Men’s Health: How to Live Longer and Happier

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Every year different researches demonstrate the same trend: no matter what is the continent, the economic development of the country of residence, cultural trends, and religious aspects, men consistently live less than women. Sadly, the experts are more and more convinced that the leading causes of lower life expectancy are carelessness about health, reluctance to do preventive examinations, and neglecting doctor’s recommendations.

Why Do Men Live Less?

According to the data of the World Health Organization, in the year 1970, the life expectancy at birth was 61.2 years for women and 56.4 for men. During 40 years, this parameter has increased by almost 11 years, but the difference between genders has not decreased and even increased: life expectancy equaled 73.3 for women and 67.5 for men.

In different countries, the difference between life expectancy for men and women can make ten years or more.

What is the reason for such a considerable difference? The overview of social determinants of health for the European region by the WHO has discovered 67 risk factors for increased mortality, with 60 of them prevalent in men,

Still, one of the main reasons for such a significant difference between life expectancy for men and women is a difference in attitude to health.

The experts of the WHO have interviewed 50,000 Europeans. The interviewed have responded to the question, “Do you see a doctor at least once per year?” It turned out that between the age of 36-45, 40% of men and 60% of women seek medical assistance; at the age of 46-60, these figures are 41% for men and 59% for women; for people aged over 60 years, the correlation remains the same. It shows that in all age groups, women turn for medical assistance, on average, 20% more often than men.

Men’s Health: What You Need to Know

You need to know your risk factors as early as possible to take timely preventive measures.

The more boxes from the list below you tick, the higher your risks are:

  • You are older than 60 years,
  • Some of your family members have died from heart attacks and strokes,
  • You smoke,
  • You have a high level of cholesterol,
  • You have high blood pressure frequently,
  • You lead a sedentary lifestyle,
  • You are overweight or obese,
  • You have diabetes,
  • You drink alcohol more often than 2 times per week,
  • You notice that you feel considerably worse during the last 5-7 years,
  • You have medical examination less than once per year,
  • You live alone,
  • You find it hard to do any minimal physical exercise (for example, you find it difficult to go upstairs to the 2d or 3rd floor).

Which Habits Can Help Men’s Health

The older we are, the more important are our way of life and habits. What we do now will define our background, which we have at a vulnerable age. Here are some of the simple habits you should have as early as possible to live as long as possible.

    Don’t Be Afraid of Doctors

While women turn for medical help after feeling unwell for a short time, men are inclined to wait until the last chance, ignore symptoms, and go to doctors only when the disease has become irreversible. Also, men pay less attention to their sensations and disregard many alarming signals such as an acute headache or unpleasant sensations in the chest (first signs of heart attack or stroke), considering it as a consequence of uncomfortable posture during sleep or weather changes.

The main rule is: always seek medical assistance when you experience any unpleasant or unusual sensations. Don’t wait for them to pass, don’t live with them, don’t google them, and don’t try self-healing. Go to see a doctor at once and describe all symptoms in detail. Sometimes, one can prevent severe and dangerous disorders at the very early stages only because he or she didn’t wait when a sudden increase in body temperature disappears or noticed a slight pain in the stomach in time.

Another useful habit is to have an annual medical examination even in the absence of any alarming signals. After 40 years, you should control your blood pressure, sugar level, cholesterol, make blood tests, and have a physical examination. Your doctor will help to make the list of the most critical tests.

    Control Your Diet

There is nothing complicated here; most likely, you already know the rules; eat less sugar and salt, skip trans fats, consume less processed meat, sweet drinks, and quick carbohydrates. Try to saturate your diet with

○     fresh fruits and vegetables,

○     whole-grain products,

○     high-fiber foods,

○     lean meat, poultry, fish.

    Move

Heart diseases are one of the most widespread causes of death in men all over the world. Meanwhile, an active lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to prevent them. Besides, regular exercise will improve psychological health, memory, and cognitive abilities. According to data of the WHO, it is enough to have 150 minutes of exercise per week, doing not only aerobic exercise but also reasonable power training.

    Keep an Eye on Your Pants Size

No, this is not a joke. Having a fat belly is dangerous for your health. The fat which accumulates in this area encapsulates the internal organs, preventing them from normal functioning. The critical size of your waist is 86 cm; if you have it like this or more, you should take measures.

    Control the Level of Vitamins and Minerals

In the ideal case, we shall receive all necessary vitamins, minerals, and other useful substances with food, but in reality, almost everyone lacks these or other vital substances. A balanced diet is good and important but you should check if you have a deficit of essential substances and vitamins and discuss taking special food additives with your physician, if necessary.

    Protect Your Skin

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer and one of the deadliest forms of this disease. According to the information of the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD), this risk is particularly high for men aged over 50 years. What can we do to protect our health? First of all, maximally protect yourself from dangerous ultraviolet rays, use sunscreen (not only at the beach but also in the city), wear sunglasses in winter too to protect the sensitive skin around the eyes, and avoid tanning parlors. It is also essential to visit a dermatologist for examination regularly and go to see a doctor if you have found new or changed birthmarks and other marks on the surface of your skin.

    Regularly Check the Health of Your Prostate

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of this disorder of this organ in men. You should see a doctor if you have urinary problems, feel pain when urinating, or notice blood in the urine. But even if there are no alarming symptoms, you should regularly see a proctologist in order not to miss the onset of this disease.

    Pay Special Attention to Your Gut After 50 Years

Colon cancer is one of the prevalent diseases which kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world. It is an age-related disease, most often diagnosed in people older than 50 years. That is why it is vital to get a regular colorectal cancer test after 50 years. Possibly, the colonoscopy is not the most pleasant procedure, but it can literally save your life in some cases.

Cheat the System

Statistics are just numbers. At the end of the day, your only and unique life depends only on you and a little on luck. Take care of yourself, keep your health in mind, and remember: the stereotypes are not worth dying for. Perhaps it is worthwhile to give up just a small part of ostentatious masculinity for the happiness of living longer together with those who love you and whom you love.

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