According to the most recent data released by the World Health Organization, men in the United States have an average life expectancy of roughly 75 years. That places the United States at 33rd in the world for male life expectancy. And while the gap is shrinking, women in the United States still outlive men by roughly five years, with an average life expectancy of 80 years.
For many years, heart disease and cancer have been the leading causes of death for men in our country by a wide margin. Healthcare organizations, physicians, and health advocates have worked tirelessly to educate Americans about the risks and prevention strategies to try to combat these diseases as much as possible. And those efforts appear to be having some effect. While heart disease and cancer remain atop the list, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), they are slowly beginning to decline.
But many of the leading causes of death for men are preventable. There are ways to protect yourself and to lead a longer, healthier life.
The CDC offers the following tips and guidelines for men’s health and wellness.
Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day and less saturated fat can help improve your health and may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Have a balanced diet, and watch how much you eat.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is at an all time high in the United States, and the epidemic may be getting worse. Those who are overweight or obese have increased risks for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
More than 50 percent of American men and women do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. For adults, thirty minutes of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week is recommended.
Health concerns associated with smoking include cancer and lung disease. Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among those who are middle-aged. Second-hand smoke – smoke that you inhale when others smoke – also affects your health. If you smoke, quit today!