Men's Health: Prevent the Top Threats

Do you know the greatest threats to men's health? The list is surprisingly short. The top causes of death among adult men in the U.S. are heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes can significantly lower your risk of these common killers.

Start by looking at your lifestyle

Take charge of your health by making healthier lifestyle choices. For example:

  • Don't smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. It's also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution and exposure to chemicals (such as in the workplace).
  • Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — can lower your risk of heart disease as well as various types of cancer.
  • Get moving. Include physical activity in your daily routine. You know exercise can help you control your weight and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. But did you know that it may also lower your risk of certain types of cancer? Choose sports or other activities you enjoy, from basketball to brisk walking.
  • Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. For men, that means up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger and one drink a day for men older than age 65. The risk of various types of cancer, such as liver cancer, appears to increase with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you've been drinking regularly. Too much alcohol can also raise your blood pressure.
  • Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer — and so might your immune system. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.

Stop avoiding the doctor

Don't wait to visit the doctor until something is seriously wrong. Your doctor can be your best ally for preventing health problems. Be sure to follow your doctor's treatment recommendations if you have health issues, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Also, be sure to ask your doctor about when you should have cancer screenings and other health evaluations.

What else puts you at risk?

Another common cause of death among men are motor vehicle accidents. To stay safe on the road, use common sense. Wear your seat belt. Follow the speed limit. Don't drive under the influence of alcohol or any other substances, and don't drive while sleepy.

Suicide is another leading men's health risk. An important risk factor for suicide among men is depression. If you have signs and symptoms of depression — such as feelings of sadness or unhappiness and loss of interest in normal activities — consult your doctor. Treatment is available. If you're contemplating suicide, call for emergency medical help or go the nearest emergency room.

The bottom line

Understanding health risks is one thing. Taking action to reduce your risks is another. Start with healthy lifestyle choices — eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, quitting smoking and getting recommended health screenings. The impact may be greater than you'll ever know.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Orginal Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mens-health/MC00013

More Physical Health...

Do you know the greatest threats to men's health? The list is surprisingly short. The top causes of death among adult men in the U.S. are heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes can significantly lower your risk of these common killers.

Start by looking at your lifestyle

Take charge of your health by making healthier lifestyle choices. For example:

  • Don't smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. It's also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution and exposure to chemicals (such as in the workplace).
  • Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — can lower your risk of heart disease as well as various types of cancer.
  • Get moving. Include physical activity in your daily routine. You know exercise can help you control your weight and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. But did you know that it may also lower your risk of certain types of cancer? Choose sports or other activities you enjoy, from basketball to brisk walking.
  • Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. For men, that means up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger and one drink a day for men older than age 65. The risk of various types of cancer, such as liver cancer, appears to increase with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you've been drinking regularly. Too much alcohol can also raise your blood pressure.
  • Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer — and so might your immune system. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.

Stop avoiding the doctor

Don't wait to visit the doctor until something is seriously wrong. Your doctor can be your best ally for preventing health problems. Be sure to follow your doctor's treatment recommendations if you have health issues, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Also, be sure to ask your doctor about when you should have cancer screenings and other health evaluations.

What else puts you at risk?

Another common cause of death among men are motor vehicle accidents. To stay safe on the road, use common sense. Wear your seat belt. Follow the speed limit. Don't drive under the influence of alcohol or any other substances, and don't drive while sleepy.

Suicide is another leading men's health risk. An important risk factor for suicide among men is depression. If you have signs and symptoms of depression — such as feelings of sadness or unhappiness and loss of interest in normal activities — consult your doctor. Treatment is available. If you're contemplating suicide, call for emergency medical help or go the nearest emergency room.

The bottom line

Understanding health risks is one thing. Taking action to reduce your risks is another. Start with healthy lifestyle choices — eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, quitting smoking and getting recommended health screenings. The impact may be greater than you'll ever know.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Orginal Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mens-health/MC00013

Health and wellness tips for your work, home and life—brought to you by the insurance specialists at HUB International Midwest

Winter

The winter months often provide some relief for allergy sufferers, as the outdoor air is cool and free of pollen. However, if you have allergies, you need to make sure that the air inside your house is clean as well. Be sure to:

·   Keep firewood outside.

·   Clean heating ducts and air conditioning filters.

·   Bathe house pets regularly if dander is a problem.

·   Keep your face covered when out in the cold. Going from cold outside air to warm indoor air can trigger asthma.

Spring

Mold growth blooms indoors and outdoors with spring rains. As flowers, trees, weeds and grasses begin to blossom, allergies will follow. Spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites, so be sure to:

·   Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.

·   Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.

·   Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation, and skin exposure.

·   Vacuum twice a week.

·   Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.

·   Make sure the rugs you do have are washable.

·   Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.

Summer

Warm temperatures and high humidity can put a strain on seasonal allergy and asthma sufferers. Summer is the peak time for some types of pollen, smog and even mold:

·   Stay indoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when outdoor pollen counts tend to be highest.

·   Be careful when going from extreme outdoor heat to air conditioning. The temperature change can trigger an asthma attack.

·   Wear a mask when you mow the lawn or when around freshly-cut grass. Afterward, take a shower, wash your hair and change clothes.

·   Dry laundry inside instead of on an outside clothesline.

·   Check your yard for allergens, as well as other irritants such as oak, birch, cedar and cottonwood trees; weeds such as nettle or ragweed can also trigger allergies.

·   Wear shoes, long pants and long sleeves if allergic to bee stings.

·   Do not wear scented deodorants, hair products or perfumes when outdoors.

Fall

Cooler temperatures are ideal for planting flowers and trees, but be sure to plant those that produce less pollen, such as fir, pine, dogwood, azaleas, tulips, irises and pansies.

·   Wear a mask while raking leaves or when working with mulch or hay.

