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Mens Health: Basic Priorities

Dr. Craig Smith, MD

4 Min read

Ensuring optimal health is a priority for everyone, yet men often tend to overlook the importance of regular checkups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This negligence can have serious consequences for longevity. This article emphasizes the significance of proactively managing your health through regular doctor visits, a balanced diet, consistent exercise, weight management, essential vitamins, healthy habits, skin protection, and specific screenings.

Regular checkups with your physician:

Men are notorious for avoiding medical checkups, contributing to a gender gap in life expectancy. Regular checkups are essential for monitoring weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels—critical factors for cardiovascular health. By addressing excess weight, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or other interventions to maintain optimal health.


A crucial aspect of men's health is nutrition. Avoid processed foods that are often laden with unhealthy elements such as sugar, salt, and artificial additives. Prioritize natural foods, including fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, fiber-rich foods, lean meats, and fish. Opt for shopping along the store's perimeter to focus on fresh produce and minimize processed food intake.


Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among men in the United States. Regular exercise is a cornerstone for preventing cardiovascular issues and maintaining overall well-being. Aim for a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise weekly, complemented by two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities like calisthenics, boxing, swimming, or weight lifting.

Weight Management:

Maintaining a healthy waist circumference is pivotal for preventing obesity-related diseases. Men with waists measuring over 40 inches face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Combining a calorie-conscious diet with regular exercise can effectively reduce excess belly fat. Consult with your doctor to develop a personalized weight-loss plan.

Vitamins and Minerals:

While a well-balanced diet should provide sufficient vitamins and minerals, some individuals may benefit from supplements. Consider incorporating a daily multivitamin, and consult your doctor about specific supplements such as fish oil capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D3. These can offer additional support for overall health and disease prevention.

Change Bad Habits:

Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and recreational drug use pose significant threats to health. Smoking and secondhand smoke exposure can lead to various health conditions, including lung cancer and heart disease. Addressing bad habits requires a comprehensive plan, and your doctor can provide guidance, incorporating medication, therapy, or other strategies.

Skin Protection:

Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, poses a higher risk for men over 50, especially those with lighter skin tones. Protect yourself from harmful UV radiation by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Staying away from tanning beds, making sure to look over your skin on a monthly basis, along with an annual dermatologist visit, can help detect potential issues early on.

Prostate Health:

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common diagnosis among American men. Symptoms like difficulty urinating, pain during urination, or blood in urine may indicate prostate problems. Regular checkups, including blood tests and prostate exams, are essential for early detection and management of prostate-related conditions.

Colorectal Cancer Screening:

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Screening typically starts around age 50, and a colonoscopy can detect cancerous growths and noncancerous polyps. Regular screenings are vital for preventing and addressing colorectal cancer. Consult your doctor to determine the appropriate frequency for screenings.

Prioritizing men's health involves a holistic approach encompassing regular medical checkups, a wholesome diet, consistent exercise, weight management, eliminating unhealthy habits, skin protection, and specific screenings. By adopting these practices, men can take proactive steps towards maintaining optimal well-being. Remember, your health is an investment for a fulfilling and longer life.

About the Author

In 1984, Dr. Craig Smith founded Lifesource. As a coach, he's worked with world-class athletes and guided thousands towards successful weight loss. Driven by a desire to elevate his understanding of the human body, he returned to the rigors of medical school in his 50s, achieving his goal of becoming a physician at 56. Now in his 60s, Dr. Smith leads by personal example, continuing to inspire, educate and empower individuals from all walks of life to achieve their health and fitness goals. If you wish to train and diet online with Dr. Smith, hear his message and schedule a 45-minute consultation on the New You page.