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Men's Health

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
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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," says Bonhomme.

(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 and protectors.

"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 stages.

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.

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