Stroke Newsletter Spring 2013 - mens health
Article Index
Stroke Newsletter Spring 2013
7 tips for heart-healthy eating away from home
The following is only for older people
Ability of brain to protect itself from damage revealed
Ways to dodge incontinence
7 ways to keep stress and blood pressure down
5 ways exercise helps men and women
4 ways to keep moving with joint pain
For men over 50: Take control of your health
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For men over 50: Take control of your health

What if men approached midlife health the same way that financial experts advise them to plan for retirement? Some of the same rules apply: take a close look at where things stand now, and then take steps to protect your future. Midlife is a good time to lower health risks and invest for long-term health benefits.

How? First, acknowledge what you can’t control. Then put your energies into changing what you can — for the better.

What you can’t control

You can’t change the following factors, but you should take them into account when making a plan to reduce your health risks.


Age. The aging body undergoes gradual physical changes that are normal and inevitable. Although your body has many built-in repair systems, sometimes these also break down, and over time the damage accumulates.


Family history. When an immediate family member — a parent or a sibling — develops a problem such as heart disease or cancer, it could mean that you are at risk as well. Shared genes explain some of this risk, but so do shared lifestyles, such as the food you eat and how active you are.

What you can control

The factors you can control make a big difference in directing your health. Here are some of the most important things to consider as you look at the health investments you want to make going forward.


Whether you smoke. About one in four American men smokes cigarettes, pipes, or some other form of tobacco. If you are one of them, kicking the habit is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health.


What you eat. Choosing and following a healthy diet is an excellent way to reduce your chances of getting a number of life-threatening illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and some of the most common cancers.


How much you move. Get active, live longer. Not only that, but live better. Study after study has linked greater amounts of physical activity to improved mood, better blood sugar control, reduced risk of heart disease, and other benefits.


(Harvard health, 5/9/13)