Top Health Tip for Men: Listen to Women
November isn’t just a designated time to grow out facial hair. It’s also a time to recognize and have discussions about men’s health. So, we sat down with one of the TriHealth experts to discuss 3 ways that men can get healthy and stay healthy.
Tip #1: Listen to the Ladies
"The number one recommendation for men is to listen to women, and I hate to say that, because I'm kind of copping out to my buds," Dr. Linz says. "But women are the healthcare drivers for their families and their loved ones, and this is not just true in this country, it's true throughout the world."
According to this fact sheet from the United States Department of Labor, women make approximately 80 percent of healthcare decisions for their families and are most likely to be the care givers when a family member falls ill.
Ladies, if the man in your life is hesitant to make doctor’s visits don’t be afraid to speak up. If you are scheduling your preventative care, remind him that he needs to do the same. Also remind him that going to the doctor and getting a check-up is about more than just him – it’s about the people in his life who care about and rely on his health.
Tip #2: Pay Attention to Prevention
A large percentage of men don’t go to the doctor until they face a health crisis. But this isn’t a situation where we can just say “boys will be boys” and move on. Regular check-ups and preventative care for men is just as important as it is for women.
Dr. Linz says men can also make a difference in their health by abiding by the general recommendations for annual screenings and doctor's visits.
"There's a real tendency among men to not abide by general recommendations for annual screenings and doctor's visits," Dr. Linz explains. "Even when something goes wrong, our tendency is to wait until it gets better, even though it's not getting better. So when there are problems, men tend to be in a more advanced state of illness or injury before we seek help."
Routine physicals are a great way to start a conversation between a patient and their doctor and keep it going. This way, a doctor can better understand where you’re coming from and what your health needs are, versus having to explain all that to them during a health crisis.
Tip #3: Keep a Healthy Diet and Exercise
A healthy diet along with regular, high-intensity exercise can do wonders for your well-being:
Dr. Linz recommends short bursts of high-intensity exercise as an alternative to prolonged, casual exercise, such as walking.
"Everybody's always recommending people go out and walk. That's fine, go out and walk, get your 20,000 or 10,000 steps. But if you're trying to do something to lose weight, to feel better, to look better, to perform at a higher level, walking will not get it done for you," Dr. Linz says.
He says to focus on intensity, even if it's only for brief periods.
"The latest studies show that you don't need to exercise for 30 to 35 minutes at some sustained heart rate to benefit. You get the same benefit from three sessions of 10 minute exercise as you would from a sustained session of 30 minutes," Dr. Linz points out.
Bottom line: the best way for men to stay healthy is to be open and proactive about their health.