Why Do Men Take Better Care of Their Vehicles Than Their Health?
The Scary Statistics
“Men care more about their cars than their bodies.” Does that statement ring true in your household? According to a study of 501 men ages 45 to 65 conducted by Men’s Health Network and Abbott, it’s a documented fact that men take mediocre care of their health. Almost 70% of men surveyed considered it easier to keep their cars in good condition than care for their personal health. In addition, more than 40% indicated that they would rather resolve issues with their car than address issues associated with their health. Although not applicable to all men, a good proportion of men tend to claim they’re fine when they get injured. They find any excuse not to go to the doctor. They don’t pay attention to symptoms that could be a warning sign for a serious health issue.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that in the United States all of this “machismo” results in shorter life spans for men. In fact, the study states that men lead proportionally over women in 9 out of 10 of the top ten causes of death. Just look at the following statistics for adult men (over the age of 21):
• One in five men has heart disease.
• One in three men has high blood pressure.
• Three out of every four men are overweight.
It has also been found that although the incidence in skin cancers has actually decreased for men under the age of 50 in recent years, the incidence of skin cancer in men over the age of 50 has been increasing.
How Can Men Improve the Length and Quality of Their Lives?
Why are these statistics so scary? Because more than half of all premature deaths among men could be prevented if men took a greater personal interest in their health. So how can they make their cars second priority to their health and well-being? The first recommendation is to schedule an appointment for a full physical examination. And be prepared to be completely honest and forthcoming, particularly in regards to drinking, smoking, diet and even sex issues. Here are some suggestions to help get the most out of the examination:
1. Ask questions – depending on the man’s age, ask what tests and screenings are appropriate. There are five specific tests that are recommended with a physical for every man including: a testicular exam; prostate exam; cholesterol test; testosterone test; and blood pressure screening.
2. Disclose any long-term problems or symptoms, regardless of embarrassment factor. A doctor can’t adequately form a diagnosis or identify potential health problems if their picture of their male patients’ health is incomplete.
3. Discuss potential risk factors for major diseases and their relevance to your test results and/or any identified symptoms or conditions.
4. Bring a full list of all medications and supplements and any reactions or irregular side effects you may have experienced.
5. Know your family’s medical history – several conditions or illnesses may be hereditary.
The second recommendation is to schedule a full body skin screening for skin cancer at a dermatologist’s office.
It’s Not Over After The Physical
Men, going to the doctor for a check up is NOT the hardest part. Now is all about listening to the doctor’s recommendations and advice, and translating that into lifestyle changes. Keys to becoming healthy and fit include:
1. Eating right to reduce potential for diabetes and heart disease, and learning what provides energy and key nutients.
2. Exercise, which has been proven to help improve heart health and better control blood sugar levels, as well as acting as a natural antidepressant.
3. Using sunscreen, taking care of their skin, hair and nails, and treating nail fungus if applicable.
4. Spending more time with the family, starting with their kids, who of course benefit from more time with Dad. But the more time men spend with their family, the better care they seem to take of themselves because they feel they need to set a good example and also be there in the long term for their kids.
Men’s neurological wiring tends to make them less tuned into their bodies, and more aware of systems, which could help explain why historically they have taken such care of their vehicles at the expense of their health. At Johns Creek Family Medicine we can provide a proactive health care physical, as well as a full body skin screening at Johns Creek Dermatology, both located within the same office in Johns Creek, serving the communities of Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Cumming and the north Georgia area.