At certain times of our lives and when our health concerns are few, it is easy to feel invincible and put off routine or preventive care. But your greatest superpower is taking charge of your well-being. Here’s how to get started, no matter how old you are.
How Men’s Health Needs Change as You Age
Preventive care and screenings for all stages of a man's life
Quit smoking – better yet, don’t start. Limit alcohol to two drinks per day. “Fuel your mind and body with fruits and vegetables, plenty of protein and healthy fats from nuts and olive oil,” says Daniel Pedersen, DO, LVPG Family Medicine–Schuylkill Medical Plaza.
Visit your primary care provider for yearly checkups. There, you’ll get screened for high blood pressure, cholesterol and sexually transmitted diseases. Stay safe by avoiding distracted driving, using contraception, getting a yearly flu shot and wearing a bike helmet.
Keep your body active by aiming for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and two or more muscle-strengthening sessions weekly. “Continue eating a heart-healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats,” says Kevin Cowell, DO, LVPG Family Medicine–Hecktown Oaks.
If you haven’t already, gather your family history of cancer, heart disease and other conditions. Share this information with your health care provider.
Between finances, work and family, men face many pressures. “Save time to unwind and connect with others,” Pedersen says. “If you feel overwhelmed or hopeless, talk with your health care provider.”
Also ask about screenings for diabetes and some cancers, including colorectal and prostate. Tests can find these diseases early when they’re easier to treat. The best schedule depends on your personal and family health history.
Continue the conversation about screenings. You might need to add tests for hepatitis C and lung cancer to your schedule.
Also ask your health care provider about vaccines. “In addition to flu and COVID-19 vaccines, get one for shingles, a virus that causes a painful rash,” Cowell says.
Your 60s and Beyond:
Continue regular checkups. Follow your provider’s guidance on screenings, and on treatments for existing health conditions. Once you reach 65, get shots for pneumonia.
“It’s never too late to make healthy changes,” Pedersen says. If you can’t get 150 minutes of exercise per week, any amount of movement helps. So does a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nutrient-rich proteins and healthy fats.