Do You Know the Most Common Mistakes Men Make with Their Health?
Generally speaking, men tend to overlook their health more than women do.
Research also shows that men are more likely to smoke, drink too much alcohol, and bury their emotions. They tend to engage in fewer preventive health behaviors and may forego seeing their medical providers regularly. These choices can take a serious toll on health and well-being.
Here are five common health mistakes men make that could be shaving years off their lives.
1. Skipping routine medical visits
Many men delay seeking medical care or avoid mentioning health concerns to their loved ones, according to recent research by the Cleveland Clinic. They may assume there’s nothing seriously wrong or that they can “tough out” their symptoms. However, not seeing a health care professional (HCP) when it’s time for a checkup or when concerning symptoms crop up is risky and could have serious consequences. Medical attention is not only helpful for immediate problems like an infection or the flu, but it is also essential for good long-term health. Skipping appointments also results in missing out on routine screenings and vaccinations. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels are among the numbers that should be monitored regularly over time. Routine appointments will enable your HCP to monitor any chronic conditions and quickly identify other health issues if they arise.
2. Bottling up emotions
Research has shown that men of all ages and ethnicities are less likely than women to seek help coping with anxiety and depression. Avoiding mental health discussions can have serious repercussions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that men account for about four in five of all completed suicides. Why are men less likely to share when they’re stressed, depressed, or feeling down? They may not be comfortable asking for help, or they might fear that there’s something seriously wrong.
In most cases, early identification and treating mental health issues lead to better outcomes. Be on the lookout for signs such as increased anger; changes in mood and energy level; sleeping too much or too little; difficulty concentrating; prolonged sadness; and drug or alcohol abuse. If you think you or a loved one has depression or anxiety, see your HCP. Many effective treatments are available, including medication, talk therapy, exercise, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, yoga, and mindfulness meditation.
3. Overlooking regular dental appointments
Men are more likely than women to neglect their oral health, falling short on their brushing habits and not visiting the dentist as often as experts advise. Good oral hygiene helps prevent bacterial buildup in the mouth. A broken or cracked tooth allows bacteria to enter and can become the source of life-threatening infection. Skipping dental checkups and neglecting oral hygiene have also been linked to chronic health issues like heart disease and diabetes. In addition, men are more likely to develop oral and throat cancers and gum disease than women. Visit the dentist twice a year and maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing. See your dentist promptly if you notice any symptoms, such as toothaches, sensitivity, bleeding, sore gums, or cracked or broken teeth.
About 14 percent of American men smoke, even though the negative health effects—such as an increased risk for heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and stroke—are well-established. Men who smoke are 17 times more likely to die from bronchitis and emphysema and 23 times more likely to die from cancer of the trachea, lung, and bronchus. Middle-aged male smokers are also nearly four times more likely to die from heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, now is the time to kick the habit.
5. Choosing the couch over the treadmill
Generally, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. However, only one in four men actually meets these goals. Skipping exercise and living a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of physical and mental health problems. Exercise triggers the release of beneficial brain chemicals, which can ease stress, improve mood, and boost energy. Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers. Always consult an HCP before starting any fitness program to determine if it's safe and appropriate.
If you need more information about men’s health issues or if we can be of assistance in any way, we are here to help. Please contact us anytime.
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