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Healthy Living: Men’s health challenges

Exercise that counts is something that raises your heart rate, making your heart exercise.

Men have different health challenges and outcomes than women. The average life expectancy for men is almost five years less than that for women. The top causes of death for men are heart disease, cancer and accidents. Adopting a healthy lifestyle at an early age can help improve longevity and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Here are some statistics about men age 18 and older from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

14.9 % are in fair to poor health.

31% have had five or more alcoholic beverages in one day at least once in the past year.

42.4% do not meet daily activity recommendations.

51.9% have high blood pressure.

In Missouri, 20.6% of men smoke, compared to 17.2% nationwide.

34.9% of Missouri men are obese.

Lifestyle factors that can affect men’s health include:

Diet. Adopting a healthy diet based on lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats and plenty of fruits and vegetables helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancers. Good nutrition also plays an important role in reproductive health and fertility. Eating less fast food and processed food helps reduce sodium and saturated fat in the diet, which helps lower blood pressure and other disease risks.