When it comes to cars, you know when to change the oil, rotate the tires, and have the front end aligned. But you may not be as diligent about caring for your body as you are about your car.
The body needs routine maintenance, no matter how many miles you have on it. Some men never get that care, and end up breaking down on the road, so to speak. For many that's because they have no dealership to remind them when they're due for service.
Four years ago, Santa gave me the worst Christmas present I'd ever received. The day after the most joyous holiday of the year, my doctor called and delivered the news that I had prostate cancer.
Because my dad had prostate cancer decades before, I had been going to a urologist since I turned 40 to have a PSA [prostate-specific antigen test]. Recently, my PSA had shot up very high, to 29, and the following biopsy confirmed that I had a highly aggressive tumor. At 50 years old, I faced the biggest...
"People bounce around from doctor to doctor and no one is really working with them on an ongoing basis," says Rick Kellerman, MD, president-elect of the American Family Physicians, who practices in Wichita, Kan.
"I think the No. 1 thing is probably establishing a relationship with a physician that you know, and that you trust, and that you can communicate with," he tells WebMD.
In addition to having a primary doctor, wouldn't it be nice to have a basic maintenance schedule for your health? Well, here you go.
Keep in mind that the following schedule is meant for generally healthy men. Recommendations may differ for men who have -- or once had -- significant medical problems, or have other factors that might increase risks.
Fill up with good fuel.
The National Institutes of Health encourages men to eat 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
Like your car, your body needs quality fuel to keep it running smoothly. Fruits and vegetables should make up a large part of your diet. Fatty foods, which leave deposits in your arteries like dirty gasoline leaves deposits in your engine, should make up only a small part of it.
Rev your motor.
Ideally, you should exercise every day. The CDC and the American College of Sports Medicine jointly recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (for example, a brisk walk that increases your heart rate and breathing) on most days of the week.
Clean your grille.
Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day. Good oral hygiene prevents tooth decay and gum disease, which can be painful, unattractive, and expensive to treat.