According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women tend to live longer than men, but the life expectancy gap is narrowing and men are living longer than ever. The best way for men of all ages to maintain good health is to eat healthy, exercise regularly, avoid tobacco and visit their healthcare provider each year for a wellness visit.
From backyard barbecues to game day cookouts, men can be less likely to focus on eating a healthy diet. The average man needs between 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day, which can vary widely depending on age, muscle mass, activity level and other special health needs. Focus on eating a plate based on 1/2 fruits and vegetables, 1/4 lean protein and 1/4 whole grains. This can help lower disease risk, manage weight and promote optimal health. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' website has a section dedicated to men's health and offers a variety of resources on living a healthy lifestyle.
Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to promote longevity and lower disease risk. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends both cardiovascular and muscle strengthening activities to maintain health. This includes 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, like walking. These guidelines also recommend muscle-strengthening activities at least two days each week focusing on all major muscle groups. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website to learn how you can incorporate physical activity into your day.
Tobacco use is an avoidable health risk. If you use tobacco, it's important to make a plan to quit. For more information on how to quit tobacco for good, as well as the health benefits, visit the "be tobacco-free" section of our website.
See your healthcare provider
Men are often less likely to see their healthcare provider each year for a wellness visit. But it's important for everyone to make annual wellness exams a priority. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi's Healthy You! wellness benefit provides an annual visit with a Network Provider for a wellness checkup, as well as age and gender-specific health screenings. Screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and weight can provide valuable insight to your health and potential health risks. For more information on the Healthy You! wellness benefit and the recommended screenings, visit the "be healthy" section of our website.
Learn more about steps you can take to be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle in the Men's Health section of WebMD and from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.