your doctor ask about your alcohol habits? Doing so could save
take a deep breath here and say that we love men. We
appreciate them. We cannot imagine a world without them. Thus,
we can often overlook certain shenanigans that make us cringe
such recklessness comes at the expense of their health. So in
the interest of keeping men on the planet as long as possible
(which is already, on average, five years shorter than for
women), we’ve asked experts what they wish men knew — and
would incorporate into their lives.
do we start?" says Sid O’Bryant, associate professor of
internal medicine at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
"There are a lot of things I want to convey, not only for
men to understand they’re not just important for the heart,
but also for how your brain ages."
the key things he finds frustrating is how men don’t think
about brain health during aging.
wait till they’re in their 80s and then say, ‘I wish I
would have done things differently,’" says O’Bryant,
an Alzheimer’s researcher. "Women plan better. Women
plan to age. They actually think about it. We men plan for a
financial future for our family. We think how our wives will
be taken care of when we’re gone, but not how we can be
pay attention to these nine things the experts want them to
know, who’s to say how much that life-span age gap can
Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is a real
physiological event, says certified athletic trainer Ken
Locker. But "most men don’t think they have depression
because they don’t cry easily."
talk about depression, O’Bryant says. "And if we don’t
talk about it, it isn’t real."
says, "it’s this huge thing that’s impacting so many
men across the age range. Men think we’ll tough it out
because we don’t want to talk about it: ‘It might make
things worse,’ or ‘I’m admitting weakness.’
is a huge hurdle for men that couldn’t be more wrong,"
he says. "Strength is acknowledging the problem."
doesn’t just bring people down mentally; it hurts physically
as well, he says. "If you’re sick, depression makes it
worse. If you have diabetes and depression, the diabetes is
worse. It also increases the risk for Alzheimer’s, and most
people don’t know that."
also need to realize it’s treatable, he says. "When
depression gets better, other things get better. Diabetes can
get better. The risk for Alzheimer’s can go down."
do: Don’t be ashamed to talk to your family doctor, who can
recommend a professional counselor or prescribe medications.
isn’t just a girl thing. Men need to realize that
bench-pressing three days a week isn’t going to cut it,
workout-wise, Locker says. They need cardio, and another good
choice is yoga.
you age, yoga is really good because it helps balance,"
he says. "It works against gravity. You have to stop, to
concentrate when you’re doing it. It’s good for men, too,
not just for women."
do: Ask friends for recommendations, then try a class. Get
there a few minutes early. If you don’t like it, talk to the
instructor, or try another. Don’t give up after one class.
"No pain, no gain" is stupid. Even in less than a
year of being a certified chiropractor, Logan Sherman has
witnessed plenty of examples of this belief not taken
big thing I see with a lot of male patients is that they
potentially push past the minor things that could be caught at
an earlier stage," he says, "and are now related to
who is training for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the marathon,
cites plantar fasciitis as an example.
something that can really be avoided," he says. "Men
say, ‘Hey, I’ve experienced tightness in my calf the past
couple of weeks.’ They’ve heard from a buddy how he worked
through it but never followed the steps. It ends up being a
do: If you feel a twinge, rest. For plantar fasciitis, avoid
going barefoot. Roll a tennis ball, golf ball or frozen water
bottle under the foot several times a day. If the pain
persists, check with your doctor.
Certain cancer screenings are imperative. "Prostate
cancer is "the easiest cancer to kill if it’s
detected," Locker says. But men, go figure, would happily
skip that part of a physical, he says.
afraid," he says. "Most men are ego-driven as far as
their ‘manlihood,’ but they need to take care of that
manlihood part. I don’t know how much more gingerly we can
villain is colon cancer, which can be detected early, he says.
"Men tend not to want to know, or to think they don’t
have any problems."
do: Schedule the screenings, for crying out loud.
don’t need a gym to be fit. "Gravity," Locker
says, "was the first gym ever invented."
do: Pushups, crunches and squats can be done anywhere. Ditto
job is not a workout. Even if you do manual labor for a
living, "physical activity is above and beyond anything
you do in daily life," O’Bryant says. "It has to
need to work out as much as O’Bryant, a competitive amateur
body builder. But you do need to raise your heart rate on a
activity has such broad-based benefits for men," he says.
"It can reduce depression, help your memory, help your
brain at a basic biological level. It may actually reduce the
risk for Alzheimer’s."
do: Move. And switch it up, Sherman says.
"If we don’t vary the stress or stimulus we put on the
body, we become bored, the activity becomes mundane, and we
don’t gain as much physiological benefit as we would with a
varied activity," he says. "This is why I always
encourage anyone to have faster, slower, longer, shorter,
heaving, light, hard and easy days."
automatically know what to do. "What men do that’s the
biggest problem in exercise is not asking for help," O’Bryant
says. "It’s like that asking for directions thing. I go
to the gym, and see people there for the first time and they
think they automatically know what they’re doing. But they’re
probably doing it wrong."
do: Use a trainer. Most gyms offer a free session with
membership. Or research the correct way to work out
efficiently. "By getting better at the exercises
themselves, the outcomes have been better for me," O’Bryant
Sunscreen isn’t for wimps. Yes, men get skin cancer, too.
"If you’re driving around a lot, you’re getting sun
rays on your face," Locker says. Ditto for your left arm,
if you drive with your elbow out the window.
do: Use face cream with SPF of at least 15, Locker says.
"It will keep your face looking younger and also prevent
a skin check at least once a year.
Exercising isn’t a free license to eat anything. "Men
who are successful getting into physical activity often think
that’s enough," O’Bryant says. "‘I work out so
I can eat what I want.’ ‘I work out so I can drink
whatever I want.’
you’re negating the benefits," he says.
do: Think moderation. Also remember that diet "is not
only related to heart health, but intimately related to brain
health," O’Bryant says. "It’s very, very