Men can be great caretakers. Whether its attention to a classic vehicle or devotion to family, they tend to cover all the bases.
There seems to be one exception, though: their health.
Men, in general, focus less on preventive care than their female counterparts. Take, for instance, the fact that women are 33 percent more likely to visit a physician for any reason. And then consider that men often wait until a condition is serious before making a medical appointment. Perhaps it’s a grin-and-bear-it attitude; maybe it’s a matter of priorities. Either way, men have quite a way to go in improving their own health care. When they do, they’ll find that many of the conditions that plague their gender are easily preventable. In this article, we’ll look at some classic men’s health problems and the simple measures to avoid them.
This disorder causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing throughout the night. And while it may not sound like the most intimidating of health conditions, it can increase your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. As a man, your chances of having sleep apnea are higher. Fortunately, there are other risk factors of the disorder that you can control. One of the main preventive measures for sleep apnea is weight loss. Being overweight greatly increases your odds of having the condition, so improving your diet and exercise regimen can go a long way toward reducing the number of logs you saw each night. Other preventive measures include avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, sleeping pills and sleeping on your back.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be distracting or it can be debilitating. Either way, it decreases the activities you’re able to do, while increasing your misery. However, unless you have congenital or genetic spine problems, or have spinal degeneration due to disease or an accident, there’s a great chance you can prevent lower back pain. The steps are simple:
• Lose weight: The pain in your lower back may be from the spare tire you’re carrying around. Lose it, and the pressure on your back will lighten.
• Work on your posture: Doctors agree with your mom: Good posture is important. When standing, make sure your ears, shoulders, hips and knees are all in alignment with one another.
• Lift safely: Men are more likely to have occupations where they do a lot of heavy lifting. If this is you — or even if you only have to carry a large load when you’re helping your buddies move — you can benefit from learning proper lifting procedures such as rising slowly, bending the knees and not twisting the back.
• Strengthen your back: A workout that improves your core stability can make your lower back stronger and less prone to injury. Seek out a routine that includes aerobic conditioning as well as strengthening.
• Support your back while sleeping: Lying down for long periods of time can put a strain on your back. To take the pressure off, place a pillow or rolled up towel under your knees as you sleep. If you usually sleep on your side, the pillow or towel can go between your knees.
There are some foods that just seem to be “guy” foods — like wings, steaks and ribs, for example. And, of course, these tasty items are usually washed down, in manly fashion, with a nice cold beer. Unfortunately, the foods and beverages on a man’s menu of favorites are usually the ones that can also lead to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is a disorder that causes acid reflux and heartburn. So cutting back on spicy and fatty foods, as well as alcohol, can decrease your odds of having to battle the uncomfortable sensations they can produce in your chest and throat later that night.
Of course, you’ll probably still want to indulge in these delicious no-nos from time to time. If you’re willing to take that risk, it might pay to already have some preventive measures in place. A big step you can take toward reducing your occurrences of GERD is to lose weight. Being obese or overweight makes it much more likely that you’ll suffer from the gastroesophageal condition.
Some readers might be surprised to find this condition on our list. After all, it’s generally women who sunbathe. While women are also susceptible to skin cancer, it is actually the No. 1 cancer in men over age 50. This is, in part, because men spend the most time outdoors — either through vocation or recreation.
There are many preventive measures you can take right now to reduce your risk. These include:
• Wear sunscreen every day.
• Cut back on outdoor time during peak hours.
• Wear broad-brimmed hats and tightly knit clothing.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men in the United States. And while this may make it seem inevitable, you can actually reduce your chances of being targeted by this killer.
You may have noticed that most of the health conditions on our list have suggested weight loss or smoking cessation as preventive measures. That is because both obesity and smoking increase your body’s risks of developing many diseases — and heart disease is no different. So if you want to avoid being part of heart disease’s daunting statistic, stop smoking, eat a diet low in fat and sodium, and exercise. You’ll also need to manage any related conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, which would also include weight management and a healthy lifestyle regimen.
Eating the right foods and making time for a workout can take commitment and self-discipline, but when you consider they may prevent one of the deadliest diseases, you’ll see that they really are simple measures after all.
Wilsons Wellness Center
10201 Arcos Avenue Suite #202
Estero, Fl 33928