15 Health Tips for Men
- Maintain ideal body weight.
About 350,000 people die every year due to obesity.
- Exercise regularly.
Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, or on most days of the week. Exercise lowers risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, osteoporosis, and depression.
- Eat healthy foods.
Eliminate “White Foods” from your diet such as white sugar, white bread, white flour and other processed foods. They lack vitamins and minerals and increase your blood sugars leading to weight gain and diabetes. Choose fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats that increase the risk for heart disease. Healthy fats such as olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids are protective against heart disease.
- Take a multivitamin with minerals and get at least 1500 mg of calcium every day.
- Avoid smoking.
400,000 people die every year due to smoking in the US. This is one of the most important health decisions.
- Avoid alcohol.
Although drinking in moderation (1 standard size drink for women and up to 2 standard size drinks for men per day) helps reduce the risk for coronary artery disease, excessive alcohol consumption causes significant physical, psychological, and social damages. Remember, moderation is the key.
- Practice safe sex and get tested for STDs.
Sexually transmitted diseases are serious such as syphilis, HIV, and AIDS and cause several chronic disabilities. It is a good idea to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases every time you enter a new sexual relationship. Not knowing is not only dangerous for you, but for your partner as well. Reduce risk of STDs by using condoms.
- Have regular physicals- even if you feel great.
It is extremely important to have blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol checks. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are “silent killers” that can cause significant cardiovascular disease without causing any symptoms until it is too late.
- Have regular colonoscopy and prostate serum antigen testing. These tests help detect colon and prostate cancers early and at a stage when they are still curable.
- Have regular eye exams for glaucoma screening. This is a condition that can lead to significant vision loss without early warning symptoms. The eye exams also help detect macular degeneration and cataracts in a timely manner.
- See your dentist regularly.
Only a few men enjoy visiting their dentist. In the long run, the degree of pain only increases if you avoid periodic dental examinations.
- Prevent skin cancer.
Use a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF, wear protective clothing, and avoid sun exposure during the hours of 10am to 4pm when the sun is the strongest. (For details please read my post on Skin cancer and Melanoma from May 7th).
- Reduce the risk of injuries by using seat belts, bike helmets, and protective equipment when playing sports.
- Get enough sleep (8 hours a night is best). To avoid having trouble sleeping, avoid looking at screens (tv, phone, computer) at least two hours before bedtime and don’t eat a heavy meal before bedtime.
- Reduce stress.
Meditation, yoga, or any relaxing practices are extremely important and should be incorporated into our daily lives.
Dr. Mahesh Ochaney is a solo practitioner who has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1991. Dr. Ochaney’s compassionate primary care has been recognized several times over the years, including being named a 2018 Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and receiving a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation.