Whether it’s a business, a military operation, or a sporting event, most men know what it’s worth to know. 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 –which might be a contributing reason as to why women still outlive us.

Let’s snap out of it. All it takes is a little attention and awareness to boost our chances of living a long, enjoyable life.

What We Can Do for Ourselves

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 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 easily pulled up on the Internet.

It might seem to be on the other end of some spectrum from just keeping track of how much we weigh, but depression is another thing we can, and should, keep an eye out for. We’re 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. Yes, it’s a simple idea, but it’s a tough one, given the roles we take in our culture. If you’re feeling too sad, or sad for too long, then step up and speak up.

When We Call in the Pros

Your family physician is the resource for that scientific stuff that you have to look at regularly, especially after age 50. Depending on what your doctor says, annual or semi-annual checkups are the key to reading an interpreting your “blood work.”

That blood sample you have before each regular exam is where you stay aware of blood sugar levels, serum cholesterol, liver and kidney function, and signs of prostate cancer. Without it you’re flying blind.