Why is Healthy Living So Important?
Healthy living can help prevent some of the leading causes of death for men. Even the smallest changes, like applying sunscreen or taking a walk around the block every day, can help put you on the path to a longer, healthier life.
A balanced diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat, may reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is at an all time high in the United States, and the epidemic may be getting worse. Those who are overweight or obese have increased risks for diseases and conditions that are among the top causes of death for men – diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you obtain or maintain a healthy weight.
The CDC reports that more than half of American men and women do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. For adults, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week is recommended. Don’t consider yourself the gym type? Don’t worry! Ease into a workout routine that fits you by finding fun ways to stay in shape. Gardening, mowing the lawn, dancing, swimming, walking, and jogging are all activities that can help you stay fit.
Follow the lead of the state of Illinois and become smoke free. Among the leading health concerns associated with smoking are heart disease, cancer and lung disease. In fact, smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among those who are middle-aged. For tips on how to quit consult your physician or see Smoke Free under RESOURCES in the right-hand column.
Even the most simple things can contribute to a safer, healthier life, such as fastening your seat belt, applying sunscreen or wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle. The CDC reports that men at work die most frequently from motor vehicle incidents, machine-related injuries, homicides, and falls. Be mindful of what steps you can take to stay safe and avoid injury.
Keep Up With Exams and Screenings
Regular exams and screenings for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancers of the skin, prostate, and colon can help you catch a problem early and save your life. According to the Center for Disease Control, when problems are found early, your chances for treatment and cure are better.
The CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health recommend that:
- Anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated each year. Why put up with the cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, as well as muscle aches, headaches and extreme fatigue fever that come with the flu when a simple vaccination can prevent it? For those who are at high risk of having serious flu complications, such as people 50 years of age and older; people of any age with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease; and people who live in nursing homes should have a flu vaccine every year.
- Have a pneumonia shot once after you turn 65. If you are younger, ask your doctor whether you need a pneumonia shot.
- Get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years.
Know Your Family History
While your habits, lifestyle, and environment can contribute to your health, genetics also plays a role. Be aware of your family history with diseases and conditions to create the healthiest lifestyle plan.
Rest and Relaxation
Health is not merely the absence of disease. Be sure to balance the stress of personal and professional obligations with activities you enjoy. Also, make sure you get enough sleep.