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Memo to Men: To Live Longer, Take Better Care of Your Body
Date:12/22/2010

e brutally honest about such things as erectile dysfunction, drinking and smoking because doctors can't do their jobs unless they have a complete picture of their male patients' health.

"You've just got to suck it up and talk about it because it can be a symptom of something more important," Brott said.

Other tips from Men's Health Network for preparing for a physical include:

  • Bring a list of all medications and supplements you're taking.
  • Write down a full medical history of your family. The health of relatives can provide clues to illnesses you might be prone to develop.
  • Make a list of any allergies or reactions to medications that you've had.
  • Don't think it's all done after the physical. You need to take your doctor's findings and advice to heart, and make whatever changes to your lifestyle that need to happen to keep you healthy and fit.

Men should also do a little research on their own to learn the warning signs of health problems so they can be on the lookout for them.

"I think a lot of guys don't pay any attention to anything," Brott said. "It's important to understand the risk factors for stress, depression, prostate problems, bladder problems, back problems. It's important to do a little bit of reading."

Beyond that, try to create and then follow a healthy lifestyle that includes:

  • Eating right. By cutting back on saturated fats, trans fats and simple carbohydrates, you can reduce your chances of developing chronic health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Healthy foods -- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products -- give the body the tools it needs to repair and replenish. "Look at the food pyramid and try to pay attention to it," Brott said.
  • Exercising. Exercise has been proven to help improve heart health and better control blood sugar levels. It also acts as a natural antidepressant. "If you're not a person
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