• By Dana Sparks

Tips for Improving Men’s Health

June 16, 2016

middled-aged African-American man in hospital bed, with his wife talking with doctor

Hesitant about going to the doctor for a checkup? Don’t be. A healthy patient-provider relationship and some regular maintenance can give you a long, healthy life.

Paul Loomis, M.D., Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire says, “Prioritizing your health in your thirties and forties is analogous to financial investing. If you start when you’re 50, you’re behind the eight ball. Start when you’re 25, and you will have invested well.” He says some men take better car of their cars than their health and offers these reminders.

Keep your engine tuned - Men don’t appreciate the significance of cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke, according to Dr. Loomis. “There’s a lack of awareness about how significant that risk is, but we have better screening and treatment options than ever before.”

Make the connection - Establishing a trusting relationship with your health provider is extremely important for prevention. Checking blood pressure, establishing healthy weight goals and understanding cholesterol and blood glucose numbers puts men on track for long-term health. It also helps with discussing sensitive topics, such as prostate exams. Dr. Loomis says, “Current evidence says you should at least have the discussion at age 50,”

Learn from the past - Building the patient-provider relationship leads to better care, makes patients more comfortable, helps reveal important health concerns and provides a more detailed family history. Dr. Loomis adds, “Talk to family members. Sometimes it’s hard to hash out what’s genetic and what’s lifestyle.”

Work hard, play hard - Dr. Loomis recommends physical activity, healthy diet and an optimistic outlook for an overall healthy lifestyle. “I ask men how often they change the oil in their cars. A lot of guys take better care of their toys than their health!”