ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England — It used to be that American women outlived men by eight years, but men are closing the gap! Experts believe the reasons behind this are fewer men are using tobacco products, they are drinking less alcohol, eating healthier, wearing suitable safety equipment — like helmets and seatbelts — exercising regularly and are engaging in more leisure activities. The good things we do for ourselves today will have a huge impact on how well we live tomorrow.
Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control for a safe and healthy life:
Eat healthy – Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day. Limit foods and drinks that are high in calories, sugars, salt, fat and alcohol. Maintain or obtain a healthy weight.
Be active – Be active for at least 2.5 hours a week. Include activities that raise your heart and breathing rates and strengthen your muscles.
Protect yourself – Wear helmets and seatbelts and use sunscreen and insect repellant. Wash your hands to stop the spread of germs, avoid smoking and breathing second-hand smoke, build safe and healthy relationships with family, friends and coworkers and be ready for emergencies.
Manage stress – Balance your work, home and play. Get support from family, friends, coworkers and your Air Force community. Stay positive, take time to relax, get seven to nine hours of sleep each night and get counseling if needed.
Get check-ups – Ask your healthcare provider how you can lower your chances for health problems based on your lifestyle and personal and family health histories. Find out what exams, tests, and vaccines you need and when to get them. Have your body mass index checked yearly and have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. If you are more than 50 years old, have a colorectal screening. Ask your medical provider about cholesterol, blood sugar and prostate-specific antigen testing intervals. Men should also do self-testicular, skin and oral health exams monthly.