MINNEAPOLIS -- Ask any woman, and they may tell you it can be difficult to get men to go to the doctor. But there are issues, men in particular, need to be aware of.
A recent survey by Esquire magazine shows a third of men ages 18 to 50 haven't had a checkup in more than a year and nearly half don't have a primary care doctor.
Dr. John Northwood of the Fairview Hugo Clinic in Hugo has a list concerns men should be aware of. First and foremost, Dr. Northwood says that men must get those annual exams because steps can be taken to reduce a man's risk factor for heart disease and colon cancer, diseases which occur more frequently in men than women.
Second, Dr. Northwood says men who work during the week often become weekend warriors, physically exerting themselves in chores, activities and sports. That can set them up for injury. So he recommends that guys train for those activities with a regular exercise program during the week.
Third, he says men need to screen for a very specific cancer. He said, "The cancer that guys don't think about is testicular cancer. 23-year-old guys need to do regular testicular exams just like women do breast exams."
That advice is very important for younger men because Dr. Northwood said testicular cancer peaks in men ages 20 to 30.
To stay as healthy as possible, another thing all men need to think about is nutrition.
At Ways to Wellness at the Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury, there are three foods the registered dieticians and trainers recommend to their male patients.
Rachel Larson, registered and licensed dietician said potassium rich foods like fruits and vegetables are very important. She said men don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as women and the potassium balances out the excess sodium we can get in processed foods, keeping cells healthy.
Next are tomatoes. They contain lycopene which helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer. When tomatoes are cooked, Larson said our bodies are better able to absorb the lycopene.
She also recommends quinoa. It's a whole grain high in protein so it's good for the muscles. Larson said, "It is a complete protein and most grains are not. They have a certain amount of the amino acids we need but most do not . And this has all eight and it is a perfect blend."
Ron Sieczkowski has been going to Ways to Wellness to lose 45 pounds he gained after two hip replacement surgeries. He's lost 20 pounds so far. He said, "The foods that I'm eating now, especially in the last two, three months, I never would have thought of eating before. I'm eating whole grains in the morning and I'm having tomato juice." And he says he feels great and he has more energy to play with his kids.
Men's health is the June theme for Health Fair 11's Know Your Numbers campaign. Click here for a health maintenance guide for guys showing what men should be screened for and when.
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