Did you know that men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women? Part of the reason is that men are more reluctant to go to the doctor, according to menshealthmonth.org.
In fact, studies show that women go to the doctor twice as much as men.
Every June brings awareness to the health issues all men face of preventable health problems and encourages early detection and treatment.
Schedule Annual Exams – As a senior man, it is important to listen to your body and be sure to get regular checkups and schedule annual exams. Here are some of the screening tests recommended for men 65+:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Blood pressure
- Colon Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
Medications – It’s important to take medications as directed, and especially for seniors to keep a complete list of medications and dosages handy. Always inform any doctor you visit about your medications – the more they know about your meds, the better they can look out for potentially life-threatening drug interactions. The older you get, it’s common you may be on more daily prescriptions and medications; so with increased medications you run a greater the risk of side effects and adverse interactions.
Vaccines and Inoculations – Keep up with recommended shots, including for flu, shingles, pneumonia and diphtheria/tetanus, is vitally important — especially for the elderly men in our lives.
Healthy Eating – Older men have specific dietary needs. They need more calcium, vitamin D, fiber and potassium. Experts recommend limiting fat calories to 20 to 35 percent of your diet and suggest the following guidelines for daily calorie needs for men 50 and over:
- Not active: 2,000
- Moderately active: 2,200 to 2,400
- Active: 2,400 to 2,800.
Additionally, it is recommended that senior men try to incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity, 5x a week into their daily schedule (physical limitations, permitting.)
Use Sunscreen – Up to 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have at least one skin cancer, and Caucasian men are particularly at risk. It’s never too late to take steps to prevent further damage from the sun. Try to avoid the sun during peak hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., wear a hat and sunglasses, and liberally apply SPF 30 or greater sunscreen to all exposed skin.
Sleep – It is beneficial for men to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. But have you been told you sound like a freight train or hibernating bear? All jokes aside, snoring is no laughing matter. All too often, snoring is a direct result of sleep apnea, a disease that can become deadly if left untreated. The CDC listed more sleep as the #1way men can live healthier.
Wear BLUE – On Friday’s throughout the month, men are wearing blue! This event is sponsored by Men’s Health Network whose mission is to reach men and their families with health awareness where they live, work, play, and pray.
Now’s the time to start making healthier lifestyle choices and be sure to make your appointment for your annual visit to your doctor. It’s never too late!