Just For Men: Tips For Good Health

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In a time when staying healthy is on everyone’s mind, Men’s Health Month (June) puts special emphasis on protecting the health of men and boys.

When it comes to COVID-19, New York City public health information and data from other countries suggest men are more likely to end up in the hospital and almost twice as likely as women to die from coronavirus. Scientists speculate that women may have stronger immune responses; no one knows for sure.

What is clear is that getting tested before symptoms become severe, practicing good hand hygiene, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distancing all help to avoid spreading and getting the virus.

While all eyes have been on COVID-19, there are still plenty of other health issues for men to consider. It’s important to have a primary care provider who can help you on your journey. This person can be a trusted ally with whom you can discuss health concerns and emotional health issues.

Health Screenings And Immunizations

Knowing your family health history can help you and your doctor take special precautions if there is a risk of hereditary diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease, or cancer.

Schedule a yearly physical to talk about your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and other health concerns. If you are feeling stress, depression, or anxiety, this is a good time to start a conversation on what you can do to improve mood.

Important health numbers to watch include:

  • Blood pressure goal is less than 120/80; at a minimum, less than 140/90
  • Blood sugar goal is less than 100
  • Lipids/cholesterol goal is total less than 200; LDL less than 100; triglycerides less than 150; HDL (good cholesterol) greater than 50
  • Body mass index (BMI) goal is less than 25

Through the years, you’ll want to get health screenings and immunizations:

  • Testicular exams are important for young men (about half of all testicular cancer cases are found in ages 20 to 34).
  • Get sexually transmitted disease testing if you are sexually active.
  • Get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, now approved for males age 9 to 45. Optimal age for the vaccine is 11 to 12. In males, the vaccine prevents against cancer at the back of the throat, base of the tongue, and tonsils. More males are getting these cancers from HPV than females are getting cervical cancer.
  • Establish your blood pressure numbers. If you’re running high, get it checked frequently and follow your doctor’s suggestions about reducing it.
  • By your 40s, get a yearly fasting blood test to track your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Early intervention can help prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • A colonoscopy is an important screening for colon cancer, starting around age 50 – or earlier if you have a family history. There is overwhelming evidence that colon cancer screening saves lives.
  • If you are in your 50s, ask your doctor about whether to get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test as a screening for prostate cancer. Opinions are mixed, but many doctors still find it useful.
  • Problems with erectile dysfunction may be linked to cardiovascular disease or prostate problems. Don’t assume this is part of aging. Talking to your doctor if you have concerns.

Choose Healthy Habits

We all have a pretty good idea about what’s good for us and what isn’t. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded, however. Stay on a healthy path with these tips:

  • Pay attention to your weight and the calories you consume. Avoid high sugar content, fatty foods and eating out too frequently. Exercise portion control. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
  • Drink about 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Get enough sleep, ideally seven to nine hours a night.
  • Exercise – at least 210 minutes a week – with a mix of aerobic activity and strength training. Put it on your schedule or exercise with a friend to keep you motivated. This not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, but also boosts your mood and is good for your brain.
  • Avoid marijuana, tobacco, vaping, and other drugs. Drink moderate amounts of alcohol.
  • No matter what your age, stay connected socially with family and friends, which is extremely important to your emotional health and mental outlook.
  • If you’re feeling down, find someone to talk to, whether it’s someone close to you, your primary care provider, or a behavioral health professional.

Getting Care Safely During COVID-19

Premier Physician Network offers patients several avenues for safe and easy access to the care you need.

When you schedule an in-person visit, you will be screened at the door for any COVID-19 symptoms, have your temperature taken, and be asked to wear a mask while you’re in the office.

All staff and cleaning crews at Premier Health facilities are following strict safety guidelines to maximize hygiene and prevent exposure to the virus.

If you prefer to stay home and use a telehealth option, we also offer:

  • Video visit with your provider: a real-time appointment with your provider, by video. Premier Health Urgent Care providers also offer virtual visits. Premier Virtual Care is available any time, day or night.
  • A phone visit with your provider
  • E-Visit: emailing your provider through your MyChart® account

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.