Note: The following content is for informational purposes and should not be mistaken for medical advice. Please consult a physician, medical professional or specialist for all health matters. Resources used are linked within the post.
Routine medical check-ups are recommended for people of all ages. What a doctor checks for in a regular physical will differ based on a variety of factors including age and gender. As we age different screenings are recommended as our risk for developing certain health issues increases. Routine checkups and receiving proper screenings are both vital exercises for assessing medical issues, future problems and learning how to remain healthy.
The month of June is National Men’s Health Month dedicated to highlighting male-specific health needs. For men over 50 years old, five health areas that take the spotlight include the heart, prostate, skin, mind and bones. Read on to learn more about these five areas of men’s health, risks associated with them and ways to slow or prevent the development of these issues.
Five Areas of Men’s Health to Consider for Men Over 50
1. Heart Health
Attention toward heart health tops the list of health needs for senior men. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. Prevention is aided by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, healthy eating, exercising regularly and preventing or treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Conditions and lifestyle choices that increase the risk include:
- being overweight
- poor diet
- physical inactivity
- excessive alcohol use
Did you know? According to the CDC, most U.S. adults’ hearts age greater than their actual age, placing them at increased risk for strokes or heart attacks. Learn more about heart age!
2. Prostate Health
Prostate cancer risk increases with age. Symptoms of prostate cancer may vary and some men have none. For men with no prostate cancer symptoms, it is smart to understand the nature and risk of it, and the risks, benefits and alternatives to getting screened for it.
Symptoms of prostate cancer may include:
- difficulty starting urination
- weak or interrupted urination
- frequent urination
- difficulty emptying the bladder fully
- pain or burning with urination
- continuous pain in the back, hips or pelvis
3. Skin Health
Men are more likely than women to experience serious effects of Melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Frequent mole checks and regular visits to a dermatologist are recommended ways of monitoring for skin cancers.
Lowering the risk when outside can be helped by wearing:
- long sleeves
- wide-brim hats
4. Cognitive Health
Brain health is dependent upon a great many factors, several of which include genetics, the environment, diet and physical lifestyle. Many current studies on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have suggested that certain lifestyle choices may help support brain health and possibly slow or prevent the development of disease. Incorporating healthful eating habits and brain-engaging activities into your routine may help keep the mind sharp.
Activities to help the mind include:
- word games
- card games
- math games
- regular reading and writing
5. Bone Health
Bone Health is often considered an issue that women must be diligent in screening. However, men ought to strive toward having good bone health, too, to help avoid Osteoporosis, fractures and falls. The American Bone Health Organization suggests men eat foods that are rich in calcium, and that they take a Vitamin D supplement. At least 30 minutes of physical activity, like Tai Chi, walking or weight training can also be beneficial, as can practicing proper posture and staying aware of movement.
Schedule your regular check-up today if it hasn’t already been scheduled!
While these tips and areas of health concern will aid an individual in assessing and improving on their own health needs, scheduling regular doctor visits should be at the top of any man’s health care list. Routine check-ups are vital for screening for medical issues. While this is a good habit for readers of any age, it is of great importance for those over the age of 50 for assessing future medical problems and learning how to be in the healthiest state possible.