Routine Checkups Can Be Lifesavers

Nobody particularly enjoys going to the doctor’s office. But men are much more susceptible to skipping their annual checkups, opting to visit the doctor only when they are sick or experiencing pain. If you consider all the people who rely on you — including your parents, siblings, spouse, and children — shouldn’t you visit the doctor once a year just so you can spend quality time together longer?

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the importance of routine checkups for men.

Why should regular medical checkups be a priority for men?
Although men have the tendency to discount pain and avoid warning signs of serious health problems, they should know that routine examinations have the potential to be lifesaving. Regular examinations can reduce the risk of major health problems, as well as provide answers and advice for current conditions. During examinations, physicians can provide treatments for ailments, screen for potential problems, and keep records of fitness levels and vital signs. Men who avoid examinations run the risk of having symptoms turn into more serious conditions.

What types of health tests should I request from my physician?
Your physician can perform a variety of health tests during routine visits. Some of the most important tests that men should have include: cholesterol checks, blood pressure tests, colorectal cancer tests, diabetes tests and prostate cancer screenings. Different health exams are conducted at different ages, so be sure to ask your physician when you should have tests administered and when to schedule follow-ups.

What are the most common pieces of advice that physicians give?
Physicians often advise simple steps for increasing a patient’s quality of life. It’s important to practice these examples:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet filled with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and plenty of water
  • Participate in a balanced exercise program that includes strength training for all major muscle groups and some aerobic activity, such as walking or running.
  • For those who smoke, it is crucial to kick the habit. Smoking cessation support groups (available at ProMedica Toledo Hospital and ProMedica Flower Hospital), nicotine replacements (such as gum or a patch), and medication are smart options to aid quitting.
  • Ease stress by expressing your worries or problems to a trusted friend, family member, spouse, or minister. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress.