The Basics: Overview

Many men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to:

  • Smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Make unhealthy or risky choices
  • Put off regular checkups and medical care

The good news is that you can start taking steps to improve your health today!

How can I take charge of my health?

See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel healthy. This is important because some diseases and health conditions don’t have symptoms at first. Plus, seeing a doctor will give you a chance to learn more about your health.

Here are some more things you can do to take care of your health:

  • Eat healthy and get active
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
  • Quit smoking
  • Know your family’s health history
  • Get screening tests to check for health problems before you have symptoms
  • Make sure you’re up to date on your vaccines (shots)

Take Action: Healthy Habits

Use these tips to take charge of your health.

Eat healthy and get active.

Remember, it’s never too late to start healthier habits. A healthy eating routine and regular physical activity can help control your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight

By keeping these numbers in a healthy range, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Make eating healthy and being active part of your daily routine:

In addition:

Take Action: Small Changes

Make small changes every day.

Small changes can add up to big results — like lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Here are some examples of small changes you can make:

  • Take a walk instead of watching TV
  • Try a green salad instead of fries
  • Drink water instead of soda or other sugary drinks

Get more ideas for small changes you can make to stay healthy.

Talk about it.

You don’t have to be embarrassed to talk about your health! Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family.

Use this family health history tool to keep track of health problems that run in your family. Then share this information with your doctor.

Take Action: Get Preventive Care

Get preventive care to stay healthy.

Many people think of the doctor as someone to see when they’re sick. But doctors also provide services — like screening tests and vaccines — that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.

Get screening tests to find problems early.

Screenings are medical tests that doctors use to check for diseases and health conditions before there are any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early on, when they may be easier to treat.

Depending on your age and medical history, you may need to be screened (tested) for things like:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Mental health conditions, like depression

Learn more about getting screened.

Stay up to date on your vaccines.

Everyone needs vaccines to stay healthy. Ask your doctor or nurse which vaccines you need to stay healthy — then make sure you stay up to date. For example, everyone age 6 months and older needs a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

Find out which vaccines you may need if you’re:

Use the MyHealthfinder tool to get personalized recommendations for screening tests and vaccines.

Take Action: Cost and Insurance

What about cost?

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover many preventive services. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get services like screenings and vaccines at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to find out more.

Medicare also covers certain health services at no cost. Use this tool to see what Medicare covers.

If you don’t have insurance, you may still be able to get free or low-cost health services. To learn more, find a health center near you.

You can also check out these resources: