Men’s Health: Making Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Top Health Threats
It’s June, which means it’s Men’s Health Month. This month, AFSPA wants to help men prioritize their health. Part of that is knowing its top threats.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top causes of death among adult men in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke. But you can significantly lower your risk of being affected by these health issues by making a few lifestyle changes like these:
- Don’t Smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated and trans fats, and foods with added sugar and sodium.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — can lower your risk of heart disease as well as various types of cancer.
- Get moving. Exercise can help you control your weight, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke and possibly lower your risk of certain types of cancer. Choose activities you enjoy, such as tennis, basketball or brisk walking. All physical activity benefits your health.
- Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. That means up to two drinks a day if you are age 65 or younger and one drink a day if you are older than age 65. Examples of one drink include 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters) of standard 80-proof liquor. The risk of various types of cancer, such as liver cancer, appears to increase with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you've been drinking regularly. Too much alcohol can also raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under pressure, your lifestyle habits may suffer — and so might your immune system. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
Part of staying on top of your health includes regular visits to your doctor. Don’t wait to visit until something is seriously wrong, your doctor can help you maintain your health and prevent disease.
How can AFSPA Help?
Check out our wellness programs available to Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) members to see which is the best fit for you and your health needs. By using the resources available to you, you can better prioritize your health and maintain a healthier lifestyle.