical checkups, even when we’re feeling fine. But like a lot of guys, you might not always see your provider on time.

Here’s the problem with that: Some pretty serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, don’t cause symptoms at first. Getting checked, or screened, is the best way to catch health issues early, when they’re easier to treat.

The primary care provider you see for checkups can help you get any screenings you need. For example, depending on your age and other risk factors, you might need:

  • Colorectal cancer screenings. Different methods are available.
  • Cholesterol blood tests. Unhealthy levels can raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Blood sugar tests for diabetes.
  • Screening for depression, a serious but treatable illness.

Another reason to get checkups? To get any adult vaccines you may need.

Eat right and exercise

A healthy lifestyle is also important. It can help you feel better and lower your risk for serious health conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart trouble.

While heart disease is a leading killer of both women and men, men are likelier to experience often fatal cardiac arrest. The good news? Heart-smart lifestyle changes can help. Get started with these tips:

Make fruits and vegetables part of every meal. Their nutrients may provide disease protection.

Limit blood pressure-boosting salt and sodium by eating fewer processed foods.

Go easy on red meat, especially fatty and processed kinds. They’re loaded with artery-clogging saturated fats. For a leaner alternative, try skinless white meat like chicken or turkey.

Eat fish, such as salmon, every week. It’s lower in saturated fats than many meats and supplies healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Switch to low-fat or nonfat milk. It contains less saturated fat than whole milk.

Get moving. Any amount of activity is better than none. For best results, aim for at least two and a half hours of heart-pumping aerobic activities (like walking or cycling) each week. A few minutes at a time is fine. And don’t ignore your muscles. Make time for strengthening exercises two days a week.

Fight stress

Stress is a common health issue many men face. Too much stress can make you unhappy and unhealthy. To help manage stress in your life:

Go to sleep on time. Try to get at least seven hours of nightly shuteye.

Phone a friend. Talking to someone can make problems seem more manageable.

Get organized. When you’re feeling swamped, make a daily to-do list. This will help you zero in on what you must get done first.

Take a walk. A little movement and fresh air can help you destress.

Could you use a vacation?

Getting away is good for your health—and productivity. Learn more.