What better gift on Father’s Day than to support the men in your life so they can be healthy? Something as simple as visiting your physician for an annual checkup is a simple, and essential, step to keeping your heart healthy and yourself healthy.
Why, then, do some men refuse to go to the doctor regularly? The American Heart Association shares here 10 reasons why many men skip this important appointment. And, more importantly, 10 ways to counter those reasons and get yourself or a person you care about to see a doctor.
“As a father and a cardiologist, I am constantly reminded of the gift of life,” said Jonathan Eddinger MD FACC, New England Heart & Vascular Institute and board member of the NH chapter of the American Heart Association. “So often I see patients or their loved ones after a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest that could have been prevented. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance. Take this opportunity to find a health care provider and obtain a cardiovascular risk assessment. It could be lifesaving.”
“I don’t have a doctor.”
Step one toward staying healthy is finding a doctor you trust. But you’ll never know if you trust one unless you try. Check your insurance company or local listings for doctors in your area. Call their offices and ask questions, or check around online. It’s also a good idea to check with friends and family for recommended doctors.
“I don’t have insurance.”
Everybody should have insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If you still don’t, here’s all the information you need to get signed up in our Consumer Health Care section.
“There’s probably nothing wrong.”
You may be right but … you’re not a doctor. That’s why you need one, to be sure. Some serious diseases don’t have symptoms. High blood pressure is one, and it can cause heart attack and stroke. (That’s why they call it “the silent killer.”) High cholesterol is another often symptomless condition. Ditto diabetes. Finding a health problem early can make a huge difference in the quality and length of your life.
“I don’t have time.”
There are about 8,766 hours in a year, and you want to save … two? When those two hours could save your life if you really DO need a doctor? If you want to spend more time with your family, these two hours aren’t the ones to lose. Try some of these tips to find time for the whole family to get moving.
“I don’t want to spend the money.”
It makes more sense to spend a little and save a lot than to save a little and spend a lot. If you think spending time with a doctor is expensive, try spending time in a hospital.
“Doctors don’t DO anything.”
When you see a barber, you get a haircut. When you see the dentist, your teeth get cleaned. But when you get a checkup, the doctor just gives you tests. It may seem like you don’t get anything, but you do. You get news and knowledge that can bring better health, if you act on it.
“I don’t want to hear what I might be told.”
Maybe you smoke, drink too much, have put on weight. Even so, your doctor’s there to help you. You can deny your reality, but you can’t deny the consequences. So be smart: Listen to someone who’ll tell you truths you need to hear. Be coachable.
“I’ve got probe-a-phobia.”
You don’t need a prostate cancer exam until you’re 50. Even then, remember that your chances of survival are much better if it’s caught early. So it’s worth the exam. But it’s only one small portion of a physical. Don’t let one test stop you from getting all the benefits of an annual physical.
“I’d rather tough it out.”
If pro athletes can play hurt and sacrifice themselves for the team, you ought to be able to suck it up, right? Wrong! The Game of Life is about staying healthy for a long time – a lifetime.
“My significant other has been nagging me to get a checkup.”
OK, so you don’t want to give in. But isn’t it POSSIBLE you could be wrong? Give in on this one. See the doctor.
When it comes down to it, there are no good reasons not to see the doctor, only excuses. The American Heart Association encourages everyone to have an annual check-up. Don’t wait. Schedule your annual physical today. Your heart is counting on you!
Learn more at www.heart.org/gettinghealthy.
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.