By Scott D. Miller, MD
It is well established that women are more health-conscious than men. They tend to eat healthier, pamper their skin, floss their teeth daily, and go to the doctor regularly. Men, on the other hand, manage to put off these annual wellness visits. In fact, men are also more likely than women to make unhealthy choices such as smoking, excessive drinking, and aggressive driving. So how can women move the needle?
I would imagine that most women turn the page when they see an article about men’s health. Whether it’s a husband, father, brother, or good friend, share these health tips with your loved ones. In fact, most of these articles also contain helpful advice for women.
Of course, the best mentors teach by example. As already mentioned, this is where women have a head start. However, men can be oblivious to those cues. Nevertheless, it is much easier to make healthy decisions when the people around you make the same choices. Repeatedly making these favorable choices—particularly for shared activities—will heighten the awareness of healthy lifestyle decisions.
We all want to please others, but sometimes men need to hear what’s best for them. Don’t be afraid to say that a second basket of tortilla chips is a bit much while waiting for that order of fajitas. Point out when they’re looking fatigued and suggest a little more exercise and sleep. Approaching these sensitive issues can be difficult, but not as difficult as losing that loved one.
So here is your essential “can-do” list for the men in your life:
• Stick to the calendar for those necessary doctor visits
• Eat a healthy and balanced diet (in the right amounts)
• Perform moderate exercise on a regular basis
• Develop a good bedtime routine
• Drive safely
• Don’t smoke
• Wear sunscreen
• Take out the trash (are you still reading?)
Look for my article on “A Men’s Guide to a Healthy Winter” in the next issue.
Scott D. Miller, MD, is the Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at WellStar North Fulton Hospital. He is a urologist with WellStar Urology in Roswell and has practiced in Atlanta for over 20 years. WellStar North Fulton Hospital offers the Know Your Heart Screening that can determine your risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious conditions. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to learn more or schedule an appointment.