LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June is Men’s Health Month. Sponsored by the Men’s Health Network (http://www.menshealthnetwork.org), this month-long commemoration is designed to increase awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. In support of this initiative, Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT) is sharing information about important health issues at different ages of a man’s life, as well as recommended screening tests.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men,” says Patricia Buss, M.D., medical and health care services operations officer for Health Net, Inc. Adding, “Health Net is committed to helping men be more proactive when it comes to their health, with an overarching goal of increasing their life expectancy.”
Health Net is sharing the following health tips with men in varying decades of life:
Men in Their 20s
Studies have shown, according to the Mayo Clinic, that people with a strong network of friends live longer and healthier lives than those who lack such a network. In fact, the Mayo Clinic additionally notes that being in a good relationship can add up to five years to your life. Forging friendships and relationships with significant others should be a high-priority focus for men in their 20s. Investing in friendships will deliver long-lasting health benefits.
Men in Their 30s
Mental health is as important as physical health. WebMD reports that depression in men often goes undiagnosed, and that the onset of depression in men – on average – occurs when they are in their 30s. It is in this decade that challenges frequently emerge, such as in the form of marital problems or work-related issues.
To help prevent stress and depression, WebMD recommends that men:
- exercise regularly;
- get adequate sleep nightly;
- consume a balanced diet; and
- engage in a hobby.
Men in Their 40s
Men in their 40s, notes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), often experience an increase in numbers associated with their body mass, cholesterol and blood pressure. Specifically, the NIH advises men in their 40s to keep a close eye on:
- Body mass – this is a time in life when high-calorie foods can start to show on men’s waistlines. This can be dangerous, because a larger waistline increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Cholesterol – men who aren’t watchful of their diet also are likely to see their cholesterol rise. Eating more fiber and a low-fat diet can help control cholesterol and decrease the chances of a stroke.
- Blood Pressure – blood pressure, like cholesterol, should be checked near a man’s fortieth birthday; moving forward, it should be checked at least annually – more often if it’s considered high. Men should chat with their physician about monitoring body mass, cholesterol and blood pressure, among other things.
Men in Their 50s
The fifth decade of life – according to the book Facing Your Fifties: A Man’s Reference Guide to Mid-Life Health – is the time when men’s joints, tendons and ligaments begin to show signs of significant deterioration, often in the form of stiffness and pain following even moderate activity.
To stave off further deterioration, authors of Facing Your Fifties recommend maintaining a regular exercise regime that includes stretching designed to promote flexibility and muscle mass. A regular exercise regime also will work to keep weight in control and preserve the range-of-motion capabilities needed for daily activities.
Men in Their 60s and Beyond
While many men in their 60s are likely looking toward retirement, they also should be focusing on maximizing their health. Toward that end, Dr. Mark Stibich, a behavior-change expert with experience helping individuals make lasting lifestyle changes, offers these suggestions:
- Pursue a healthy lifestyle – this includes not being overweight, having fruits and vegetables as the focal point of your diet, exercising regularly and quitting smoking.
- Preserve your brain – learning keeps the brain healthy, so actively engage in problem solving and new pursuits; avoid routine activities and instead opt for challenging endeavors.
- Keep thoughts positive – studies have shown that you can add more than seven years to your life by having a positive attitude towards aging.
- Be your own health advocate – research has found that patients who do not ask questions – or who do not understand their medical conditions – are at an increased risk of complications and possibly death.
Top Preventive Screenings for Men
Prevention is the first line of defense when it comes to maximizing good health. With that goal in mind, the accompanying chart – which was compiled based on recommendations by the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment, along with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force – outlines the top preventive screenings for men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
Medical Advice Disclaimer
The information provided is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for professional medical care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition and follow your health care provider’s instructions.
About Health Net
Health Net, Inc. is a publicly traded managed care organization that delivers managed health care services through health plans and government-sponsored managed care plans. Its mission is to help people be healthy, secure and comfortable. Health Net provides and administers health benefits to approximately 5.4 million individuals across the country through group, individual, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly referred to as “Part D”), Medicaid, U.S. Department of Defense, including TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs programs. Through its subsidiaries, Health Net also offers behavioral health, substance abuse and employee assistance programs, managed health care products related to prescription drugs, managed health care product coordination for multi-region employers, and administrative services for medical groups and self-funded benefits programs. For more information on Health Net, Inc., please visit Health Net’s website at www.healthnet.com.
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