According to the most recent data released by the World Health Organization, men in the United States have an average life expectancy of roughly 75 years. That places the United States at 33rd in the world for male life expectancy. And while the gap is shrinking, women in the United States still outlive men by roughly five years, with an average life expectancy of 80 years.
For many years, heart disease and cancer have been the leading causes of death for men in our country by a wide margin. Healthcare organizations, physicians, and health advocates have worked tirelessly to educate Americans about the risks and prevention strategies to try to combat these diseases as much as possible. And those efforts appear to be having some effect. While heart disease and cancer remain atop the list, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), they are slowly beginning to decline.
But many of the leading causes of death for men are preventable. There are ways to protect yourself and to lead a longer, healthier life.
The CDC offers the following tips and guidelines for men’s health and wellness.
Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day and less saturated fat can help improve your health and may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Have a balanced diet, and watch how much you eat.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is at an all time high in the United States, and the epidemic may be getting worse. Those who are overweight or obese have increased risks for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
More than 50 percent of American men and women do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. For adults, thirty minutes of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week is recommended.
Health concerns associated with smoking include cancer and lung disease. Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among those who are middle-aged. Second-hand smoke - smoke that you inhale when others smoke - also affects your health. If you smoke, quit today!.
Get Routine Exams and Screenings and Vaccinations
Based on your age, health history, lifestyle, and other important issues, you and your health care provider can determine how often you need to be examined and screened for certain diseases and conditions. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancers of the skin, prostate, and colon. When problems are found early, your chances for treatment and cure are better. Routine exams and screenings can help save lives. Protect yourself from illness and disease by keeping up with your vaccinations.
US Department of Health & Human Services Men’s Health & Fitness Screening Guidelines »
Manage Stress & Be Good to Yourself
Balancing obligations to your employer and your family can be challenging. What's your stress level today? Protect your mental and physical health by engaging in activities that help you manage your stress at work and at home.
Health is not merely the absence of disease; it's a lifestyle. Take steps to balance work, home, and play. Pay attention to your health, and make healthy living a part of your life.
Your parents and ancestors help determine some of who you are. Your habits, work and home environments and lifestyle also help to define your health and your risks. Being healthy means doing some homework, knowing yourself, and knowing what's best for you.
Safety includes fastening seat belts, applying sunscreen, wearing helmets, and having smoke detectors? It's all of these and more. It's everything from washing your hands to watching your relationships. Take steps to protect yourself and others wherever you are.
For information on upcoming health and wellness programs in the Lakes and Three Rivers regions, visit Community Education or call 527-7120