Metro - Routine doctor visits are a vital component of a healthy life- style. As noted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, even men who feel healthy and live active lifestyles must make routine visits to their healthcare providers. Such visits can assess risk for future medical prob- lems and offer men the opportunity to update vaccinations. Routine health checkups also give doctors a chance to screen for medical issues.

Doctors consider a man’s age and other risk factors to determine when and how frequently he will need certain medical screenings. For example, while men between the ages of 40 and 64 are often advised to get blood pressure screenings at least once per year, those with diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, and other conditions may need more frequent screenings.

No two men have the same medical histories, which only highlights the need for men of all ages to schedule annual physical exams with their physicians. Such exams can reveal potential problems and also make for great opportunities to discuss more specificmedical screenings with their physicians. The following are some general screening tests and guidelines recommended for all men between the ages of 40 and 64, courtesy of the USNLM.

Prostate cancer

The USNLM notes that most men age 50 or older should discuss screening for prostate cancer with their physicians. Ethnicity and family history are some of the recognized risk factors for prostate cancer. As a result, African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer in a first degree relative younger than 65 should discuss screenings beginning at age 45. There are pros and cons to prostate cancer screenings, and these should be part of men’s discussions with their physicians.

Colorectal cancer

All men between the ages of 50 and 75 should be screened for colorectal cancer. Physicians may recommend colorectal screening for men under age 50 with a family history of colon cancer or polyps. In addition, physicians may consider screenings for men under 50 who have a history of inflammatory bowel disease.

Cholesterol

The USNLM advises men to have their cholesterol levels checked every five years. Men with certain conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, may need to be checked more often.

Diabetes

Diabetes screenings are recommended every three years for men age 45 and older. Men who are overweight and younger than 45 should ask their physicians if they should be screened before they reach 45.

Osteoporosis

Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, but that doesn’t mean men are immune to this condition marked by a weakening of the bones due to tissue loss. Fractures after age 50, heavy alcohol use, smoking, and low body weight are some risk factors that can make men vulnerable to osteoporosis.

Losing weight after menopause

Metro - Menopause is a time of change in a woman’s life. Much as the start of menstruation is accompanied by great fluctuations in hormones that can cause different symptoms, so, too, is the end of menstruation.

During menopause, many women experience weight gain and have trouble shedding pounds. Researchers are not quite sure why women gain weight during menopause.

However, the health and wellness site Healthline advises that both elevated and low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat stor- age. This is compounded by a loss of muscle mass that occurs due to age, hormonal changes and decreased physical activity.

 According to JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, most women will gain about five pounds during the menopause transition. Losing weight during the menopause transition can be challenging, but it is not impossible.

· Cut down on calories. Post-menopausal women can cut back on calories because they likely do not need as much as they did when they were younger. Eating may be out of habit, not necessity.

· Increase exercise. While mature women may not have the endurance of younger women, they can make up for it by scheduling shorter, more frequent exercise sessions. The general recommendation is 30 minutes of moderate- intensity exercise most days per week. But this can be split up into different sessions per day. Incorporate resistance training to help combat muscle mass lost from aging. The more muscle one has, the more calories burned, even at rest.

· Cut out sweetened beverages and desserts. Cutting back on sugary items can trigger weight loss. Researcher Bethany Barone Gibbs, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, noted that participants in a school-sponsored weight-loss study who were able to decrease their consumption of desserts and sugar-sweetened beverages tended to have more success losing weight.