manSince June 10 through 16 is National Men’s Health Week, let’s talk about the magnificent seven actions a guy can take to stay fit and healthy. To make this easy to digest, I’ll use lots of guyspeak, replete with the imagery we are most comfortable with. Ladies, pass this on to all the men you love

  1. Avoid accidents. According to research published in the Wall Street Journal, accidents are the leading cause of death in men until the age of 44. Avoid standing on ladders where it says, “Do not stand here. This is not a step.” Wear your seatbelt and drive carefully. This will help you stay off the injured reserve.
  1. Get an annual physical. An ounce of prevention prevents a pound of trouble later. Know your BP, PSA, cholesterol and glucose numbers. Most health issues can be addressed less invasively and costly if treated early. Every pro know his stats, know yours.
  1. Do your cardio. The benefits of having a strong heart and burning extra calories on a regular basis is like having good pitching…you can never have enough.
  1. Exercise your legs. They are like offensive line coaches, rarely appearing in public…but they are the power behind the power. Without strong legs, you may be taken off the field in a golf cart.
  1. Be aware of depression. We’re men! Since many of us have been taught to conceal our emotions, the outward signs of depression are not obvious.  According to the CDC, suicide rates are four times higher for men than women. If you are drinking excessively, acting aggressively or feeling hopeless, talk to your doctor. The rest of your team will miss you in the lineup if get sent down to the minors.
  1. Listen to your wife or significant other. There is research to show women are significantly more aware of health issues than men. In fact wives are the leading source of health information for many men. A CDC study found that women are twice as likely as men to schedule annual exams. Because they are more in tune with health and caring for others, listen to what they have to say and don’t argue with ump.
  1. Don’t ignore erectile dysfunction. An article in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported a Canadian study of almost 4000 men. Men with ED were 50% more likely to have diabetes or heart disease. Sexual dysfunction is an early warning system because the same buildup that clogs the arteries in your heart may first damage the fine arteries to your penis. A blocked shot is bad enough, but being ejected from the game of life is worse.

Men, think of this list like executing the fundamentals of any sport. I know practicing bunting isn’t sexy. Running a ladder drill twenty times is boring. Learning a pick-and-roll is so junior high school. Self care and maintenance are so…un-guy-like, but it’s critical to staying in the game. Do it anyway and take one for your team.

What are some of the fundamentals of the game you are practicing so that you can stay in the lineup?