Men need to take as much care of their own bodies as they do their cars.
If I had known I was going to live this long,
I would have taken better care of myself.
Men conscientiously take care of their cars regardless of how old they are. No oil change or scheduled maintenance appointments are missed. We pay close attention to any unusual sound while driving and we’ll take the car in to the mechanic as soon as possible if the sound persists.
Men seem to treat their cars, which are replaceable, better than they treat their own bodies, which are not.
Men have no problems going to a mechanic for preventative maintenance, or when they perceive that something might be wrong with their cars. However, there seems to be a different mindset when it comes to looking under their own “hood.”
Each year men make 150 million fewer visits to the doctor than women. While one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, few will volunteer for the digital rectum examination or the prostate-specific antigen blood test that can detect it and provide for early treatment. When compared to women, men are more reluctant to see a doctor even when there are clear physical symptoms indicating something might be wrong. The Men’s Health Network found that two-thirds of men refused to go to a doctor even when they were experiencing chest pains!
Why are men so reluctant to seek medical attention?
Some of the reasons for this reluctance include embarrassment, threatened masculinity and fear of receiving “bad” news. It may go way back to early childhood messages from significant others and society in general that “boys don’t cry,” “you should take it like a man” and “roll with the punches.” Coaches have been known to tell little leaguers who may be in pain to “shake it off” and cops are supposed to be “bulletproof” when it comes to pain. To be sick can be seen as a sign of weakness. Correspondingly, to go to a doctor is a further sign of weakness. Is it possible to overcome these early ingrained messages?
“Man Up” Real Men Get Check-Ups
Use your car maintenance plan to remind you of your own health needs.
1) Get an Annual Tune Up. You get your car tuned up at least once a year … make that the same time you get your annual physical exam. Just as preventative maintenance is critical for your car, it’s just as critical for your body.
2) Tackle squeaks, rattles and rolls. Just as you’d pull off the road if your tire was flat or go to the mechanic if there was an unusual rattle in the engine compartment, do the same for yourself. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, don’t wait too long to get it evaluated. Remember, you can always CALL your doctor’s office and ask for advice first.
Research consistently demonstrates the important role women play in getting men to go to the doctor. Married men far outpace single men, irrespective of age, when it comes to getting a check-up or health screening. The women in our lives play a critical role when it comes to our self-care.
It’s time for your personal tune up. Take action now! It’s an issue of mindset.
1) Taking personal care of your health in a timely fashion is a matter of Duty and Honor.
2) Your health behaviors and overall health contribute to your life expectancy. Taking care of yourself is about your family. Be healthy; be there for your children.
3) Nothing is gained by procrastination. If there is a medical issue to attend to, it will likely only get worse if ignored.
4) Don’t wait, or make excuses. You really aren’t too busy at work to take care of your health. If you’re overdue or have a health concern, pick up the phone and make an appointment with your healthcare practitioner now.