Man up and take charge of your health

Dr. Lemuel Dent

With days packed with work, family, socializing, errands, activities and more, we often forget to focus on the most important thing: our health. Men, in particular, tend to overlook their personal well being, which ultimately affects not only themselves but also those who love them.

Men in the United States have higher rates of death from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and suicide, and on average, have a life expectancy that is five years shorter than women. A likely cause? Men are half as likely as women to visit their physician for preventative health support.

June is Men’s Health Month, making it the perfect time to make your wellbeing a priority.

Schedule that visit to the doctor you’ve been putting off or take that first step to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle. Your life could quite literally depend on it.

Don’t have a primary care doctor? The team at Nashville Healthcare Center would be glad to see you. Just give us a call at 615-341-4968.

In the meantime, here are a few ideas to get your health on the right track.

• Know your numbers. Regular cholesterol, blood pressure, prostate cancer and other screenings can go a long way in keeping your health in check. Track your A1C levels, especially if you have a family history of diabetes. When caught early, many health conditions are treatable, either through medication or lifestyle changes.

• Snack smart. Take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables available during the summer months to boost your diet. Add in some protein-packed nuts for a healthy snack option. Pause to gauge whether you are still hungry before going back for seconds. Small changes like these can add up over time and improve your overall health.

• Get moving. According to the CDC, just over 50 percent of men 18 and older met the federal physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week last year. Did you? Think about ways to fit a little more movement into your life – take a quick walk on your lunch break or after dinner, or opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.

• Mental health is just as important as your physical health, but we are even less likely to seek treatment for it. If you are feeling overworked, overwhelmed, or anxious don’t be afraid to speak up. Getting enough sleep, trying yoga or meditation and taking care of your physical wellness can help, but sometimes it takes a professional to get you on the right path.