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Essential Health Tips All Black Men Should Know

There are many people, especially black men, who do not like visiting the doctor. They may be scared, have no access, or just not making it their priority.

Karen Cruz
Karen Cruz

It does not have to be the National Men's Health Month to realize the importance of taking care of one's health. Every day is an opportunity for us to take our health seriously. However, there are many people, especially black men, who do not like visiting the doctor. They may be scared, have no access, or just not making it their priority. Whatever your reason for not going to the doctor, it is important to know that the health crisis facing the men in our community won't go away unless you do your part and have some regular check-ups. Early detection and interventions are the keys to improving your overall health, that is why it is recommended that you should see your doctor from time to time.

Here are the screening tests men over the age of 30 should consider having their overall health checked.

Waist Circumference

Obesity is an indicator of the possible risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. That is why it is important to measure your waist circumference. The misconception that many black men have a healthy weight or BMI because they exercise and have the muscles they do not need to worry about their weight. But that is a lie. You still have to maintain a normal weight.

Cholesterol

As most of us know, many African-Americans have an increased risk of heart disease. So cholesterol screening should be done even at age 20. If your cholesterol levels appear to be normal, it is still best to have them checked every five years.

EKG

An electrocardiogram (EKG) measures your heart's electrical activity. This test can detect issues pertaining to the heart like enlargement of the heart, damage to the heart muscle, and heart murmurs or rhythm.

Blood Pressure Screening

Untreated high blood pressure commonly leads to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and erectile dysfunction. That is why it is recommended to have your blood pressure screened from time to time. Statistics show that 40 percent of African-American adults have high blood pressure and less than 30 percent of them have their high blood pressure under control.

Colorectal Cancer

It is recommended that black men should start getting checked at age 40 either by rectal exams, fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy, especially if you have a family history of colon cancer. You should get screened every three to five years.

Depression Screening

Black lives matter, and so does black mental health. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider and discuss the physical and emotional symptoms of mental illness.

Prostate Cancer

Another recommended test for men aged 45 is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, along with a digital rectal exam. Men should be screened annually or biannually depending on the results. Black men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, which is why it is significant to have tested.

Here is how you can increase your life expectancy and improve the quality of your life.

Exercise daily.

A 30-minute daily cardiovascular exercise can help prevent your muscle and bone deterioration and minimize your risk for bone fractures and breakage. If you worry about expensive fees at the gym, don't worry, you do not need to subscribe to a membership to a fancy gym to move your body. You can take a walk around your village or exercise at home.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet.

If you want to improve your overall health, you should switch to healthier food options. Cut out foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat, like processed and fast foods. Good health requires a balanced, portion-controlled meal.

Lose weight.

Losing weight is more than just looking good in a pair of jeans. It can lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

Visit your primary care physician.

As I already mentioned, getting routine medical tests including high blood pressure and cholesterol can help you manage your health.

If you want to get more beauty advice, some hair care tips for dark-skinned women, travel inspirations, food tips, and literally anything that is helpful for people of color, be sure to check out Black Lifestyle.