By Shelley Rael, Health Education Consultant, Registered Dietitian, Employee Health Promotion Program

Did you know that men are more likely to:

  • put off routine checkups and ignore symptoms of health problems,

  • smoke and drink more, and generally lead less healthy lifestyles, and

  • engage in risky and dangerous behaviors?

Five things to do now to start taking care of yourself are:

  • Learn your body mass index, or BMI. A ratio of height to weight is a quick assessment to determine if you are at a healthy weight, overweight or obese.

  • Check your cholesterol. In general, men should start monitoring their cholesterol at age 35 and get it checked at least every five years. Men with risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of heart disease, tobacco use or a BMI of 30 or more should start checking cholesterol at age 20 and annually thereafter.

  • Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

  • Check your glucose to test for diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart problems, blindness, non-traumatic limb amputations and kidney disease.

  • Quit tobacco. This is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States contributing to heart disease, stroke and several cancers.

Help yourself by knowing your numbers, being physically active, eating a healthy diet, staying at a healthy weight, drinking alcohol in moderation or not at all, and not smoking or using tobacco.

Employee Health Promotion Program can help with all these steps toward better health. Contact EHPP at (505) 272-4460 or Find more information at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthy Men Web site at Healthymen.