Men: Stay Healthy With a Checkup Every Year

Men: Stay Healthy With a Checkup Every Year

While it’s often easier to talk about sports, current events or work, discussing your personal wellness could make a profound difference when it comes to your longevity and quality of life. Most men, however, are reluctant to talk about their health with anyone, let alone a medical professional. In fact, 60 percent of men don’t go to the doctor, according to a Cleveland Clinic study.

Meanwhile, learn more about the Get Hooked on Health men's event June 26, 2018, at the Holland Fish and Game Club.

From hectic schedules to anxiety to just plain stubbornness, the excuses for avoiding visiting a health care provider may seem perfectly valid. Yet there are several valuable reasons for making time for that man or woman in a white coat:

  • Prevention is powerful. A regular physical can be a great time to catch a health problem before it becomes more serious. For example, if your provider discovers you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, he/she can build a plan for lowering your numbers to help prevent future health problems like stroke or heart attack. During a physical or annual checkup, your doctor will also discuss your general concerns and family’s health history. If your family has a history of certain diseases or problems, he/she can give you guidance on how to reduce your risk of suffering from those same conditions. He/she can talk about any tests, such as a prostate exam or colorectal screening, to put on your to-do list, too.
  • Establish baselines. If you haven’t visited a doctor in a while, a complete exam can establish key health baselines for things like your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. These baselines will help your provider understand your health and wellness now, and in the coming years.
  • Build a trusted partnership. Building a good rapport with a medical professional can help improve your trust and comfort, as well as ensure you get the best care possible. Remember, not talking about something, even if you feel it’s embarrassing (e.g., sexual health), will not make the issue go away. To start a meaningful dialogue, consider these questions. Having a primary health provider means you’ll have someone in your corner who truly understands your health history, so he/she doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel at each of your visits.
  • Save green. Who doesn’t like to save money? It might be tempting to skip seeing the doctor because you’d rather not pay for the appointment, but this visit could save you in the long run, as again, health problems can be addressed before they become more serious (and more expensive).

So how often should a man get a physical? Every year is ideal. That said, if you’re healthy and in your 20s, you should schedule an appointment at least every five years; if you’re in your 30s, every three years; if you’re in your 40s, every two years; and if you’re in your 50s and above, annually. You should also learn about the screenings recommended for you as you age.

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