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10 Simple Men’s Health Tips You Can Try Right Now

June is Men’s Health Month — a good reminder for men to pay a little more attention to their health than usual. Celebrate today (and every day) with 10 simple tips to help put you in control of your good health.

1. Schedule a doctor’s appointment.

Research shows that men are less likely to see a doctor than women, putting their health at risk and helping women generally outlive them by at least five years. One of the best ways to maintain your health is to see your provider at least once a year. During your checkup, your provider will check your blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cholesterol, as well as recommend other screenings based on your age and risk factors. This appointment is also a great time to ask any questions or talk about any concerns you have about your health.

2. Floss.

We all know the importance of brushing our teeth every day, but adding flossing to your daily routine can help combat bad breath, remove embarrassing food stuck in your teeth and improve gum health. And while you’re scheduling that annual doctor’s appointment, be sure to schedule a twice-a-year cleaning at the dentist, too.

3. Wear sunscreen.

Sunscreen isn’t just for kids. Next time you head out for yard work or go to a baseball game, be sure to apply sunscreen before leaving home. Sunscreen helps protect skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, reducing your risk of skin cancer. Plan on wearing sunscreen anytime you’re out in the sun for longer than 20 minutes.

4. Check your skin.

Men don’t usually pay attention to their skin, outside of shaving in the mirror. This June, spend a little time looking for new or unusual growths on your skin and help detect skin cancer in its early stages. Keep the “ABCD” rule in mind and be on the lookout for moles with the following characteristics:

  • Asymmetry (one side is bigger than the other)
  • Uneven borders (lines around the mole are jagged or uneven)
  • Red or uneven color (moles should be one color, generally brown)
  • Large diameter (moles shouldn’t be bigger than 6 mm, which is about the size of a pencil eraser)
  • Pay attention to any moles that change in appearance, either in size, color or border. If you have concerns about a mole, contact your provider or a dermatologist.

5. Commit to exercise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that only 55.4 percent of men meet the recommendations for daily exercise. The CDC recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, biking slower than 10 miles per hour or playing doubles tennis. Vigorous activity includes running, swimming laps, biking faster than 10 mile per hour or playing singles tennis.

The CDC also recommends adults add muscle-strengthening activities, such as free weights, pushups or lunges, at least two days a week for additional health benefits.

6. Boost your diet with fruits and vegetables.

Most men are falling short of recommendations to eat two cups of fruit each day and 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables every day. Work to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet and get the health boost your body needs. Here are a few easy ways to eat more fruits and veggies:

  • Dip vegetables in hummus or Greek yogurt for a healthy snack.
  • Eat a salad for lunch.
  • Grill veggies for a tasty twist on side dishes.
  • Make a nutritious smoothie.
  • Top breakfast cereal or yogurt with fresh fruit.

7. Cut back on carbs and sugar.

Refined carbs — such as white bread, bagels or crackers — and sugar can add to your waistline and increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Pick whole-wheat options over white bread and watch for added sugar in favorite snacks, including yogurt and drinks.

8. Go vegetarian at least once a week.

Research suggests a plant-based diet can boost heart health. Try going meatless at least one night a week. Substitute red meat for meals that put beans and grains center stage, or add fish into your weekly rotation.

9. Snack healthy.

Skip the processed food and reach for healthful, filling snacks. Try cheese and nuts, fruits and veggies or popcorn instead of chips or sweets.

10. Pass on alcohol.

Research suggests that men drink no more than two drinks per day, and health providers recommend drinking even less. Alcohol has been shown to interfere with the brain’s ability to communicate, damage your heart, hurt the liver and pancreas and increase your risk of cancer. Drink in moderation, if you drink at all. And be sure to always have a designated driver whenever you consume alcohol.

Take care of yourself.
This summer, spend time taking care of your health and wellness. The best place to get started is by scheduling an appointment to see your doctor. To find a provider near you, call 770-214-CARE.

Dr. Lovvorn currently sees patients at two Tanner Medical Group practices. West Carroll Family Healthcare is located in Bowdon. For more information, call 770-258-5424 or visit WCarrollFamilyHealthcare.org. Tanner Primary Care of Wedowee is located in Wedowee. For more information, call 256-357-2188 or visit PrimaryCareWedowee.org.

Men's Health Care

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