·   Use a dehumidifier in your basement to deter mold.

·   Clean your dehumidifier frequently.

·  Wash bathroom tiles and shower curtains with mold-killing products.

Did You Know...?

Back-to-school time is a great time to discuss allergies or asthma with your child’s school nurse and teachers. Inform them of your child’s needs, including any inhalers or medications, and what to do in case of an emergency.

By: Hub International

You keep your skin clean. You condition your hair. You're eating right. You're doing all you can to look and feel great. But are you missing out on an important part of a healthier lifestyle?

No matter what your age or shape, you should exercise daily. Not only does exercise tone your body so you can wear your favorite jeans, it strengthens your muscles, keeps your bones strong, and improves your skin. And there are more benefits of exercise -- increased relaxation, better sleep and mood, strong immune function, and more. Let's look at some of the incredible benefits of exercise, then talk about how you can get started.

Exercise and Your Weight

Because exercise helps use up oxygen, it causes your body to burn stored fat and helps you maintain a normal weight. For instance, if you walk 4 miles a day, four times a week, you can burn about 1,600 calories, or nearly half a pound a week. If you don't change your diet at all and keep walking the same distance over six months, you'll lose 12 pounds. Walk the same distance for a year and you'll drop 24 pounds!

The neat thing about exercise is you don't have to do it all at one time. After all, not many teens have time to walk 4 miles after school! But you can do 4 miles in short bursts throughout your day. Here's an idea of how to work that much exercise into your daily regimen:

  • Take a 1-mile walk on a treadmill before school. Then, take a 1-mile walk around the track during school lunch period.
  • Take a 1-mile walk after school with friends or the family dog.
  • Take a 1-mile walk on the treadmill while watching your favorite show before dinner.

If you stay with the walking program, you'll see benefits with:

  • Weight loss
  • Muscle strengthening and definition
  • Stronger bones
  • A lower heart rate
  • Better mood
  • An improved complexion

Exercise and Your Muscles

Most people know that exercise keeps muscles strong. But did you know that strong muscles burn more calories? Muscle mass is metabolically active tissue. In other words, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn even when you're not working out.

Studies estimate that for each pound of muscle you add to your body, you will burn an additional 35-50 calories per day. So an extra 5 pounds of muscle will burn about 175-250 calories a day, or an extra pound of fat every 14-20 days.

Because guys have more muscle mass, they burn calories faster and lose weight more easily than girls. So girls need to work out daily to stay strong and in shape.

Exercise and Your Bones

Regular, moderate exercise -- particularly weight-bearing exercises like walking, running, jogging, and dancing -- keeps your bones strong. Studies show that resistance (strengthening) exercises also boost bone mass and keep muscles strong.

Exercise and Your Skin

Exercise also boosts circulation and the delivery of nutrients to your skin, helping to detoxify the body by removing toxins (poisons).

As exercise boosts oxygen to the skin, it also helps increase the natural production of collagen, the connective tissue that plumps your skin. Your skin color is also improved after exercise because of the increase in blood flow.

Exercise and Stress

Regular exercise reduces the amount of stress hormones in the body, resulting in a slower heart rate, relaxed blood vessels, and lower blood pressure. Increased relaxation after exercise shows on your face with reduced muscle tension.

Exercise and Your Mood

Research shows that regular exercise reduces symptoms of moderate depression and enhances psychological fitness. Exercise can even produce changes in certain chemical levels in the body, which can have an effect on the psychological state.

Endorphins are hormones in the brain associated with a happy, positive feeling. A low level of endorphins is associated with depression. During exercise, plasma levels of this substance increase. This may help to ease symptoms of depression. A recent National Health and Nutrition survey found that physically active people were half as likely to be depressed.

Exercise also boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send specific messages from one brain cell to another. Though only a small percentage of all serotonin is located in the brain, this neurotransmitter is thought to play a key role in keeping your mood calm.

Exercise and Colds

Regular exercise appears to help jump-start the immune system, thus helping to reduce the number of colds, flu, and other viruses.

Exercise and Brainpower

Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain and helps it receive oxygen and nutrients. The better shape you're in, the faster you fire brain waves that are responsible for quick thinking.

So, for example, if math is a real problem, you may find that daily exercise helps to solve it!

Getting Started With Exercise

As you make the daily exercise commitment, be sure to include the following three types of exercise:

  • Range-of-motion, or stretching exercises. These involve moving a joint as far as it will go (without pain). You can do this with basic stretches or through dance, yoga, tai chi, and similar activities.
  • Endurance or conditioning exercises. Endurance exercises include walking, biking, climbing stairs, aerobics, and swimming. These exercises strengthen muscles and build coordination and endurance.
  • Strengthening exercises. Resistance exercises help build strong muscles. You can do them with ankle and wrist weights, free weights, resistance machines, resistance bands, or free weights (handheld weights).

Don't Forget Water

The more intense the training session, the more heat your body will produce. Before beginning exercise, drink water to help the body compensate for sweating. You can drink more water during exercise if you're thirsty.

The benefits of daily exercise are incredible, and to think that they are free! Start a daily exercise regimen today, and enjoy all the proven "extras" that come with moving around more.

By: WebMD

Original Article: http://teens.webmd.com/benefits-of-exercise?page=2

The lifestyle you create when you’re young can shape the way you live throughout the rest of your life. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain physical health when you are young. Being active early helps to:

  • Build and maintain healthy bones and muscles
  • Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Reduce risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases
  • Improve academic performance

There are some consequences for physical inactivity that can affect your health for the rest of your life. Physical inactivity can lead to obesity, and other health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, and asthma. It can also lead to increased risk of premature death, heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.

Get involved and stay active to live long and stay healthy! Visit,http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/physicalactivity/facts.htm for more information!