When it comes to personal health, men are losing the battle of the sexes. They're taking better care of their cars than of their own bodies.
According to statistics from Men's Health Network, on average, men die five years sooner than women. And a lot of that earlier death is preventable.
According to the U.S Department of Health, one in five men has heart disease, one in three has high blood pressure and two in three are overweight.
Conditions from high blood pressure to cancer are treatable when caught early. Wait too long and too much damage may have been done. All it takes is a yearly check-up to find out. But a lot of men don't get them. It seems to be a guy thing. An official of the Men's Health Network says that data shows women are twice as likely to seek preventive care as men. And that starts with a yearly check-up.
When it comes to health, a macho approach is a killer.
Shrugging off insults and misfortune can be lead to a happier life. But you can't do this with your body. Sure, no one really wants to go see the doctor. But once a year won't kill you. Quite the contrary.
Conditions like high blood pressure don't give warning signs; the only way to tell if you have it is to get checked out. But many other conditions do give warning signs--nagging aches, pains or the sense that something isn't quite right. They also need to be checked out. Most won't get better without attention.
Men also aren't doing a very good job of talking to their doctor when they do see them. A big mistake since they know what their body's been telling them from day to day while the doctor doesn't. With the average doctor visit getting shorter every year, it's important for patients to bring up these problems and not wait for the doctor to ask about them. Otherwise they may never come up. This goes for embarrassing problems like sexual ones too, no matter how strong the urge is to not mention them.
Eating right and exercising regularly are two keys. More fruits and vegetables, less sweets and meat and two and a half hours of exercise a week pay off both in the short run and the long run. And exercise also works as a natural anti-depressant for all of life's unpleasantness. Like doctor visits.
Keeping in good health means both paying attention when your body complains and taking steps so it won't complain in the first place. Men's Health Network has more information and ideas about how to do it.