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. 2: Watch What You Eat continued...
Instead of a beefsteak, try tuna or salmon steaks. A turkey burger could
replace a beef burger. There are also vegetarian meat substitutes.
If this does not sound appetizing, try mixing healthy items into the meals
you normally eat. For instance, a beef dish could be mixed in with tofu.
"So you can get some of what you want, but not enough to hurt you,"
(Have you resolved to diet this year? Check out WebMD's Diet Assessment tool.)
New Year's Resolution No. 3: Go to the Doctor
Do you have a twisted ankle, back pain, blood in the urine, an enlarged
mole, or unexplained sadness lasting more than a couple of weeks? These are all
good reasons to see a physician. Yet plenty of men simply don't do it.
Men make 130 million fewer visits to the doctor than women do, and that's
not including childbirth visits, says Armin Brott, author of Father for
Life. He says men tend to discount pain and see themselves as
indestructible, especially at younger ages. He says this general thinking stems
from ideas promoted in childhood -- that big boys need to be tough and they
don't cry. As men grow up, they are raised to think of themselves as providers
"We're supposed to be taking care of our families, and we just don't
have time to take care of ourselves," says Brott, noting a great percentage
of the time men go to the doctor because their wife sent them. By the time they
go, however, their condition could have progressed to more troublesome
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
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
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.