All it takes is a little attention and awareness to boost our chances of living a long, enjoyable life. Most men know what it’s worth to know where you stand, what you’ve got going for you, and what you’re up against.

And yet, too many men are content to walk around in blissful ignorance when it comes to their own health. This is surely one reason women still outlive us. Let’s snap out of it.

Fate in Our Own Hands

Although health awareness for men is not entirely a D-I-Y proposition, many of the factors to monitor are things we can attend to ourselves. Number one is our weight.

Our body mass index (BMI) – a simple height-to-weight ratio – is one key for reducing our chances of Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. All it takes is to weigh ourselves regularly and see where we stand on a BMI chart, which is easily pulled up on the Internet. With this information in mind, we can eat and exercise with awareness and intention, and this can make a great deal of difference.

It might seem to be on the other end of some spectrum, but depression is another thing we can, and should, keep an eye out for. Men are commonly brought up to “soldier on” and “keep a stiff upper lip,” but prolonged periods of feeling down are not normal, not healthy, and not something we have to put up with. Don’t ignore your own state of mind, doctors say, and be willing to ask for help.

It is a simple idea, but it’s a tough one, given the roles we take on our culture. If you’re feeling too sad, or sad for too long, then step up and speak up.

Even the Best Need a Coach

Your family physician is best positioned to interpret the “blood work,” the lab tests that come from samples taken before your regular physical exams. Serum cholesterol, blood sugar, kidney, and liver function are just some of the health indicators that your doctor can help you interpret from your blood test. After about the age of 50, your family physician may advise checking PSA levels (prostate-specific antigen) to keep an eye out for signs of prostate cancer.

And speaking of cancer, one of the biggest cancer risks we live with in the sunny South is the risk of skin cancer. So, it’s a good idea to get a full-body scan for signs of it from a healthcare professional.

This visual once-over, as simple as it sounds, is vital. After all, does it make sense to bet your life on your own ability to tell the difference between a mole, a freckle, and a life-threatening melanoma? It’s just another example of how important to our health it can be to have a family physician on our side. We’d be happy to be part of your team. Just call us at 843-815-6468.