Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

5 Healthy New Year's Resolutions for Men

Experts share their thoughts on the top 5 things men can do to get healthy in the new year

New Year's Resolution No. 3: Go to the Doctor continued...

Promise yourself that if something doesn't feel right, you'll go to the doctor, Brott tells men.

Besides treating ailments, a medical practitioner can screen for potential problems, and keep a record of normal fitness levels. Health exams can give doctors a baseline for things like blood pressure, and cholesterol. If a man does not go to the doctor, it becomes harder for physicians to determine the severity of a problem.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends the following screening tests for men:

  • Cholesterol Checks. Have your cholesterol screened at least every five years, starting at age 35. Have it done at age 20 if you smoke, have diabetes, or have a family history of heart disease.
  • Blood Pressure. Have it checked at least every two years.
  • Colorectal Cancer Tests. Begin testing at age 50.
  • Diabetes. Have a test done if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
  • Depression. Talk to your doctor if you've felt sad for two weeks straight, and have had little interest in normally pleasurable activities.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Ask your doctor whether you should be screened.
  • Prostate Cancer Screening. Talk to your doctor about the risk and benefits of performing the prostate-specific antigen test, or the digital rectal exam.

Brott says it's also a good idea for men to give themselves a regular visual exam, taking inventory of how they feel and look.

New Year's Resolution No. 4: Quit Smoking

Giving the nicotine habit the boot is one of the most popular resolutions for both men and women. It is a difficult task, and for some people, success does not come until after multiple tries.

Experts say the best way to deal with the problem is to get help. "You get no extra points for being macho," says Brott.

There are a number of resources for support. You may visit your primary care doctor and/or join a smoking cessation program in person, online, or by phone. You may consider medication, or nicotine replacements such as patches, gums, sprays, inhalers, and lozenges. Or you may contact groups such as the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health for help.

Robert Stenander, corporate services clinician for the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, recommends face-to-face support groups. The personal interaction, he says, can help raise accountability, and can provide vital social connections.

"You can describe and talk about what your issues are with regard to your smoking cessation, and you've got other people who may be able to give you some hints and suggestions as to what they've encountered," says Stenander.

A relapse is a real possibility, but it's important to look forward and avoid negative thinking. "Don't give up," says Stenander. "Don't get yourself in a defeatist attitude that you can't do something. Let's talk about what you can do."

If one smoking cessation method doesn't work for you, try another one. You may also consider different support groups as some may work better than others.

Don't forget that you can also enlist the support of family and friends. Many former smokers have found loved ones as a vital source of encouragement.

Today on WebMD

Life Cycle of a Penis
Slideshow
Preacher Curl
Slideshow
 
testosterone molecule
Article
Xray of foot highlighting gout
Slideshow
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video