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Men’s Health Week 2012: Prevention Tips to Stay Healthy

It’s not just good luck and good genes that lead to a healthy life. Research shows that our actions have a big say in the matter, too. Many major health problems that affect men and boys are preventable through lifestyle changes, early detection, and treatment.

And yet, several things work against men when it comes to health. They tend to smoke and drink more than women. They don’t seek medical help as often as women. Some men define themselves by their work, which can add to stress.

Kick off the Men’s Health Week, the week leading to Father’s Day 2012, by checking out these top tips to help boys and men maintain good health and long lives.

  • Get routine exams and screenings. Ask your doctor how often you need to be examined. Ask about screening tests for certain diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sexually transmitted infections, and certain types of cancer.
  • Get enough sleep. It can affect your mood and your health. Try certain changes that can improve your sleep. See your doctor if you think you have a serious problem.
  • Eat healthy. Nutritious foods give you energy and may lower your risk of certain diseases. Focus on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free milk products. Learn nutrition basics and how to read a food label.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can raise your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Find out your body mass index, or BMI, to see if you’re at risk. Eat healthy foods, control portion sizes, and be active to keep your weight in check.
  • Get moving. Regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Find out how much physical activity you need.
  • Be smoke-free. Smoking is linked to many of the leading causes of death, including cancer, lung disease, and stroke. If you smoke, quit today! Also, avoid secondhand smoke. Take any medications you need. Thousands of deaths could be prevented each year by taking medications properly. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications, including those that help control conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Avoid heavy drinking, which can lead to many problems, including high blood pressure, various cancers, psychological problems, and accidents. For men 65 and younger, drinking in moderation means no more than two drinks per day. Men older than 65 should have no more than one drink a day. Find out about drink serving sizes.
  • Manage stress. Balancing work and family obligations can be challenging. But it’s important to protect your mental and physical health. Find healthy ways to cope with stress.
  • Be careful. Unintentional injury is the number one cause of death for males under the age of 44.

Tips courtesy of the Department of Health and Human Services.