While life expectancy for both men and women has increased in the past years, the gap between genders has also increased. For every 100 women aged 65, there are only 77 men. About half of women are widows by age 65, and they outnumber widowers by a ratio of three to one.
Behavior is one predictor of longevity: Men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, substance abuse, excessive alcohol consumption, improper diet, maintaining a sedentary lifestyle and avoiding routine medical care.
Let’s look into the top factors contributing to these figures and discuss tips for ensuring that the men in our lives live long and prosper.
This risky behavior could lead to many health issues, including heart disease, emphysema and lung cancer. For example, the American Cancer Society estimates in 2021, 69,410 American men will die from lung cancer. The best way to avoid or reduce this risk is by quitting or not starting at all. If you or a loved one needs help quitting, call the Florida Quitline at 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (1-877-822-6669).
Similar to smoking, alcohol intake could be self-destructive and poses various health risks if not practiced in moderation, such as:
- Weakening of the immune system
- High blood pressure, digestive, heart and liver problems
- Poor cognitive function
- Social problems
- Mental health problems, depression and anxiety
- Cancer of the breast, mouth, liver, colon and rectum
How much is too much? The CDC breaks down suggested alcohol intake per day as follows:
- 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
- 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
- 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
- 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80 proof distilled spirits or liquor (40% alcohol content)
Not Eating a Proper Diet
The recommended diet for men would depend on their height, weight and activity level. However, on average, the daily calorie intake men need ranges between 2,200 and 2,800.
Start by changing your diet to focus on whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, oats, beans, lentils and fruits. Heavy in fiber, these foods can help manage hunger and digestion, preventing cancers in the prostate and colon. Men should also eat at least two to three servings of fish per week to replace traditional meat and protein sources. It is also vital to reduce meats high in saturated fat and whole-fat dairy.
Not Focusing on Exercise
A nutritious diet should go hand-in-hand with exercise. An inactive lifestyle could have long-term effects on your body and double the risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease, diabetes and colon cancer.
However, the exercise does not have to be too strenuous. For example, performing at least three intervals of 10-minute walks (30 minutes in total) in a day could help reduce your blood pressure by 13 percent.
Skipping Routine Medical Care
Having routine check-ups is the most overlooked practice for good health and significantly impacts preventing disease and treating problems early.
In general, men are more likely than women to disregard necessary medical care. The majority of men have a negative outlook about seeking medical care, and two out of three will withhold important information that prevents their doctor from detecting life-threatening issues at their early phase.
By taking a more active role in preventing, detecting and treating health risks, we become mindful of our well-being and affirm that we want to relish life with our loved ones!
Various risks threaten our well-being and existence, one of these being cancers. Each year, more than a thousand men and women diagnosed with cancer turn to our trusted team of cancer specialists. We encourage you to call us, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion so you, too, can experience the difference.