ALEXANDRIA, La. (CALB) – June is Men’s Health Month, which aims to educate men about certain health risks and encourages them to take action towards living a more healthy lifestyle.
According to the CDC, on average men live around five years less than women, and men have a higher death rate for most of the leading causes like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and suicide.
Dr. Connor Rougelot, MD with LSUHS Family Medicine Residency in Alexandria said many men’s health issues can be prevented if addressed early.
“Men often don’t go to their primary care doctor until there’s an issue or some sort of issue that leads to the emergency room,” said Dr. Rougelot.
As men get older, it becomes increasingly more important for them to schedule regular check-ups and screenings.
“Especially once they hit 50 years old, that’s when a lot of other screenings come into play like colonoscopies for colon cancer. If you have a history of smoking, we start doing lung cancer screenings at that age, ”said Dr. Rougelot. “For men specifically, we start screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms, which is a ballooning of the big blood vessel that leads from your heart that can happen in patients with a smoking history.”
Diet and exercise also have a positive impact on health and health outcomes.
“The recommendation right now is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. So, I usually tell my patients 30 minutes a day for five days a week do something to where you’re working up a sweat. I tell them, I’m not asking them to go run a marathon or run ten miles every day, even walking around the neighborhood for 30 minutes breaking a sweat can decrease your risk for coronary artery disease, improve depression, decrease your risk for weight gain, decrease your cholesterol, it’s got all kinds of benefits. ”
Stephen Brooks is a personal trainer and strength coach at Built by Don Fields Fitness Center. He said exercise impacts many facets of health.
“When most people think training and exercise they think muscle, but there’s a lot of other aspects that training does help in terms of general health where you have pain management, stress management. It prevents injuries, it reduces changes through the body with aging, ”said Brooks.
Brooks said staying in shape is important for an individual’s quality of life, no matter their age.
“As men age, they tend to become less active, especially after the age of 50. They become less mobile, they lose muscle mass,” said Brooks. “So, to help maintain their physical independence to play with the kids, play with the grandkids, travel, help their wife out, anything that requires any physical activity you have to have a baseline level of strength and conditioning.”
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