Men die younger of all the leading causes of death. By age 36, women outnumber them in the population. At age 100, women outnumber men 8 to 1. The Journal of the American Medical Association even published a special issue dealing with men's health. How can men close this gap? Read on:
1. Avoid ViolenceViolent deaths often impact the very young who would have otherwise lived long, healthy lives. Boys age 15 to 19 are twice as likely as girls in this age group to die from homicide. Most homicides are not random crimes perpetrated by strangers, but escalations of domestic or criminal disputes. Learn to control anger and stay calm in tense situations.
2. Drive SafelyMen are about twice as likely to die in car accidents as women. Men drive more aggressively and are less likely than women to wear a seatbelt. So buckle up and chill out. All that lane-switching and yellow-light-running only buys you a few extra minutes. Try to plan your driving based on the most stress-free routes and decisions instead of the fastest. Take a deep breath at stoplights, take the back roads, and just drive less to reduce your risk.
3. Work SafelyThe most dangerous jobs are generally worked by men. Ninety-two percent of workplace deaths are men. Take workplace safety seriously. A bad decision, unread instruction manual, or unmonitored gauge could end in tragedy. Sure, workplace safety videos are boring and manuals are hard to read, but learning how to properly use and care for tools and machinery is critical.
4. Don't Drink (Too Much), Smoke or Use DrugsMen drink more, smoke more, and do more drugs. This clearly contributes to risk for accidental death as well as long-term health problems such as lung cancer, cirrhosis (a liver illness), and respiratory problems. Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs are addictive substances that need to be used with caution. If you want to quit smoking or stop drinking there are many resources to help you.
5. Get a CheckupVery few men just go to the doctor for a checkup. Women are twice as likely as men to go for preventive checkups and health screenings. There are lots of new places opening up giving "executive physicals" and other comprehensive screening packages. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent problems from developing into full-fledged chronic illnesses. Check with your health insurance (they may cover many screenings and preventative visits) and talk to your doctor and have your skin, heart, blood, and other organ systems screened.
6. Get HelpMen are notorious for not asking for help. Men are more likely to go more days with a serious symptoms before going to the doctor. Men are also less likely to seek psychological help. As a result men get diagnosed later and are more likely to commit suicide. If you think you need help, go get it. Avoiding help when you need it simply makes a bigger problem later.
7. Listen to Your DoctorWhen you do go to your doctor, listen to him or her. Men are not as likely as women to follow instructions from their doctors. Take medicine as ordered, make nutritional and lifestyle changes as suggested and you will get better faster. Don't play doctor yourself.
8. Fill Life with MeaningMen make up 85 percent of the suicides for ages 65 and up. Loneliness, depression and difficulty finding meaning after retirement all contribute to this higher suicide rate. Seek help for depression if you need it and fill your life with family, friends, and meaningful activities.
9. Take Care of YourselfWomen are thought to be better than men at taking care of themselves. You can live longer by taking care of your body, exercising, and eating right. Men's health involves exercise, nutrition, stress management, social relationships, regular doctor visits, and emotional balance. Take some time to think which areas need improvement and make a list of changes to make; then get to work on those changes. Taking care of your health is a gift to yourself and to your family.
10. Take Care of Your HeartMen ages 55 to 74 are twice as likely to die of heart disease as women. Take care of your heart's health by exercising, relaxation and watching your cholesterol. If you can reduce the risk of this number one killer, you stand a good chance of adding years to your life. Learn about heart health, and changes that you can make to decrease your risk of a heart attack.
Source: Men's Health Network Reports