Ditch the Doc
You already know you need to drop a few pounds and cut back on the beer and potato chips. Besides, you feel fine. Men are geniuses when it comes to finding reasons not to see the doctor. But one of the most important things you can do for your health is schedule -- and show up for -- a regular visit.
Think You Can't Have a Heart Attack
The "Big One" is something most guys worry about for their dad or granddad. But the threat is often there for much younger men. If heart disease runs in your family, it could find you as early as your 30s. No matter what your age is, make it a point to take care of your ticker.
Ignore the Snore
Sawing logs at night? About half of guys who snore have something called obstructive sleep apnea. It does more than just annoy the person next to you. This disorder can make you stop breathing for a few seconds. It's also linked to heart disease and high blood pressure.
Skip the Sunscreen
We're not just talking about golf or beach days. You should slather on a product with an SPF 30 or higher every time you go outside to prevent skin cancer. Most guys never put it on their faces -- or any other exposed skin. Protect yourself.
Refuse to Get Help for Impotence
Don't be ashamed. Bedroom problems have nothing to do with your masculinity. Chances are they aren't caused by your state of mind, either. The main cause of impotence is usually a lack of blood flow to the penis. This can also be a sign of heart trouble, so put your pride aside and see the doc.
Drink Away the Blues
More women than men get depressed. That's part of the problem -- the idea that it's a "female problem" often keeps the more than 6 million men who have it from seeking help. As a result, more guys turn to drugs and alcohol to help them feel better. This just makes depression that much harder to spot -- and treat.
Go With the Flow
How many times have you gone to the bathroom today? Really, who has time to keep track? Maybe you should. If you go more than eight times a day or more than twice at night, it could be more than a nuisance. It could be a sign of a medical problem like enlarged prostate, overactive bladder (OAB), or even some forms of cancer. Talk to your doctor about it.
Keep Your Mouth Shut
In the U.S., women are more likely than men to get routine dental checkups. But guys need to see the dentist regularly, too. Not only because they can spot and prevent oral problems, but sitting back and saying "ah" can also reveal symptoms of things like diabetes, Crohn's disease, lupus, and even leukemia.
Stick With Meat and Potatoes
It's a rare guy who gets enough fruits and vegetables during the day. Doctors suggest four to five servings of each for a heart-healthy diet. If that's not enough, eating the good stuff also lowers the odds that you'll have a stroke, cancer, or digestive problems. And it keeps your blood sugar in check.
Some guys just love to drink, smoke, gamble, drive fast, or jump out of planes. Sure these things are fun, but all of them can be bad for your health. Truth is, men are more likely than women to do all these things. Why? Some guys do drink more, which messes with their judgment. Others just spend less time worrying about the outcome of their actions. Sometimes, it pays to think twice.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Healthy Men."
- Johns Hopkins Medicine:"5 Heart Health Mistakes Made by Men-- and How to Avoid Them."
- National Sleep Foundation: "Snoring and Sleep."
- American Sleep Apnea Association: "Is It Snoring or Sleep Apnea?"
- National Sleep Foundation: "Myths - and Facts - About Sleep."
- American Academy of Dermatology: "Sunscreen FAQs."
- American Academy of Dermatology: "Study: Most Americans don't use sunscreen."
- Cleveland Clinic: "Erectile Dysfunction."
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: "Men and Depression Fact Sheet."
- American Psychological Association: "Men: A Different Depression."
- FDA: "Need Relief From Overactive Bladder Symptoms?"
- University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center:"10 Cancer symptoms men shouldn't ignore."
- CDC: "State-Specific Trends in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Adults -- United States, 2000-2009."
- American Heart Association: "Suggested Servings from Each Food Group."
- Harvard School of Public Health: "Vegetables and Fruits."
- Wu, B. Frontiers In Public Health, Dec. 17, 2013.
- American Dental Association: "Your Top 9 Questions About Going to the Dentist -- Answered!"
- Harris, C. Judgment and Decision Making, July 2006.
- Lendrem, B. British Medical Journal, Dec. 11, 2014.
- Chi, Angela C. American Family Physician, Dec. 1, 2010.