Back-to-basics approach helps men enhance their health
It can be tempting to put off going to the doctor when you don’t have major health issues or concerns. Aren’t aches and pains, lower energy levels and digestive changes normal as men age?
Not necessarily, said Gilberto Marquez, MD, an internal medicine physician at the ProHealth Medical Group clinic in Muskego.
“Being over 40 does not mean your health has to go downhill,” Dr. Marquez said. “You can stay a step ahead of health issues by getting regular checkups, being up front with your doctor, and focusing on prevention.”
Dr. Marquez said the best way for men to get back to optimum health and ward off chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes is to recommit to the basics.
Aches, pains and strains
Strenuous activity can cause aches, pains and minor injuries. Rest and ice applied to a sore spot can help reduce swelling and mild pain. If an injury does not improve after one or two days, visit your doctor or an urgent care location. Exercising with an injury can cause harm and delay your progress.
Behavioral health and sleep
Life’s responsibilities and crises can contribute to stress, sleep problems and cognitive issues such as forgetfulness. Prolonged concerns about family and work can lead to a cycle that negatively impacts your health. Share your concerns and experiences with your physician. Being proactive now can significantly impact your health and your personal and professional well-being going forward.
Energy and stamina
Over time, it can be challenging to maintain the high levels of activity enjoyed in youth. If a lack of energy starts to interfere with daily life, seek medical advice. You may benefit from a physical exam and blood tests may be ordered to help diagnose the cause and start a treatment plan.
Men should ask family members for details about health issues in the family, including heart issues, cancer diagnoses and other issues including high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, behavioral health concerns, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. Make a note of the individuals who had certain diseases and where they fit in your family tree. Tell your doctor about any chronic conditions or serious illnesses that parents, grandparents or siblings have experienced.
If you placed focus on building your career or starting a family and placed less emphasis on fitness, it’s not too late to get started again. When you are ready to begin a new exercise program, it is best to build up slowly to avoid the risk of injury, even if you previously worked out regularly. Consult with an athletic or personal trainer or a physical therapist if you have a concern about placing stress on an area of the body, or if you experience pain or wish to develop the best plan to get back in shape.