The Gift Of Health

June 13, 2013
BY Dr. Arthur S. Harrow

with Father’s Day just around the corner, children usually think about the things that they can buy for their dads: golf balls, a set of grill utensils or maybe a striped tie.

However, the best gift you can give to your dad is the gift of health.

Because June is Men’s Health Month, it’s the perfect time, not only for kids, but also for spouses and significant others, to insist that the men in their lives think about their own well-being. Combining preventive medical tests, fitness routines and strong minds are all important.

A good place to start is with a yearly physical exam. That’s when a primary physician takes a complete medical history and gets a broad overview of who your loved one is. Lifestyle choices, such as weight, smoking and alcohol consumption, can also affect your guy’s health, so he needs to be honest with his doctor.

An internist also maps out what tests should be done at what ages. Screenings for the following diseases and conditions are be recommended throughout a man’s lifetime: colon cancer, testicular cancer, HIV, hearing loss, vision loss and skin cancer. Regular dental exams are a must.

You may already be aware that PSA tests monitor for prostate cancer. What may surprise you, however, is the information surrounding them. The latest studies show that screening men without symptoms for prostate cancer does not work as well as screening for, say, colon cancer. So last year the recommendations about prostate cancer screenings changed. Now it is not recommended that men without symptoms over the age of 50 get an annual screening. Everyone is different, though, so talking to your own doctor about your particular
situation is the best thing to do.

In addition, it’s important for men to know their numbers, which inc-lude: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI). These numbers can be red flags for problems that may not be apparent yet.

Additionally, it’s important to keep vaccinations updated and to have a yearly flu shot unless you are allergic.

When it comes to fitness, there’s nothing that men haven’t heard before. Eating healthy foods  (fruits and vegetables) and keeping an eye on the sugars, starches and fatty foods are important. Keeping a food diary may helpful because few people remember everything they eat during the day. That handful of candy from a co-worker’s desk is too easy to forget.

Staying active is also key, but working out at a gym is not the only way to exercise. Walking, playing sports and gardening are other ways to keep moving. Even parking your car farther from the entrance to a mall can be a good idea for a quick stroll.

Finally, helping the people you love reduce their stress can be life-saving. It is vital to assist them in cutting back on the drama. One way to do this is by using meditation techniques that can include breathing exercises. These can be done any place without disrupting other people.

If your guy is still skittish, even though he knows the risks of ignoring his health, remind him that you want him to be with you as long as possible because you love him.

Happy Father’s Day!


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  1. Pingback: LifeBridge Health Media Monday News Clips – Week of June 17, 2013

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