By Kevin Anderson, D.O., a Shrewsbury-based Internist at Reliant Medical Group
With June being Men’s Health Month, it’s a perfect time to make an annual assessment of how well you are taking care of your body. Are you simply covering the basics, like getting a yearly physical? Or are you making an effort to keep yourself as healthy as possible?
The statistics for men’s health are disturbing, particularly when compared to women. The life expectancy for a male in the United States is 76.3 years, while women see a life expectancy of 81.2 years. Nearly three out of four men are at risk of being overweight or obese, compared to 59 percent for women. And women are far more likely to see their doctors.
Despite how alarming some of these statistics surrounding men’s health may be, many of them can be prevented or limited by adopting a healthy lifestyle, along with receiving recommended and timely preventive health screenings.
One of my primary recommendations for all patients is physical activity. Regular physical activity provides a number of health benefits, including weight control, a reduced risk of developing heart disease and some cancers, as well as improving overall mental health and mood. Another important priority is nutrition. I encourage my patients to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, and limit foods and drinks high in sugar, salt, saturated fat and alcohol.
There are other important reminders for men, particularly as we enter into the summer months. For example, using sunscreen is incredibly important, especially for men who are bald or balding, as the risk of skin cancer is elevated for men with limited hair coverage. All patients need to work with their doctors to get a full understanding of the purpose and side effects of the prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and supplements they take. Finally, it’s important for men, along with their friends and loved ones, to be aware of the warning signs for depression.
I encourage men of all ages to use this month as a reminder to take charge of their health – make a note to talk with your doctor about how you can make changes. I have these conversations every day, and I find it encouraging when patients ask about what they should be doing to improve their health.
About Kevin Anderson, DO
When first meeting Dr. Kevin Anderson, it’s not hard to notice a bit of a southern drawl in his voice. “My mom and dad were originally southerners, who moved to California and then moved back to Tennessee. Just like them, my wife and I decided to move too,” he explains. “We have always loved New England and decided to make it our new home. When I got here, everybody was just incredibly nice…and it’s really worked out...View profile View posts by this doctor