June is Men's Health Month and, in that spirit, it's important to take a look at your lifestyle and what you are doing right and where you could make some improvements. Men as a whole tend to live a somewhat unhealthy lifestyle. They tend to smoke cigarettes and drink more, and have a tendency to avoid regular medical check-ups. Just being male is considered a risk factor for a number of different health conditions including:Diabetes Heart disease, and Prostate and colon cancerSo what can be done to prevent these problems from starting or keep them from getting worse?Step One - Visit your doctorIt's crucial to get a full physical every year. Your blood pressure should be monitored and blood work done to check your cholesterol. Other screening tests need to be done as well, especially if you are over age 50, to check for prostate disease or colon cancer. According to a study done in 2001 by the Centers for Disease Control, women are 100 percent more likely than men to get their regular yearly physicals. As unpleasant as these tests may be, your family relies on you and it's important to know where you stand when it comes to your health.Step Two - Get regular exerciseThis doesn't necessary meaning shelling out a fortune to make yourself miserable on a treadmill at the gym. Walk the dog, play with the kids, enjoy a game of touch football with the guys. There are also some great activities available through your game console. Most systems like Wii and PlayStation feature exercise-based games that are fun and get your heart pumping.Step Three - Eat rightYou've always heard about the food pyramid and it's still sound advice. Make whole fruits and veggies the base of each meal, followed by whole grains, lean protein like chicken or fish, two to three servings of dairy, and fats and sweets in moderation. For a healthy and great-tasting weeknight meal, fire up the grill and prepare salmon on a cedar plank. Serve alongside stir-fried veggies like snow peas and mushrooms cooked in a little bit of olive oil, and brown rice.Step Four - Get enough restStudies have continuously shown that a good night's sleep can make a huge difference when it comes to your health. Links have been discovered between poor sleeping habits and health problems like obesity, heart disease and mental health concerns. Not to mention, your attention and satisfaction with life can suffer immensely when sleeping is a problem. Many times sleeping problems can be caused by a sleep disorder. If you snore or stop breathing during the night or find yourself waking frequently, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about screening for a sleep disorder.Before making huge changes to your diet or starting an exercise program, make an appointment to see your doctor. Actually, make an appointment anyway - it's your first step on the road to better health!
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