Around the world, women tend to live four to five years longer than men on average. In the U.S., the current life expectancy for females is 81.1 years, while it's 76.1 years for males.
There are several documented reasons for the difference in lifespan. For one thing, men are more likely than women to die of heart disease, the leading cause of death for both sexes. Keeping up with routine medical care is one of the best health tips for men to stay healthier.
Men Aren't Going to the Doctor
Researchers suspect that one of the other contributing factors is that men are simply more reluctant to go to the doctor. Women usually begin their health journey earlier in life when they start seeing a gynecologist. But most men don't start seeing a physician regularly until they're older.
That means they're not getting important screenings and other tests done that could detect serious issues like:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
They also put off getting medical advice when they are having symptoms of a health issue because they don't want to talk about it or don't want to see a doctor. But if they let things go and the problem escalates, it may be too late to do anything about it.
So what's the one tip men should do to stay healthier? See a doctor.
Treat Your Health Like Your Vehicle
One researcher compared taking care of our health to taking care of a car. To maintain our car's "health," we regularly change the oil, rotate the tires, and tune up the engine. We don't ignore the car's needs completely until we're stranded on the side of the highway with smoke pouring out from under the hood.
But why are men so reluctant to see a doctor? Several studies and surveys point to three main reasons.
The Fear of Looking Weak or Vulnerable
For centuries, society has conditioned men to appear strong. They may think being ill is a sign of weakness. They may worry that admitting that something is wrong will threaten their masculinity.
In one survey, a whopping 72% of respondents said they would rather do household chores, like cleaning the toilet, instead of seeing a doctor.
Being Unable to Open Up
Women tend to talk about how they feel more easily than men do. This goes for emotional feelings and physical symptoms. If a man is experiencing a health problem, he may feel uncomfortable talking about it.That's especially true if he thinks it's embarrassing, like sexual dysfunction or intestinal troubles. Men also have a harder time opening up about emotional issues like stress, anxiety, or depression.
What if It's Something Serious?
This is a bury-your-head-in-the-sand approach, as in "what I don't know won't hurt me," right? But if something's wrong, it's always best to catch it early when it's easier to treat.
Don't Ignore Your Health
Dismissing issues like high blood pressure and even erectile dysfunction can lead to serious problems. Get regular checkups and screenings.
Make Your Health a Priority
Living longer starts with making your health a priority. This includes regular preventive care appointments and screenings, including:
It also means scheduling an appointment with a doctor when something bothers you or doesn't seem right. Being healthy isn't just about your physical health but also your mental health. It's also important to seek professional help when you're feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or suicidal.
So what are you waiting for? If you haven't seen a doctor lately, now is a good time to make an appointment.
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